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Politische Visionen zur Nachhaltigkeit - Die Agenda 2030 und die Bundestagswahl

1. Juni 2017, Berlin, Scandic Hotel

Die DGVN lädt am 1. Juni 2017 im Vorfeld der diesjährigen Bundestagswahl zu einer Tagung über die Agenda 2030 für Nachhaltige Entwicklung der Vereinten Nationen und ihre Umsetzung in und durch Deutschland ein.

Programm und Anmeldung

http://www.dgvn.de/veranstaltungen/einzelansicht/?tx_mjseventpro_pi1%5BshowUid%5D=671&cHash=31b8ec74ca3d43b1c91ebf297c5a127c

Deutscher Bundestag:

Innovative Politik für transformativen Wandel: Vorstellung des UNRISD Flagship-Berichts zur Umsetzung der Agenda 2030

Mittwoch 17. Mai 2017

15:30 . 17:00 Uhr

http://www.dgvn.de/veranstaltungen/einzelansicht/?tx_mjseventpro_pi1%5BshowUid%5D=658&cHash=584a9f0f761955ffe359ed849cb35567

   

Gabriele Köhler (2010/2014 Beraterin UNICEF Myanmar)

und Constanze Zahm (TU Dresden)

MYANMAR:  Aufbruch oder Albtraum?

Zur Lage der Menschenrechte

Dienstag 02. Mai 2017 20:00 Uhr

Universität Halle: Hörsaal Z, Melanchthonianum

http://www.dgvn-sachsen.de/index.php/termine/icalrepeat.detail/2017/05/02/176/-/myanmar-aufbruch-oder-alptraum-zur-lage-der-menschenrechte

JUST OUT

SUSTAINABLE

DEVELOPMENT

GOALS

UNA-UK March issue

http://www.sustainablegoals.org.uk/keeping-the-2030-agenda-alive/

Peertalk - webinar on the UNRISD Report, exploring the notion of transformation and enquiring into the driver of inequality and climate change @ http://peertalk.unssc.org/en/video/36-let-s-talk-about-policy-innovations-for-transformative-change

See the German translation of the UNRISD Report Overview at http://menschliche-entwicklung-staerken.dgvn.de/meldung/innovative-politik-fuer-transformativen-wandel-unrisd-flagship-bericht-2016-zur-umsetzung-der-agenda/

INNOVATIONS FOR TRANSFORMATIVE CHANGE: IMPLEMENTING THE 2030 AGENDA

 
6 December 2016
The German Development Institute presented the Flagship Report of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) on “Policy Innovations for Transformative Change: Implementing the 2030 Agenda” in its premises in Bonn  together with the United Nations Association of Germany.

Volkshochschule Gröbenzell

Nepal - Was tun nach einem Erdbeben?

Bilder unter "Nepal"

Vortrag mit Bildern von Gabriele Köhler

Dienstag 29.11.16

2015 wurde Nepal von einem schweren Erdbeben getroffen. Was passiert in dem ohnehin armen Land, um den Alltag der Betroffenen wiederherzustellen? Einerseits geschieht viel zu wenig und das auch noch viel zu langsam, andererseits geschieht auch viel Neues, mit Solidarität und Phantasie. Der Vortrag gibt einen Einblick in die neueren sozialpolitischen Experimente Nepals. Es wird insbesondere eine UNICEF-Initiative zum Kindergeld vorgestellt, das 2009 eingeführt und nach dem Erdbeben aufgestockt wurde. Das Kindergeld soll Armut und Ausgrenzung angehen und zugleich die Regierungspolitik effizienter und gerechter machen. Es wird um eine Spende für UNICEF gebeten.

https://vhs-groebenzell.de/Artikel/cmx58171c90e0efe.html

Einblicke in die gegenwärtige Situation in Myanmar:

http://www.dgvn.de/meldung/myanmar-reiches-land-mit-armen-menschen/

DGVN-Studienreise 2016: Wandel und Herausforderungen in Myanmar

Teilnehmerinnen und Teilnehmer der DGVN-Studienreise mit Parlamentsabgeordneten in Nay Pyi Taw, der Hauptstadt Myanmars (© Ute Gerteis)

 

 

 

 

 

Die diesjährige Studienreise der DGVN führte vom 10. - 19. Oktober 2016 nach Myanmar. Dort trafen Mitglieder der DGVN in einer Vielzahl von Gesprächen u.a. Vertreterinnen und Vertreter vor Ort tätiger UN-Organisationen und verschiedener Ministerien sowie Parlamentsabgeordnete. Ihr Fazit: Der eingeschlagene Weg Myanmars eröffnet Chancen für Frieden, Versöhnung und wachsenden Wohlstand in dem Land, doch gleichzeitig bestehen zahlreiche Herausforderungen, die nur im Zusammenwirken nationaler und internationaler Akteure bewältigt werden können.

Widersprüchliche Nachhaltigkeit – UN-Agenda 2030 und SDGs bei uns und in der Welt

Im vergangenen Jahr haben die Vereinten Nationen die universal gültige Agenda 2030 und die Ziele für Nachhaltige Entwicklung (SDGs) beschlossen. Doch was bedeutet Nachhaltigkeit eigentlich für die UN und für uns? Wie können die ambitionierten Ziele umgesetzt werden und welche Zielkonflikte können dabei entstehen? Wie kann es gelingen, Entwicklung und Nachhaltigkeit auf praktischer Ebene miteinander zu verbinden?

Mit der Tagung "Widersprüchliche Nachhaltigkeit – UN-Agenda 2030 und SDGs bei uns und in der Welt" möchte die DGVN Einblicke in die Umsetzung durch verschiedene Politikebenen geben und exemplarisch an verschiedenen Themen mögliche Zielkonflikte, Herausforderungen und Chancen aufzeigen. 

Bericht der Fachtagung: http://www.dgvn.de/meldung/bericht-zur-dgvn-tagung-widerspruechliche-nachhaltigkeit-un-agenda-2030-und-sdgs-bei-uns-und-in-de/

 

SYMPOSIUM "SOCIAL PROTECTION SYSTEMS - TYING THE KNOTS"

The department of Social Security Studies, Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences together with the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation, GIZ, the German Development Institute, and the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance are convening an international symposium

September 5-6, 2016, Bonn, Germany.

https://www.h-brs.de/en/sv/termin/symposium-socialprotection-2016

UN LIBRARY GENEVA
1 September 2016
Wir sind UNO: Deutsche bei den Vereinten Nationen

http://www.unog.ch/unog/website/library.nsf/(httpLibraryTalksByYear_en)/0557E7EB62E28EFEC1258018003BA834?OpenDocument&year=2016&navunid=A3609D61BE9ADE32C125792500519C47

 Speakers:

Gabriele Köhler.

Senior Research Associate, UNRISD, formerly UNCTAD

Gesche Karrenbrock.

Former UNHCR Representative in the Russian Federation

Juliane Drews.

People Development Officer, UNAIDS

Ekkehard Griep.

Editor, Vice Chairman, UN Association of Germany

 

Finally out: 

Assessing the SDGs from the standpoint of eco-social policy: using the SDGs subversively

Journal of International and Compartive Social Policy

July 2016

 To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21699763.2016.1198715

 

Dimensions of Global Social Policy 

International Conference, Bielefeld, 18-20 July 2016 

Discussions on the notion of social policy, with Alexandra Kaasch, Lutz Leisering, Huck-Ju Kwon, 

Gabriele Koehler, and many others.

 

Lecture series 'Signaturen der Weltgesellschaft'

28 June 2016

Institute for World Society Studies

Bielefeld University

Gabriele Köhler: 70 Jahre Entwicklungspolitik und die 3 UNs

http://www.uni-bielefeld.de/soz/iw/events/lectures.html

Kathmandu 26 May 2016

Himal Innovative Development and Research (HIDR) convened a Policy Dialogue on the SDGs and Challenges  of Inclusive Social Policy in Nepal

Speaker: Gabriele Köhler

Paper http://hidrnepal.com/index.php/activities

Also see an interview with Indu Tuladhar in issue 2/2016 of SÜDASIEN, South Asia journal of the South Asia Office, Cologne

www.suedasien.de

 

UN LIBRARY TALK, GENEVA,

6 APRIL 2016

Gender and the SDGs - are the SDGs good news for women?

Speakers/panellists/chair

  • Valeria Esquivel
  • Gabriele Koehler
  • Taffere Tesfachew
  • Rafael Diez de Medina

Based on issue I/2016 of Gender and Development

www.unrisd.org

www.unog.ch

www.oxfam.org

See the discussion at:

http://www.unrisd.org/80256B3C005BD6AB/(httpEvents)/E3A8A2D31AD277FEC1257F7F004C08EE?OpenDocument

 

Empowerment, die Nachhaltigkeitsagenda und die 60. Sitzung der UN-Frauenrechtskommission

Vom 14.- 24. März tagt in New York die Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). Die Frauenrechtskommission macht sich nicht einfach nur stark für die Rechte der Frau, sondern ihr geht es um Geschlechtergerechtigkeit und um unsere Selbstbestimmung – also um Empowerment.

www.dgvn.de

Applying the new universal sustainable development agenda to Germany

The SDGs - as they are abbreviated - apply to Germany to. Civil society, academics and, perhaps most visibly, government ministries are examing sustainability objectives and the measures required to create a socially, economically and politically sustainable society. To discuss cooperation on this between the German UN Association and the many development-oriented institutions in Bonn, board members Matthias Böhning, Patrick Rohde and Gabriele Köhler together with UNA secretary-general Lisa Heemann met with policy makers and experts at the UN Campus, the German Development Institute, the City of Bonn and the Ministry of Development Cooperation. http://www.dgvn.de/ /dgvn-vorstandsmitglieder-auf-antrittsbesuch-in-bonn/

NOW AVAILABLE

http://zedbooks.co.uk/ /poverty-and-the-millennium-development-goals

Poverty and the Millennium Development Goals
A Critical Look Forward
Edited by Alberto Cimadamore, Gabriele Koehler and Thomas Pogge

As the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), pass their 2015 deadline and the international community begins to discuss the future of UN development policy, Poverty and the Millennium Development Goals brings together leading economists from both the Global North and South to provide a much needed critique of the prevailing development agenda. By examining current development efforts, goals and policies, it exposes the structurally flawed and misleading measurements of poverty and hunger on which these efforts have been based, and which have led official sources to routinely underestimate the scale of world poverty even as the global distribution of wealth becomes ever more imbalanced.

Contact Gabriele at gkoehler50@hotmail.com for a review copy. 

Policies to tackle poverty

From the CROP series of interviews on poverty research, see Gabriele Köhler on the causes of poverty and the strategies and policies to eradicate it.
  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJjhqlMJ7co

the concept of development

until recently refered to development processes in low-income countries. However, a global consensus has emerged that all countries, regardless of their ecomomic or political might, their level of GDP per capita, or their human development index, are in a process of 'development' - and need to address their specific gaps in economic, social, ecological, gender equality, and political rights. The objective of 'development' everywhere needs to be about structural change, social transformation, human rights, gender justice and child rights, economic equity, and about halting and reversing man-made climate change. These objectives are aspirations for all countries and all peoples. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Assembly applies to all countries and every person on the planet. Ths will pose many new challenges:

  • how to ensure equity in development opportunities among countries,
  • how low-income countries will catch up,
  • how to adopt sustainable consumption and production patterns in the overcomsuming North while increasing the level of employment and decent, productive, creative work - in all  ountries.

A report by UNRISD - Policy Innovations for Transformative Change - addresses these challenges.

ideas & commentaries

September 2017

THE UN AGENDA FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND GERMANY'S SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGY

I.) The 2030 Agenda between transformation and cooptation

The UN 2030 Agenda for sustainable development commits to “transform our world”; both the Agenda and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change invoke human rights, an eradication of poverty, universal access to social services, and safeguarding the planet.

Implementing the Agenda would require challenging the dominant economic rationale and political powers. At intra-country, inter-country and global levels, the economic system is characterised by extreme asymmetries in wealth, productivity and power. Individuals, communities and societies face systemic economic, social and political exclusions, based on myriad vectors – from gender and age through ascribed identities. In and between countries, the exploitation of planet earth is the privilege of those with power.

One could argue that the 2030 Agenda is thereby caught up between transformation and cooptation.

II.) Need for 3 shifts

If the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is to have real impact, there need to be three major shifts:

  •  around principles or norms towards a common vision of economic, social, gender and climate justice. This would necessitate reversing the prevalent hierarchy and replacing the rationale of unfettered capital accumulation and profit maximization with a different set of goals around social and climate justice. This has been termed “hierarchy reversal” (UNRISD 2016).
  •  at the policy level. This would necessitate coherent policies for decent work and full employment, for guaranteed incomes and access to high-quality and inclusive social services, with sustainability or ecological goals. Income and wealth inequalities would also need to be addressed. There are many policy outcome conflicts here that need to be reconciled.
  • around practice. Alternative forms of productive collaboration, or free and equitable exchanges, often referred to as the sharing economy and the social and solidarity economy, would need to gain more traction. It would need different employment profiles and time use, which would in turn alter the work-life balance. If scaled up, it would help to rebalance global and regional production patterns, and move the high income countries into a de-growth or altered growth (services instead of manufactures)  mode.

The 2030 Agenda could be measured against these three shifts.

III.) Germany’s ‘performance’ as an example

It is of interest to me, as a German citizen, to look at the German experience: how do the German government’s commitments to the 2030 Agenda and its national  Sustainability Strategy (German Sustainability Strategy (GSS)), adopted in 2017,  tally with, ignore or contravene sustainability goals? Superficially, Germany compares favourably to many other countries, which made the same commitment to the 2030 Agenda, but have not taken similar steps in terms of national policy making. Germany with the Energiewende, its self-definition as a ‘social state’, and a performant civil society, could – at the face of it - be a policy leader.

However, a critical examination of the GSS with its commitments, examined for 7 of the SDGs, shows a mixed picture at best:  

  • SDG 1. Poverty

The GSS sees employment as the main route to overcoming all forms of poverty, and connects the poverty goal with the employment goal, which is positive.

However:

  •  it does not look at the structural causes of poverty – including the lacunae in decent work which it mentions.
  • it downplays the extent of income poverty and ignores child poverty which is betwem 15 and 21 per cent
  • the income minimums of the social assistance transfers are extremely low, making participation in social life extremely difficult and reinforcing intergenerational poverty

So, while some normative positives, there is policy and practice failure.

  • SDG 2. Hunger

The GSS normatively ascribes to the right to food. However, hunger is cast narrowly as an issue of sustainable agriculture, agricultural productivity and of awareness of healthy eating patterns.

 Issues of food security in low-income households are not broached, even though in Germany, 1.8 million people have to resort to free food banks.

Again: policy and practice failure

  • · SDG 5. gender empowerment and equality

The GSS confirms the commitment to gender equality – made in the German constitution. However,

·       women in Germany remain systemically disadvantaged, the gender pay gap is 21%.

·       Women spend 50% more time than men on care work – the gender care gap (a newly devised indicator) is double

·       old age poverty is rising sharply, and affects women more than men.

The GSS documents these challenges to gender equality, but the structural issues producing this unequal situation are not explored, and the  remedies proposed by the GSS remain piecemeal. A much wider range of policies would on offer for example from the CEDAW 2017 review of Germany:

·       strengthening the mandate of the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency;

·       creating a comprehensive national gender strategy, policy and action plan addressing the structural factors causing persistent inequalities;

·       introducing gender-budgeting of the fiscal, state and municipal budgets;

·       reviewing the tax system and social benefit provisions;

·       introducing adequate staffing ratios for day-care centres, ensuring high-quality and reliable after-school care for children, and increasing all-day-care options, and strengthening the statutory pension as a means of ensuring a decent standard of living for retired women. Interestingly this last proposal has entered the political party programmes for the September 2017 election.

So, regarding SDG5 – normatively positive, but weak in terms of policy and practice.

 

  • SDG 8: Decent work and growth

The 2030 Agenda is problematic on this topic as it has a strong orientation to GDP growth and does not confront the incompatibility at the global, planetary level of growth and sustainability. Germany is quite conform with the 2030 Agenda on that point. Thus, despite the nominal commitments to renewables and decarbonisation, the GSS does not question the export drive;  Germany continues to exploit coal, including in the form of CO2-intensive overseas imports, and to mine lignite; and has an enormous external footprint in the import of inputs. There is a total disconnect between commitments and policy and practice. So, on this point both the norms and the practice are weak.

The GSS gives some attention to decent work and to the issue of unemployment. However, it does not face the actual unemployment situation: 2 million persons in Germany are unemployed, at an unemployment rate of 3.9 per cent ; youth unemployment is 7 per cent. De facto tolerating that such a large number of persons is excluded from decent work and full employment can hardly be considered sustainable, let alone transformative.

  •    SDG 7: Energy and SDG 13 Climate change

At the normative level, Germany projects itself as moving in the direction of ecological sustainability – the much vaunted Energiewende. It pursues energy efficiency and the expansion of renewable sources of energy, subscribes to the analysis of the IPCC regarding the dangers of global warming, and is committed to keeping global temperature increases under 2 degrees Celsius, and if possible to limit it to 1.5 degrees. In the Indicated Nationally Determined Contributions submitted for the EU, Germany committs to an at least 40 per cent domestic reduction  in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990, and there is an additional German commitment to decrease the CO2 emissions by 40 per cent by 2020.

Conversely, at the practice level, CO2 emissions in Germany increased in 2016 vis-a-vis 2015 by 0.4 per cent or by 4 million CO2 tonnes. The climate conservation plan prepared by the Ministry of Environment for the UNFCCC COP 22 had aimed for a 55 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030, but this was vetoed by the German cabinet, citing the employment impact.

The current scandal over a diesel emission measurements also shows a soft stance of the government on the auto industry – not in tune with decarbonisation and emission reduction promises.

Aspirations, policy and action are not transformative in this central area of transformation for sustainability.

  • SDG 10: Inequality within and between countries

At the normative level, the GSS initially aligns with the vision of the Agenda and more fundamentally with human rights commitments. It then, however, argues that income and wealth inequality are constituent of a “dynamic market economy” and merely need to be contained. The GSS reinforces the current government’s austerity policies which are socially not sustainable. It simplifies the inequalities that Germany experiences and reduces them to two domains:

  • educational inequalities – where it has some progressive education and labour market policy proposals; and
  •  income and wealth inequality. While reporting the considerable wealth inequality of 0.8 in the Gini scale, the GSS glosses over this issue which will exasperate income inequality in the years to come.

IV. Summing up: cooptation rather than transformation

In sum then:

  • at the normative level, the  GSS is oriented to fulfilling human rights and gender equality, and nominally commits to halting climate change. It refers to gender justice, distributional justice, and to “intergenerational justice” which is used to point to the case for climate justice. While the GSS lacks the transformational rhetoric of the 2030 agenda text, it does profess a commitment to sustainable, equitable development. Thus, in terms of its professed ambitions, the GSS can be seen as corresponding to the aspirations of the 2030 Agenda, and the GSS can be used as an anchor to claim a transformative vision.
  • at the level of policy decisions and practice, the 7 areas examined show a very mixed picture. In some areas, key issues are completely ignored, such as regarding hunger, or child poverty. In others, such as unemployment or wealth inequality, the issues are downplayed. In the SDG areas of decent work and growth, there are major contradictions between aspirations and practice. In the overarching goal of overcoming inequality, the conceptualisation is weak. Finally, regarding energy and climate change – in many ways at the core of sustainability and social as well as ecological resilience - even the aspirations are not transformative.

The policies showcased in the GSS do not challenge the status quo. Many of the provisions in the Strategy are  ultimately geared to assure investment and growth; Germany’s growth and export orientation and the fixation on austerity are not put to question. There is no vision towards changing the pattern of growth – e.g. shifting the economy to the (care) services sector, or significantly downsizing consumption of commodities or of energy resources. This suggests cooptation rather than transformation – using the rhetoric to do more of the same!

 

Taten müssen folgen

Damit die Nachhaltigkeitsziele einen Beitrag zur Verringerung der Ungleichheit leisten können, muss man sie beim Wort nehmen.

Kaum jemand leugnet mehr, dass soziale Ungleichheit weltweit ein Problem darstellt. Die UN-Agenda 2030 für Nachhaltige Entwicklung bietet einige Anhaltspunkte, was gegen die wachsende Einkommenskluft getan werden könnte. Speziell das Nachhaltigkeitsziel SDG 10 bezieht sich ausdrücklich auf die Verringerung der Ungleichheit. Doch solange dabei die Machtverhältnisse ausgeklammert werden, können die ambitionierten Ziele nur marginal umgesetzt werden.

Inkota September 2017

https://www.inkota.de/material/suedlink-inkota-brief/181-soziale-ungleichheit/koehler/

July 2017

The rights of the child and the G20 Summit - A wake-up call

Richard Jolly and Gabriele Köhler

Nineteen rich counties and the EU are preparing for the G20 Summit. What brought this group together initially were their GDP size and their concern with the 2007/2008 massive financial crisis. After a brief flirtation with Keynesian ideas about governments’ responsibility in economic crises, they now cohere in their (misguided) belief in neoliberal policy making. 

As we know, the austerity and deregulation policies adopted by the majority of the G20 governments are extremely harmful. Decent jobs that are paid properly and come with social security guarantees for incidents of illness or accident, and for old age, have been replaced by zero hour jobs and exploitative gig economy stints. Women – traditionally facing triple roles in paid and unpaid work and as carers – forego the little government support they used to receive from a welfare state. Low-income families are seeing their benefits cut massively, or made conditional on demeaning conditionalities.

● Children most affected

Public housing is scarce and crumbling; school buildings go unrepaired; professionals needed to support children with learning needs are not employed. Health services are systematically under-staffed and under-resourced (UK), or pamper the well-covered upper classes while reserving less resources for low-income groups (Germany). In Germany, 1.8 million people, in the UK, nearly a million people, currently have to resort to food banks since their incomes do not suffice to buy sufficient food; many of these users are women-headed households.

And on top of all this, austerity has not restored growth to pre-crisis levels – any more than it did in Africa and Latin America where, after twenty years of such polices, Latin America had experienced two decades of economic economic decline followed by partial recovery, and Sub-Saharan Africa was actually poorer in per capita income than in 1980.

The people who are most desperately affected by these unacceptable policies are children. Children have less voice and do not vote, so their rights remain disregarded, nearly 30 years after the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. And, let it never be forgotten, children are the future – and their present poverty means marks down future investment across the economy and society.

● Direct results of austerity

As a direct result of austerity, and of unfettered capitalism more generally, the lives and futures of children are already being set back – in spite of the fact that they make up one half of the world’s poor. Fresh research from UNICEF shows that the numbers of children in poverty in rich countries has increased - or been caused to increase - by austerity policies - by 2.6 million from 2008 to 2012.[1] An average of one in five children in 41 high-income countries lives in poverty.[2]

At the G20 summit, the heads of state and their policy makers will be under public scrutiny and on their toes. More than 300 civil society organisations (CSOs) have issued an urgent Civil Society 20 (C20) Call to adjust trade, fiscal, energy, climate, agricultural and other policies so as to meet the SDG commitment that each of the G20 governments have made to “leave no one behind” and eradicate poverty by 2030. A central point in the C20 manifesto is to end the “imposition of austerity policies and encourage public budgets that promote development, poverty eradication and social justice”.[3] But even in this powerful document, children and their rights do not feature.

● Too late 

For some children, the call to responsible policy action already comes too late. In Germany, police are pulling children of asylum-seeking families out of their classrooms, to deport them back to their allegedly safe countries of origin – an inhuman measure to diminish the cost of housing refugees in Germany – one of the richest countries of the world in per capita terms, and with a fiscal budget surplus! In the UK, children predominate in the faces of those who perished in the Grenfell Tower fire – which was ultimately caused by cost-cutting when that public housing site was refurbished.

As a funky German rock band recently put it, we need to ‘wake the f* up’.[4]

References:

[1] Bea Cantillon, Yekaterina Chzhen, Sudhanshu Handa and Brian Nolan, 'Children of Austerity: Impact of the Great Recession on Child Poverty in Rich Countries' . UNICEF and Oxford University Press, Oxford. 2017

[2] UNICEF Innocenti Office of Research. Building the Future. Children and the Sustainable Development Goals in Rich Countries . Innocenti Report Card OECD 14. 2017. https://www.unicef-irc.org/publications/pdf/RC14_eng.pdf.

[3] C20 Communiqué. THE URGENT NEED FOR BETTER INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION. Conclusion of the Civil20 Summit, Hamburg, 19 June 2017. https://civil-20.org/c20-summit/

[4] Hamburg-based Rapper Samy Delux at a UNICEF fundraising concert peacexpeace, Berlin, June 2017. For the – somewhat despondent - lyrics see https://genius.com/Samy-deluxe-weck-mich-auf-lyrics

https://www.world-economy-and-development.org/wearchiv/042ae6a7a908ee901.php

 

FROM UN ASSOCIATION UNITED KINGDOM 19 MARCH 2017

Keeping the 2030 Agenda alive

The world already looks very different to the place it was when UN member states adopted the SDGs in September 2015. How can we ensure that the international community remains committed to the pledges it made?

The UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its companion, the Paris Agreement on climate change, aspire to nothing less than ‘transforming our world’.

The 2030 Agenda – adopted by all 193 UN member countries less than two years ago – commits to good governance and peace, overcoming hunger and poverty, and “leaving no one behind”. The Paris Agreement, pledging to take action to limit global warming to 2ºC maximum, has been ratified by more than 130 countries. These are two of the most-referenced global policy promises for economic, social and climate justice and a sustainable future for people in all parts of the world.

But these promises are increasingly at odds with the politics and economics we currently witness around the planet. Is the Sustainable Development Agenda becoming but a distant dream? Will the agenda survive? The time is now to speak out clearly against the threats, renew the commitment, and open up new avenues for progress.

The challenges

Racism and xenophobia are on the rise. In some countries, elected politicians are unashamedly sowing hate on a scale not seen since the 1930s, most obviously under President Trump in the USA, but also in many parts of Europe (such as Hungary, the Netherlands, France).

Distressingly, governments in countries like Britain are colluding or providing only weak opposition to neo-nationalism, claiming that they must preserve special relationships with their allies. Meanwhile, identity-based verbal abuse, outright oppression and violence are rearing their ugly heads across Europe as well as in countries such as Myanmar, Nigeria and Burundi, and threaten to halt and reverse progress on development that ‘leaves no one behind’.

The climate change targets of the Paris Agreement are already being challenged by fossil fuel corporations and the governments that support or condone them – although the fight back is also beginning. The promised funding for climate change mitigation is not yet forthcoming.

Meanwhile environmental activists are being arrested, persecuted, assaulted and even killed (as, for example, in Honduras and Brazil). Despite the systematic, evidence-based research of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on the destructive impact of humanity – heralding the Anthropocene era – serious science, particularly in the USA, is under threat from ‘alternative facts’.

Democracy is under threat and needs to be actively defended. Democratic deficits are widening and human rights protections are being dismantled. New authoritarianisms are emerging, barely concealed by democratic facades.

Human rights are being systematically undermined in Turkey, Hungary, the Philippines, Palestine and many other countries. De facto military juntas are being re-established in countries such as Egypt and Thailand. Several countries including India, Nepal, Ethiopia, China, Russia and others are closing down civil-society organisations.

The right to asylum is being destroyed and international cooperation is in disarray even as we experience the largest number of refugees since World War II. Governments in Europe and elsewhere are introducing exclusionary policies and failing to work together to manage the arrival of refugees with a modicum of humanity, at the same time that public hostility towards refugees is rising. The UK government recently reneged on its promise to accept (only) 3,000 unaccompanied child refugees. Meanwhile, migrants – who are keeping global interlinkages (value a


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