Categorie: News (pagina 1 van 4)

SDGs and Human Rights?


-It is here fitting to paraphrase the adage of seeing the trees and not the forest. As the world tries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), most practitioners do not see the persons as rights holders. (Nury Gajardo)

The implementation of Agenda 2030 (SDGs) is not just a matter of better policies (CESR)

1. Better late than never, its implementation will require more holistic and more sweeping shifts putting at the center the issue of how and where power is vested, including through institutional, legal and political (non-) commitments to fulfilling human rights (HR). The hard wiring of HR in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) calls for a potentially much more powerful corrective move to fix the serious governance deficits that have emerged around Agenda 2030 since 2015. Current global and national governance arrangements are simply hindering implementation of the SDGs.

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Claudio Schuftan, PHM

It’s time to realise the unfulfilled promise of the Beijing Gender Equality Platform

Globally, women represent the majority of working poor, with less than half of women of working age being in paid employment. Occupational segregation and the undervaluing of women’s work mean that women are more likely to be in low-paying, insecure and informal work. Women earn on average 20% less than men, with many retiring into poverty. And, as gender stereotypes in society persist, women continue to perform the lion’s share of unpaid care work and are more disadvantaged in social protection systems. Gender-based violence, discrimination and intersecting systems of oppression, based on class, race, migration status, sexual orientation and gender identity, are at play at every stage of women’s lives and continue to shape their working experiences.

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WTO Reform as seen from the South

Interesting speech from the Chinese ambassador to the WTO:

“Any reform of the WTO has to fight against protectionism, uphold core values of the multilateral trading system, maintain development as its core, keep up with the changing world, and enable rule-making in a balanced manner.” He also gave his views on issues including the appellate body, special and differential treatment, fishery subsidies, agriculture, transparency, e-commerce, investment facilitation for development and industrial subsidies.

On the importance of social protection in times of Coronavirus

Can we allow people to stay away from doctors and hospitals because they are too expensive?



Taxes …

It all started in 1990 when the World Bank proposed to make poverty reduction the main priority for development cooperation, after ten years of disastrous ‘structural adjustment’. Most UN organisations followed.

There was some criticism, surely. And even if the World Bank and the UN Development Programme radically and explicitly rejected any social protection organised by public authorities, they did change their mind some ten years later. They now promote social protection though they also have hollowed out its meaning and its scope. In fact, what they propose is a limited social protection for the poor and limited labour rights in cooperation with the State and employers.

From this point of view, the ILO’s Social Protection Floors are much more interesting, though here again, there are severe limits. Lees verder

Labour Rights at Multilaterial Development Banks

Trade union action has led to binding labour safeguards at multilateral development banks. A new ITUC manual shows how to use these safeguards to fight for labour rights and a development model with decent work for all.




Benign Billionaires?

The latest November 2019 UBS/PwC Billionaires Report counted 2,101 billionaires globally, or 589 more than five years before. Earlier, Farhad Manjoo had seriously recommended, ‘Abolish Billionaires’, presenting a moral case against the super-rich as they have and get far, far more than what they might reasonably claim to deserve.

Manjoo also argues that unless billionaires’ economic and political power is cut, and their legitimacy cast in doubt, they will continue to abuse power to further augment their fortunes and influence, in ways detrimental to the economic, social and public good.

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Social Protection and its enemies

I have been noting this for several years now. It is sometimes very difficult to talk about social protection with progressive forces.

Sure, they all support actions and policies ‘in favour of the poor’, they all support ‘social justice’. But once you start to talk about details and how to achieve all this, there is mostly total silence. And little support.

There are several reasons for this, and some are easy to understand though not necessarily to be accepted. Lees verder

Trade unions reject the Wall Street Consensus

Amid a downgrade of global growth projections to their lowest levels since the global financial crisis, the International Monetary Fund and World Bank are pushing deregulatory structural reform. Working people in Ecuador and around the world are resisting this dangerous mix of austerity, deregulation, and attacks on labour rights.

The statement by Global Unions to the IMF and World Bank proposes an alternative path of inclusive and sustainable growth built around collective bargaining, public investment, and a just transition to a low-carbon economy.

In contrast, the IMF is urging deregulation, privatisation, and weakening of worker protections, especially in emerging and developing countries. The World Bank is moving in the same direction, promoting financial deregulation and a development model that prioritises the interests of private finance. A recent Bank publication recommended that countries combine weaker labour regulations with individualised, marketised schemes for social protection. Lees verder

South Center Statement on Universal Health Care

Access to health is a human right and Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is essential to achieve health for all. States should ensure through public funding, based on solidarity and the fair redistribution of wealth, that nobody is deprived from health care. Policies that promote competitive markets for pharmaceuticals, particularly in the area of procurement, regulatory approvals (including biologicals) and intellectual property, should be implemented. Governments should make use of the available space in the TRIPS Agreement to apply rigorous definitions of invention and patentability standards and use other flexibilities allowed. Below is the South Centre’s Statement to the UN High-Level Meeting on UHC held on 23 September 2019 at the UN headquarters in New York. The Centre noted the recognition, in the draft political declaration, of the responsibilities of governments as well as of their right to choose their own path towards achieving UHC.

Read the statement

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