Mr. Roberto Bissio, Executive Director of Third World Institute (ITeM), demanded the need to better define the different roles of different stakeholders and the rules that bind them. There are regrettably too many examples of public-private-partnerships that went wrong.

In 2013 the World Bank’s IFC published the report “Investing in Women’s Employment: Good for Business, Good for Development” to highlight WINvest (Investing in Women), the World Bank Group’s Global Partnership initiative with the private sector on women’s employment. This initiative aimed to bring together IFC clients and private sector partners with a vested interest in substantiating the business case for improving working conditions and employment opportunities for women. Mining companies notorious for their environmental damage and fossil fuels coprorations were involved. The example given the largest attention by the report is that of the Brazilian company Odebrecht, that launched a 9 million US dollar program (over five years) to train and hire women as construction workers. Aside from Brazil, the program was launched (even when “on a much smaller scale”) in Angola, Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, Guinea, Liberia, Mozambique, Peru and Venezuela. Thus, with a tiny fraction of their global income of 100 billion US dollars in 2016, Odebrecht gained recognition and praise from the World Bank … and now all of their top executives, including CEO Marcelo Odebrecht, are in jail in Brazil and fined with 2.6 billion dollars by the US courts for their massive bribing of decision-makers in almost every country in which their operated!

“Women washing” can be as bad as “green washing” and without proper screening and vetting and safeguarding these “partnerships” can result in moral damage for the UN and the member states involved.

Mr. Bissio participated in the session “Review of SDGs implementation: SDG 5” that took place on July 12, 2017 during the Highl-level Political Forum in the United Nations, New York.

See the agenda of the panel here and Mr. Bissio’s intervention here (pdf format).