Women's Environment & Development Organization http://wedo.org For a just world that promotes and protects human rights, gender equality and the integrity of the environment. Fri, 29 Jul 2016 22:00:14 +0000 en-AU hourly 1 http://wedo.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/cropped-Copy-of-WEDO_logoNEW-1-48x48.png Women's Environment & Development Organization http://wedo.org 32 32 Press Release: First Review of the 2030 Agenda Falls Short http://wedo.org/press-release-first-review-2030-agenda-falls-short/ Tue, 26 Jul 2016 17:44:56 +0000 http://wedo.org/?p=17669 New York, NY (July 20, 2016)– The High Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development, which took place from July 11-20 in New York, was the first ever follow-up and review process of the SDGs since 193 governments agreed to it in September 2015. …

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New York, NY (July 20, 2016)– The High Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development, which took place from July 11-20 in New York, was the first ever follow-up and review process of the SDGs since 193 governments agreed to it in September 2015. Women’s groups today expressed grave concern that the annual review process to hold governments accountable to their commitments to the 2030 Agenda failed to address key obstacles to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Grassroots organizations risk being reduced to tokenistic consultation instead of being included in national policy development,” said Nurgul Djanaeva of Kyrgyz Forum of Women NGOs. “Women’s organizations can provide valuable lessons on how to implement the SDGs.”

Read the entire press release here.

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Policy Brief 5: Means of Implementation http://wedo.org/policy-brief-5-means-implementation/ Tue, 26 Jul 2016 17:26:18 +0000 http://wedo.org/?p=17611 New York, NY (July 15, 2016) — Contributing to the 2016 High-Level Political Forum’s theme of ‘leaving no one behind’, the Women’s Major Group is pleased to release the fifth in a set of policy briefs – ISSUE #5: Means of Implementation. 

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New York, NY (July 15, 2016) — Contributing to the 2016 High-Level Political Forum’s theme of ‘leaving no one behind’, the Women’s Major Group is pleased to release the fifth in a set of policy briefs – ISSUE #5: Means of Implementation. 

KEY MESSAGE

Securing the Means of Implementation is at the heart of Agenda2030, including achieving gender equality and realizing the human rights of all women. There is an alarming absence of focus on MOI it all its dimensions and associated systemic issues in both the Secretary General’s report and the country reports submitted.

BACKGROUND

The Means of Implementation (MOI) in the 2030 Agenda encompass development financing; capacity-building; technology transfer, trade; and systemic issues including the creation of an enabling global macroeconomic and policy environment to facilitate the realization of the goals and targets adopted by governments in September 2015. The MOI goal (17) and targets in each goal were amongst the most contested throughout the negotiations , though strongest in the core agenda of economic south countries. Some developed countries, in the main, preferred to minimize the MOI elements of Agenda2030 and to merge MOI with the Addis Ababa Accord. Read more at the Women’s Working Group on Financing for Development.

The MOI goal and targets are integral to achieving the SDGS and to realizing gender equality and fulfilling women’s and universal human rights. A shortage of financing could, for example, mean that essential services and infrastructure that women and girls rely on to reduce their unpaid care burden and access healthcare services are not funded. Whether that financing is provided by the private or public sector can also have a considerable impact on the availability, accessibility, affordability and quality of those services.

Decisions around aid, debt, financing, revenue and trade are not only decisions about revenue and growth. They are also decisions about the value of our shared commons, local decision-making for local resources about wealth distribution and about the obligation to ensure economic policies to advance human rights.

They will also determine the ability of the state to address right to development. Taxes on harmful industries and practices; like speculative financial transactions, military and arms trading, carbon emissions, and extractive industries, can provide financial means of implementation, support reductions in inequality, and limit practices that undermine sustainable development. While regressive taxes on goods and services, failure to prevent tax avoidance and evasion, trade mispricing and a failure to regulate and tax corporations exacerbates inequalities and reduces state capacity for sustainable development investment.

RELEVANT LANGUAGE

Para61 – “The means of implementation targets under each SDG and Goal 17, which are referred to above, are key to realising our Agenda and are of equal importance with the other Goals and targets. We shall accord them equal priority in our implementation efforts and in the global indicator framework for monitoring our progress.”

MOI IS MIA-FAILURE TO SERIOUSLY ADDRESS MOI IN THE SECRETARY GENERAL’S AND STATE REPORTS TO HLPF

Despite the commitment to afford MOI equal priority in monitoring, the Secretary General’s report to the HLPF and most of the country reports (available at time of writing) have failed to provide more than a cursory glance at the MOI targets and commitments nor the relevant systemic targets. The omission is partly a reflection of the failure to agree to indicators for these targets, highlighting the ongoing attempts to weaken the Agenda by, mainly, developed countries through the indicators process.

The UN Secretary General’s report misses almost every target that addresses the imbalanced global economic structural problems of finance, trade and regulation. Tax and fiscal policies are not mentioned once in the report, nor is debt.

For example Goal 1 includes no reference to MOI including the important commitment to

  1. b. Create sound policy frameworks at the national, regional and international levels, based on pro-poor and gender-sensitive development strategies, to support accelerated investment in poverty eradication actions

Goals 2 and 3 selectively address MOI with reference to recent WTO decisions but not to measuring food export subsidies from the Global North and no reference to supporting TRIPS flexibilities for affordable medicines despite the contradicting pressures from Mega-Trade agreements that threaten the target.

There is no reference to MOI at all for Goal 5. In addition, there is no reference to public investment in services to recognise and redistribute unpaid care, another indication of the failure of indicators to the ambition of the target.

The omissions in Goal 8 relate to the substantive targets that relate to global economies that reduce labour rights. Labour rights are absent, including the rights of migrant workers, as is the Gender Pay Gap

Where differentiation is present in targets it is almost always ignored. Including Goals 9, 12 and 14.

The integrity of Agenda2030 should rest on the ability to genuinely address and measure Goal 10. The first HLPF does not bode well for this bellwether goal. No references can be found to inequality of wealth and resources between states, nor of the global concentration of wealth. There is no reference to fiscal policies here or elsewhere , the target to improve regulation and monitoring of global financial markets is not addressed and safe migration addressed only in reference to remittances in 10.c

No MOI targets are referred to for goal 12 and nor is the reference to the sole weak target encouraging multinationals to adopt sustainable practices.

Given recent revelations around tax havens it is disappointing that there is no reference to target 4 in Goal 16 concerning illicit financial and arms flows.

Finally, the MOI stand-alone Goal 17 is woefully inadequate. In relation to finance only ODA is mentioned. There is no reference to tax or debt relief targets. ICT issues are limited to internet access and Systemic Issues miss critical targets on policy and Institutional coherence.

The Secretary General’s report for this year’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) revealed how important the MOI and Macro Economic reform is to Women’s Rights. Addressing financing and the MOI for gender equality throughout Agenda2030 it addressed the barriers and possible solutions that must also be core to the HLPF’s work:

30. The challenges to generating sufficient domestic resources and tax revenues for gender equality can be addressed. Financial globalization and dominant macroeconomic policies have led to a decline in corporate taxes and tax rates on the wealthiest. Decreases have been substantial, with global corporate income -tax rates falling on average from 38 per cent in 1993 to 24.9 per cent in 2010.19 Tax exemptions and other incentives, including relaxing labour and environmental standards, to attract foreign direct investment have also deprived developing countries of a significant amount of revenue and regulatory efficacy. Tax avoidance by transnational corporations has resulted in an estimated loss to developing countries of $189 billion annually, which effectively limits the ability of those countries to secure resources for sustainable development and gender equality. An estimated $98 to $106 billion per year in tax revenues was lost between 2002 and 2006 from trade mispricing alone — distortions in the price of trade between subsidiaries of the same multinational corporation in order to minimize taxes. Some 60 per cent of trade occurs within multinational corporations. Lost revenues amounted to nearly $20 billion more than the annual capital costs needed to achieve universal water and sanitation coverage by 2015. Especially affected are the poorest countries where the possibilities for sustainable development are most compromised by the disappearance of tax revenues (A/HRC/26/28).

The Addis Ababa Action Agenda urges countries to reduce and eventually eliminate illicit financial flows from tax evasion and corruption by strengthening national regulation and international cooperation. 31. The substantial reduction in corporate and trade taxes has led to national tax systems becoming more regressive and a shift to consumption taxes, which have had clear gender implications. Increases in taxes on basic consumer goods and on smallscale farmers and enterprises, for example, disproportionately affect women. The inability to mobilize sufficient resources curtails State capacity to finance public services and social protection and invest in time- and energy-saving infrastructure.

Progressive taxation on income, wealth and inheritance, as well as financial transactions, would help to provide the domestic resource base for gender responsive implementation of the 2030 Agenda (see A/HRC/26/28). 23 32. Regarding domestic resource allocation, a number of policy options are available for the achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment in the context of a gender responsive implementation of Agenda 2030. Public investment in physical and social infrastructure can promote gender equality, reduce women’s unpaid care work, stimulate employment and lead to productivity growth. Such investments strengthen capabilities and have positive economy-wide spillover effects.

On Technology Transfer: The Secretary General’s report just focuses on internet penetration. There are 3 targets that are not included in the report. One on the facilitiation mechanism which has been established, but unfortunately these positive steps were not mentioned anywhere in the report. The other is the key differentiated target that isn’t addressed. India’s case in the WTO being denied the capacity to create its own solar industry and meet its obligations are one of the examples how neo-liberal trade system undermine the agenda.

17.7 Promote the development, transfer, dissemination and diffusion of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries on favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed

On Public-private partnerships, PPP are concentrated in sectors and markets that are most profitable, such as energy and telecommunications. However, if public -private partnerships are used to provide social services, such as health and education, there is a risk of exacerbating existing inequalities and marginalizing women and girls. For example, privatization of educational services has had discriminatory negative impacts on girls’ school attendance (see A/HRC/29/30). Public-private partnerships do not relieve the State responsibility for delivering on human rights obligations, including universal access to public services and social protection which are vital for realizing gender equality. Private-sector financing for sustainable development in the context of a gender-responsive implementation of the 2030 Agenda must therefore be aligned with international human rights standards as well as national efforts to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment and human rights.

COUNTRY REPORTS

Like the Secretary General’s report many developed country reports (released as of 7th July) fail to address any of the systemic macro-economic and regulatory changes required to realize just and sustainable development. Reports continue to frame developed countries obligations only in terms of ODA. Countries have failed to recognise their extra territorial obligations in relation to multi-national corporations, to their own role in International Financial Institutions, in spear-heading contradictory trade agreements nor to their role in enabling global financial speculation, tax havens, mis-pricing nor to the obligations creditors.

Switzerland’s summary report (full report unavailable) makes no reference to reforming tax havens and financial markets. Like most developed country reports it deflects its MOI obligations to the weak AAAA.

Means of Implementation: The implementation of the Sustainable Development Strategy 2016–19 is funded via the budgets that have been approved by the individual federal offices, which are responsible for incorporating the necessary financial resources into their financial planning. The Swiss Confederation also supports the comprehensive financing and implementation framework adopted by all UN member states at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development: the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA). Moreover, Switzerland is highly engaged in support of international conventions and standards in order to strengthen the normative global framework favouring the achievement of the SDGs.

Germany’s short summary refers to its intention to “address impacts in other countries and on global public goods, i.e. on global well-being (worldwide impacts – e.g. from trade or climate policy)”

South Korea limits its focus to ODA

Means of Implementation: ODA should remain as an important development resource in the SDGs era, especially for poor and vulnerable countries with special needs. As such, Korea will continue to increase its ODA. Korea’s second mid-term ODA policy (2016-2020) states that the government will aim at increasing the total volume of ODA so that it reaches 0.2% of GNI by 2020. The current level is at 0.14%. Korea also supports the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) which provides a comprehensive framework to maximize the potential of all development actors and resources for financing sustainable development. Also, Korea has been actively engaging in various initiatives and activities to promote collective efforts. In this regard, Korea is taking part in the Addis Tax Initiatives and it has continued to provide assistance to developing countries to modernize their tax administration system and build capacity.

France has not made reports available. However, the recent concluding observations of the Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) should guide civil society responses, reminding them, and all member states, of their Responsibility to Act (R2A) to advance human rights globally and, consequently, to reflect those obligations in their trade negotiations, role in international financial institutions and other multilateral or bi-lateral processes and to regulate French corporations.

9. The Committee expresses concern with regard to the lack of attention given to the impacts on Covenant rights in trade agreements or partner countries of bilateral and multilateral investment being negotiated or entered into by the State party or the European Union. The Committee is particularly concerned that the resolution mechanisms for disputes between investors and States under several agreements could reduce the capacity of the State to protect and realize certain rights enshrined in the Covenant (art. 2 (1)) .

10. The Committee urges the State party to fully meet its obligations under the Covenant in connection with the negotiation and implementation of trade agreements and bilateral and multilateral investment. It encourages in particular:

a) Ensure consultation with relevant stakeholders, including affected communities are engaged in the development stages of negotiation and ratification of these agreements, based on an assessment of expected impacts;

b) Ensure that an impact assessment is systematically conducted during their implementation in order to adapt, if necessary, the content of the commitments; and

c) Ensure that the dispute settlement mechanisms will not compromise the ability of the State party to fulfill its obligations under the Covenant.

11. The Committee urges the State party to take all possible measures to ensure that decisions and policies adopted within international organizations to which he belongs comply with obligations under the Covenant.

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PrepCom3 http://wedo.org/wedo-at-prepcom3/ Mon, 25 Jul 2016 20:30:58 +0000 http://wedo.org/?p=17608 WEDO is attending PrepCom3 in Surabaya, Indonesia, from Monday, 25 July to Wednesday, 27 July 2016. Follow us on Twitter for live updates.

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Surabaya, Indonesia (July 25, 2016)  WEDO is attending the third session of the Preparatory Committee of the Habitat III Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (PrepCom3) in Surabaya, Indonesia, from Monday, 25 July to Wednesday, 27 July 2016.

The United Nations General Assembly, in Resolution 67/216, decided to establish a preparatory committee to carry out the preparations for the conference open to all Member States of the United Nations and members of specialized agencies and of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

WEDO board member Soon-Young Yoon will be attending PrepCom3 and be speaking at a number of events, including at the Urban Speakers Corner on Monday 25 July, 15:50-16:10. She will present on Cities for CEDAW, which is a bottom-up campaign that is providing a platform for mayors, women’s commissions, civil society stakeholders, youth, women and girl leaders to rally together to end gender-based discrimination and violence against women. Further, she will conduct a targeted briefing for parliamentarians and ministers to learn more about the campaign.

The Huairou Commission network is convening with grassroots women’s organizations and other women’s groups working to ensure the New Urban Agenda is an empowering, gender-responsive policy and partnership framework. To find out more about the network’s activities at PrepCom3, see the events calendar.  All attendees are invited to meet the Huairou delegation and join side events and the Women’s Caucus held daily in Room Crystal 4 of the Convention and Exhibition Hall Grand City Convex Surabaya (Monday 7:45-8:45amTuesday 7:15-8:15am, Wednesday 7:15-8:15am).

Follow us on Twitter for live updates!

prepcom3

WEDO’s briefing for parliamentarians and ministers about Cities for CEDAW

 

 

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Policy Brief 4: Voluntary Country Reviews http://wedo.org/policy-brief-4-voluntary-country-reviews/ Mon, 18 Jul 2016 18:18:35 +0000 http://wedo.org/?p=17493 New York, NY (July 15, 2016) – Contributing to the 2016 High-level Political Forum’s theme of ‘leaving no one behind’, the Women’s Major Group is pleased to release the fourth in a set of policy briefs –ISSUE #4: Voluntary Country Reviews – ensuring meaningful participation and ensuring gender equality targets and goals are at the forefront. 

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New York, NY (July 15, 2016) – Contributing to the 2016 High-level Political Forum’s theme of ‘leaving no one behind’, the Women’s Major Group is pleased to release the fourth in a set of policy briefs –ISSUE #4: Voluntary Country Reviews – ensuring meaningful participation and ensuring gender equality targets and goals are at the forefront. 

KEY MESSAGES

  • Taking into account the 2030 Agenda’s theme, “Leaving no one behind”, the national review process should ensure meaningful engagement of all civil society, in their diversity, ensuring specific focus on groups that are marginalized and are inadequately represented in the country’s decision-making bodies.
  • Governments need to recognize the significant contributions that civil society can make to the preparation of the national reports. In particular, feminist and women’s organizations can provide inputs, experiences and data from the ground on the progress toward gender equality through activities related to Goal 5 (Achieve Gender Equality and Empower all Women and Girls) and other relevant goals, as well as the impacts of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for gender equality.
  • All national policies and development funding need to be SDG-proofed, ensuring that all laws, programs and budgets are in line with principles of gender equality, human rights and environmental sustainability.

BACKGROUND

At the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) 2016, 22 UN member states volunteered to present reports on how they are preparing the implementation of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development (see https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/hlpf/inputs). The Women’s Major Group appreciates that these 22 countries – the first to present their national reviews at the HLPF – are inviting constructive inputs from other member states and civil society in order to promote learning and improve their consultation processes and implementation efforts.

The WMG reviewed the information provided by these 22 countries based on the documents publicly available (primarily on the SD Knowledge Platform website). The Women’s Major Group also issued a survey to 29 women’s organisations and networks, representing approximately 100 CSOs. This survey aimed to analyse the first round of the national reports to the HLPF and specifically assess how governments implemented SDG 5 and how they engaged women’s organisations.

This survey of the Women’s Major Group covered 21 out of 22 countries (as one country did not upload information on the UN website). The conclusions and recommendations of the survey were published in a short report and presented at a side event at the HLPF on July 12th (see www.womenmajorgroup.org).

Some general observations:

Comparing the voluntary reviews, the Women’s Major Group notes:

  • While planning should have started 6 months ago, few countries were able to have a truly inclusive consultation with civil society within that timeframe.
  • Two of the 21 countries (9,5%) reviewed had invited civil society to engage in the national HLPF review from the beginning.
  • More than half (52%) of the countries did not / were not able to involve civil society at an early stage in planning the national SDG review report for HLPF.

EXAMPLES OF CIVIL SOCIETY AND SDG 5 CONSIDERATIONS IN THE PREPARATION OF NATIONAL REPORTS

A. Civil Society:

  • Very few countries incorporated civil society, especially women’s organizations and other main actors, from the beginning of the process.
  • Some countries invited a small (non-representative) number of civil society members to a consultation meeting, as a result of using restrictive selection criteria.
  • Some few countries invited groups that already closely work with government instead of a wider group of independent major groups, constituencies and stakeholders.
  • Most of the governmental reports could not be validated by civil society organizations, particularly women’s organizations, given that NGOs and women’s organizations did not have access to the draft report or the drafting process.

B. Sustainable Development Goal 5 “Gender Equality and the empowerment of all women and girls” and gender equality considerations:

  • There are countries, such as Finland, Norway, Egypt, Morocco, Switzerland, and Germany, which specifically address SDG 5. They show the improvements made regarding gender equality but also acknowledge that there are specific aspects that need improvement.
  • b) Other countries such as Sierra Leone make reference to the MDGs and shows the progress made regarding maternal mortality and girls’ education. Sierra Leone then mentions plans for SDGs that includes engaging marginalized groups and rural women in consultations on the SDGs.
  • Other countries, such as Uganda, France, Madagascar, and Turkey, specifically prioritize issues related to improving women’s working conditions and their access to economic resources.
  • Another group of countries, based on the information available to date, did not include or prioritize the consideration of SDG 5 and its targets. This was the case for Colombia, Mexico, Montenegro, Venezuela, and Estonia, so we believe there is room for improvement.
  • Many reports present a strong focus on recent events. This is the case of Colombia, with the recently signed peace agreement, or Togo, with the Ebola outbreak in 2015 as well as the serious flooding that affected some areas. These could be opportunities to address the way in which structural inequalities are related to current events.

RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE HLPF

A. Process of national reviews

Women’s organizations can support governments given their experience in monitoring and elaborating shadow reports for national, regional and global reviews of conferences, CSW and treaty bodies. Women’s organizations can also play an important role in reaching out to large constituencies and disseminating information.

The Women’s Major Group therefore makes the following recommendations to governments:

  • Institutionalize the participation of the diversity of feminists and women’s organizations, especially indigenous, migrants, youth, LGBTI, and others that have been traditionally marginalized. This inclusion should take place in an open and transparent manner at all stages of the process: design of the implementation strategy, the putting into place of the review mechanism, as well as during the implementation itself.
  • Ensure access to information for all while strengthening qualitative and quantitative data.
  • Governments and donors should commit to financing and supporting civil society organizations, especially feminists and women’s organizations, so they can truly and meaningfully participate. Enabling such an inclusive process is of the utmost importance to ensure no one is being left behind.
  • Planning for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda should start without any delay in all countries, making sure that civil society, including feminists and women’s organizations, are involved from the start.

B. Content of national reviews

  • SDG 5 on gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls must be included in national review reports, ratifying the commitment of fulfilling women and girls’ human rights, bearing in mind their diversity and the structural inequalities and multiple forms of discrimination they face.
  • Adopt a model for the national review process and reports that allows comparisons over time and among countries on achievement of SDG 5 targets and importantly across the full agenda and all targets, and build on existing mechanisms such as the Agreed Conclusions from the CSW, the observation of the treaty bodies’ committees such as the UPR, CEDAW, CESCR, CCPR and others.
  • Countries should link the national reporting with other human rights processes such as the CESCR, see for example the concluding comments for France on their extra-territorial obligation of trade on human rights.
  • The mechanisms for the advancement of gender equality and women’s human rights should take a leading role to mainstream women’s human rights in the state coordination mechanisms to effectively implement the SDG’s, both in qualitative and quantitative terms.
  • Ensure direct access to all MOIs for feminist and women’s organisations, including grants for capacity building, political empowerment and their full engagement in the SDG implementation. A macroeconomic shift must be promoted to ensure the eradication of all structural barriers that women face, including those of social, environmental and economic nature.
  • Promote the introduction of gender quotas or other mechanisms in close cooperation with nongovernmental and international organizations. Quotas should be seen as a temporary special measure for increasing women’s political participation, heading towards parity in all spaces of decision making, both in domestic and public spheres;
  • Strengthened political commitment to promote and fulfil women’s rights and ensure women’s access to justice.

Levels of civil society engagement:

Worthy of note is the levels of engagement of civil society that the Women’s Major Group found in the reports. We decided that two categories are useful to analyse this:

A. Meaningful participation means the right to express opinions and to discuss and exchange information and to attend policy meetings. This is ideally done through an institutionalized civil society engagement mechanism in which diversity of participation is ensured by reserving specific spaces for groups who are often not present in policy negotiations. UN Member States have committed to this in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in which they agree to engage “Major Groups and Stakeholders”, which includes the Women’s Major Group

Para 89. The HLPF will support participation in follow-up and review processes by the major groups and other relevant stakeholders in line with Resolution 67/290. We call on these actors to report on their contribution to the implementation of the Agenda.

B. Symbolic Participation is when a small number of civil society and women’s organizations are invited as a result of restrictive selection criteria. It is also when participants are only invited to listen to reports that are nearly or already finalized, and/or are requested to send comments with only 1or 2 days to respond. We hope the outcome of our analysis may be of use to the ongoing process of the HLPF and the reports of future volunteer countries.

 

 

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Policy Brief 3: Civil Society Participation and Accountability http://wedo.org/policy-brief-3-civil-society-participation-and-accountability/ Mon, 18 Jul 2016 17:03:32 +0000 http://wedo.org/?p=17471 New York, NY (July 14, 2016) – Contributing to the 2016 High-level Political Forum’s theme of ‘leaving no one behind’, the Women’s Major Group is pleased to release the third in a set of policy briefs – ISSUE #3: Civil Society Participation and Accountability. 

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New York, NY (July 14, 2016) – Contributing to the 2016 High-level Political Forum’s theme of ‘leaving no one behind’, the Women’s Major Group is pleased to release the third in a set of policy briefs – ISSUE #3: Civil Society Participation and Accountability. 

KEY MESSAGES

  • Accountability for gender equality is essential across all 17 SDGs, and the implementation, follow-up and review of the agenda should ensure human rights and gender analysis throughout for gender transformation to occur.
  • The active and meaningful participation of civil society, including women’s and feminist groups and other relevant rights-holders must be guaranteed at all levels of planning, design, implementation, follow-up and review.
  • Creating and ensuring an active, open and inclusive process for engagement with civil society is absolutely critical to ensuring a dynamic HLPF because civil society brings essential knowledge and expertise about the impact of the Agenda on those most affected by it, as well as the hardest to reach.
  • The full engagement and participation of constituencies and rights holders, including the most marginalized, can contribute to the development of strong gender-sensitive data collection and analysis of country census, surveys and periodic reviews.
  • Scaling up resources for civil society, including women’s, feminist, human rights and grassroots organizations, who are key drivers of national and global-level action for achieving gender equality, will be critical to achieving the SDGs.
  • Create and ensure a safe and enabling environment for civil society organizations and human rights defenders, especially women human rights defenders, to do their important work free from harassment, intimidation and violence by both state and non-state actors.

 

ACCOUNTABILITY

 

As rights holders, activists and experts, members of the Women’s Major Group know what is needed to transform the systems that hold women and girls back as well as how to include individuals and communities that have historically and systematically been “left behind.” Gender equality and human rights cut across all 17 SDGs and must be a central aspect of accountability. The implementation, follow-up and review of the agenda should ensure a gender perspective throughout.

Member States should seek the knowledge and skills of women’s, feminist, and grassroots organisations. Full engagement and participation of constituencies and rights holders, including the most marginalized, in development of more gender-sensitive data collection through country census, surveys and periodic reviews is needed. Women’s groups have expertise in reaching marginalized groups, identifying needs and guiding delivery of services, and have gained legitimacy and trust in collaboration with different stakeholders. In Nigeria, for example, Women’s Major group partners have successfully engaged the National Statistics Bureau by inviting them to participate in more gender responsive data collection and reporting. Gender disaggregated data is required to identify the gender gaps in resourcing and move away from instrumentalization of women and girls and from tokenistic implementation of strategies by member states towards gender inclusion and well-being. Robust accountability is critical for effectiveness and success of the agenda, providing opportunities for identifying gaps/challenges and what policies are working/not working for whom. Participatory monitoring and accountability also provides ownership over the Agenda and policies for people most affected. Finally, it is important to note the need for accountability at all levels – national, regional, and particularly global. The global level is the space to ensure accountability between states and of states to their national populations.

At the global level, the High Level Political Forum must address the systemic drivers of inequality, including macroeconomic and global governance policies, support collaborations with civil society, share best practices, and hold governments and all other actors accountable for their sustainable development and human rights commitments. This includes the UN itself.

In particular, the continued support of all-male panels selected to discuss important issues at the United Nations shows a lack of commitment to the 2030 Agenda and gender equality, ignoring the expertise of women worldwide.

The HLPF must create robust and well-resourced links with international, national and regional accountability mechanisms, including human rights bodies, where solid data, regional realities and consultations with CSOs should be central. It must also recognize the particular challenges faced by women and girls in countries in special situations.

On corporate accountability, multistakeholder partnerships, which often give primacy to private sector and international financial institutions will only widen inequality between and within organisations without accountability, oversight and governance. We, therefore, call for an intergovernmental governance framework for multi-stakeholder partnerships, rooted in the international human rights framework and existing obligations in all three dimensions of sustainable development (economic, social, environment), with a central objective to ensure accountability and ex-ante assessment of partnerships. Ex-ante criteria will assess if a specific private sector actor is fit for a partnership in pursuit of the 2030 Agenda. United Nations member states would be at the helm of formulating the framework, including the criterion, the oversight and monitoring process based on due diligence reporting and independent third-party evaluations.

CIVIL SOCIETY PARTICIPATION

 

Civil society organisations working on issues of human rights, justice, democracy, social and environmental rights are currently facing huge challenges regarding participation. HLPF cannot replicate this trend. Groups must be involved at all levels of planning, implementation, follow-up and review, which includes every stage of process, including as representatives on accountability mechanisms, key witnesses at any hearings or evidence gathering sessions, and have the ability to publicly respond to reports or statements relating to Agenda 2030. At the global level, follow-up and review modalities for Agenda 2030 and the HLPF should ensure the enhanced participation of civil society through Major Groups and other organized civil society constituencies with a clear mechanisms for accountability, transparency and diverse membership.

WMG appreciates the fact that 22 countries volunteered to submit national reports and appreciates the frameworks developed by some countries. However, in most cases civil society organisations were neither consulted nor informed during the review process (see WMG Brief #4 on National Reports). Without the inclusion of women and feminist organisations in national planning and reporting mechanisms, the HLPF national reviews will remain incomplete and notional. As active advocates and experts on justice, human rights and gender equality, Women’s Major Group members are a valuable political actor and resource towards implementation, particularly in relation to budgeting and the gender resource and asset gaps.

Accountability requires disaggregation and validation of verifiable data, both qualitative and quantitative, collected on all indicators. Women’s organizations should be partners in contributing, validating and interpreting the data used in reporting, planning and monitoring. Interpretation of data from a gender lens must be a key requirement.

Governments should ensure safety of women in civil society space, including women’s human rights defenders. In the last five years more than fifty nations have adopted measures to curtail the activities of NGOs and human rights advocacy groups, which are increasingly perceived as threats by autocratic leaders in the 21st century. “There is a global trend of states fearing civil society,” warned Maina Kiai, U.N. Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. “Asia, Africa, Latin America, and post-Soviet states are the main stages where this repression is taking place.”

Finally, participation requires resources. Women’s organizations globally struggle to raise the resources necessary to do their work. For example, AWID research in 2010 revealed that the median budget for 740 women’s organizations all over the globe was US$20,000, despite evidence that women’s movements are the key drivers of national and global action to realize women’s and girls’ human rights and gender equality. To address these financial shortfalls, governments must: allocate and track specific funding to support women’s human rights and feminist groups at all levels, including through national budgets and official development assistance; implement gender-budgeting at all levels to ensure that the differential needs of women, men, girls and boys are adequately addressed; and ensure capacity building for women’s groups.

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Launching the 2nd Call for Gender-Just Climate Solutions! http://wedo.org/launching-2nd-call-gender-just-climate-solutions-2/ Thu, 14 Jul 2016 21:05:41 +0000 http://wedo.org/?p=17433 Do you have a women & #gender initiative for #climate action? Apply for the @WGC_Climate Solutions Award!

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The Women and Gender Constituency is very pleased to invite you to participate in the ‘Gender Just Climate Solutions Awards’ initiative for the upcoming UN climate negotiations (COP22) in Marrakech!

The Women and Gender Constituency of UNFCCC and other women, gender and human rights advocates have been actively pushing world leaders to ensure a just outcome, one which works for people and the planet, and which responds to injustice among and within countries in relation to climate impacts and resilience. We know the solutions to a more sustainable future already exist- and it’s time to showcase them far and wide, and demand change. After the Paris Agreement and as world leaders meet at COP22 this November, we must act to highlight the importance of gender equality, women rights and women’s contribution to climate solutions.

The Gender Just Climate Solutions Award will make gender responsive and equitable solutions visible at the “COP of action”, the COP22 in Marrakech and central to just climate action all over the world! We are asking you to describe your women & gender initiative for climate solutions, in one of three categories:

  • Technical climate solutions with a women or gender perspective (e.g. in area of renewables, water-saving adaptation technologies etc.)
  • Non-technical climate solutions with a women or gender perspective (e.g. in area of efficiency, consumption changes etc.)
  • Transformation climate initiatives with a women or gender perspective (e.g. addressing governance, institutional change, planning processes etc.)

The 3 award winners, each per category, receive 1000 Euros as award and will be showcased at the Gender Just Climate Solutions Exhibition at the UNFCCC negotiations in COP 22 in Marrakech, Morocco. Additionally, the winners will benefit from a 1-year-mentoring programme of the Women and Gender Constituency. 10 nominees per category will be published in theGender Just Climate Solutions Publication. You can find more details about the award, including full criteria and application form, at the links below:

Full Details: ENGLISH / APPLY

Deadline: Sunday, 4 September 2016; midnight CEST 

Solutions Genre et Climat’

La Women & Gender Constituency vous invite à participer à son Prix ‘Solutions Genre et Climat’ qui sera officiellement remis lors de la Conférence Climat à Marrakech – COP22.

Lancé en 2015 lors de la COP21 à Paris, ce Prix a pour objectif de mettre en valeur la contribution fondamentale des femmes dans la lutte pour le climat, et la nécessité d’intégrer l’égalité de genre dans l’ensemble des politiques qui découlent de l’Accord de Paris. En effet, la Women & Gender Constituency, les femmes, les défenseurs-euses des droits humains se sont battu-es pour que les dirigeants de ce monde adoptent un accord qui assure une justice climatique et la résilience des écosystèmes et des populations. Nous savons que les solutions pour un monde plus durable existent déjà… c’est le moment de les mettre en valeur ! En route vers Marrakech, où les chefs d’Etat se retrouveront en novembre, agissons ensemble pour un Plan d’Action Climat intégrant l’égalité de genre et les droits des femmes. Le Prix ‘Solutions Genre et Climat’ donnera à vos solutions la visibilité qu’elles méritent pendant la « COP des actions » à Marrakech! Déposez votre projet climat intégrant le genre dans une de ces trois catégories:

  • Solutions climat techniques intégrant une dimension genre dans le domaine des énergies renouvelables, les technologies d’adaptation, etc.
  • Solutions climat non-techniques intégrant une dimension genre dans le domaine de l’efficacité, la consommation responsable, la formation, etc.
  • Initiatives climat transformatrices intégrant une dimension genredans la gouvernance, le changement institutionnel, les processus de planification, etc.

Les 3 lauréates, une par catégorie, recevront une dotation de 1000 Euros.Leur projet sera exposé sur le stand de la Women and Gender Constituency de la COP22 à Marrakech et lors de la remise de prixofficielle en présence de ministres, de représentants du secrétariat de la CCNUCC et d’agences de l’ONU. Les lauréates bénéficieront  également d’un programme d’accompagnement par la Women and Gender Constituency d’une année. Dans chaque catégorie 10 projets  seront mis en valeur à travers la Publication Solutions Genre et Climat.

Détails complets: FRANÇAIS/ Dépôt des dossiers de candidature

 

With support from:  

LogoRAJA

 

2015 support from:

Oak

gender just solutions award

Photo from 2015 “Gender-Just Solutions Awards” at COP21

 

 

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Policy Brief 2: Cross-Cutting Issues http://wedo.org/policy-brief-2-cross-cutting-issues/ Wed, 13 Jul 2016 16:38:10 +0000 http://wedo.org/?p=17365 New York, NY (July 13, 2016) – Contributing to the 2016 High-level Political Forum’s theme of ‘leaving no one behind’, the Women’s Major Group is pleased to release the second in a set of policy briefs – ISSUE #2: Three cross-cutting issues for the 2030 Agenda: Human Rights, Gender Equality and sustainability criteria

As we set the basis for implementation of the 2030 Agenda, the Women’s Major Group calls for a recognition of the three cross-cutting elements that need to be at the core of all actions: the human rights framework, gender equality and sustainability criteria.…

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New York, NY (July 13, 2016) – Contributing to the 2016 High-level Political Forum’s theme of ‘leaving no one behind’, the Women’s Major Group is pleased to release the second in a set of policy briefs – ISSUE #2: Three cross-cutting issues for the 2030 Agenda: Human Rights, Gender Equality and sustainability criteria

As we set the basis for implementation of the 2030 Agenda, the Women’s Major Group calls for a recognition of the three cross-cutting elements that need to be at the core of all actions: the human rights framework, gender equality and sustainability criteria. These will function as the linking pieces for a holistic approach for the three dimensions of sustainable development.

HUMAN RIGHTS

The new global sustainable development paradigm must be inherently adhered to the human rights framework, and it needs to be holistic, inclusive, just and gender-just, equitable and universal, based on the specific and already agreed international human rights instruments, mechanisms and reviews of social and economic rights, including major and relevant UN conferences and the outcomes of their reviews and international human rights treaties and instruments. This includes implementation of already agreed upon international agreements such as the 1993 Vienna Human Rights Declaration and Program of Action; the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW); the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action (ICPD PoA) and the Key Actions (ICPD+5), the Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA); the 2001 World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance Declaration and Programme of Action; the 2007 Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and the 2006 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, among others. In this regard, two elements need to be highlighted:

1. The human rights framework is not a new imposition to countries, but rather it is the mandate of states to respect it and fulfil it. The 2030 Agenda cannot replace the agreed human rights commitments nor can it be implemented without the full recognition of their universal nature. The integrity of the existing platforms for these agreements must be acknowledged and reinforced while honoring treaties as well as previously agreed outcome documents (e.g.: the 12 Areas of Critical Concern in the Beijing Platform for Action, the 10 Commitments of the Copenhagen Declaration and the CEDAW Recommendations). Numerous regional commitments also underscore the importance of and uphold gender equality, including the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa, adopted in 2003 by the African Union; the 1994 Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women (the Convention of Belem Do Para), the 2011 European Convention on Preventing Violence against Women and Domestic Violence; the Pacific Islands Forum Gender Equality Declaration of 2012; and the Montevideo Consensus, through equal protection and accountability measures accompanying good governance.

2. The Follow up and Review of the 2030 Agenda should be addressed every year in a comprehensive manner. No silos or clustering should be made in the Follow up process. The WMG calls for a continuous review process throughout every year in the next 15 years. Years can be thematic but need not limit to specific goals. If goals and targets are only reviewed once every 3 or 4 years as part of a cluster, countries will be more challenged to identify gaps, innovative ways to fulfill commitments or share learning through exchange of experiences. Rather, the entire UN system should be promoting a holistic implementation and a thorough implementation.

GENDER EQUALITY

Gender equality and the human rights of women and girls must be recognized as a cross-cutting issue critical for the success of the 2030 agenda. Women and girls comprise the majority of people living in poverty, experience persistent and multidimensional inequalities, and bear a disproportionate burden of the impacts of financial and environmental crises, natural disasters and climate change.

Gender equality, the empowerment of girls and women of all ages, and the full realisation of their human rights is not only a good in itself, it is essential for poverty eradication and sustainable development.

As such, Gender equality and the full realization of the human rights of girls and women of all ages should be emphasised as a crosscutting thematic priority throughout the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. An accelerated implementation and monitoring process must reflect the full range of issues that are critical to achieve gender equality, the human rights and empowerment of women and girls, and not just a subset of them, including women’s economic rights and their sexual and reproductive rights. To ensure success, the national and regional plans of action as well as global resources for the 2030 Agenda must be committed, must be sufficient and to have dedicated resources to achieve gender equality, including resources for women’s and feminist organizations. To enhance the way in which gender equality is to be mainstreamed, we recommend two things:

1. To support a legally binding interpretation of crucial targets of Goal 5, such as the complete eradication of all forms of discrimination and violence against women, in accordance to the CEDAW mandate.

2.  To address during implementation and follow up and review those structural elements that were missing in the 2030 Agenda but that could be the determinant elements to succeed in achieving its fulfilment. These are: to reduce and redistribute unpaid domestic and care work; to fulfil sexual and
reproductive health and rights; to eradicate the discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity; to promote comprehensive sexuality education; to ensure the safety of women environmentalists and human rights defenders.

SUSTAINABILITY CRITERIA

Ensuring intergenerational equity is imperative and sustainability criteria should guide every action. It requires engaging women and men fully in formulating rights-based, ecosystem based, gender-responsive and socially just solutions to halt biodiversity loss and climate change, which stand as symbols of a global focus on short-term gains and unsustainable consumption and production patterns, and impede poverty eradication. The implementation process must better draw connections between economic and social development, the environment and justice. It must recognize how inequalities (including gender inequality and inequalities within and between states), human action and entrenched structural and systemic problems have undermined sustainable development, contributed to environmental degradation and climate change, and threatened the wellbeing of people and the planet. Acknowledging and addressing these challenges is fundamental for the 2030 Agenda to deliver transformative change.

1. The 2030 Agenda framework must ensure the planet’s limited resources are used sustainably, equitably and responsibly, acknowledging the historical debt, and our responsibility to future generations. Actions should aim to drive fundamental change towards sustainable consumption and production in areas such as energy and food and the use of natural resources like forests, fisheries and biodiversity. In accordance with the Rio principle of polluter pays, and the Sustainable Development Goal on SCP (Sustainable Consumption and Production), economic transformation needs to move away from extractive and polluting activities towards renewable, sustainable and safe economics options which preserve ecosystem and well-being of all people, and fully ensuring a human rights safeguards, liability and redress mechanism for impacted populations. Committing to a system change requires a radical and urgent transition and transformation away from maximized profit-growth economies to resilient and people-centered, social and environmentally sound economic models that are safe, sustainable, just, equitable, gender-responsive and locally driven and owned. In this regard, it is urgent to eradicate the obscene concentration of wealth, because this is the core of the causes of extreme poverty that the 2030 Agenda aims to eradicate.

2.  To ensure urgent action implementing to climate change actions and keep global warming below 1.5 degrees, as well as commitments to address biodiversity loss, desertification and unsustainable land use; protect wildlife, safeguard forests and mountains; and reduce disaster risk and build resiliencies. With this in mind, it is imperative to uphold the rights of small producers, indigenous peoples and local communities to have access and control over their productive resources including secure land tenure, forests, mountains, water sources, wind, the sun and seeds and acknowledging the central role of women across various sectors. Sustainable development projects operated by non-monetized Peoples, including Indigenous Peoples, should be supported. Governments should commit to mandatory phase-out of unsustainable, radioactive and harmful substances and technologies, including GMOs and Geo-engineering, and to ensure all countries have the capacity to assess and monitor technologies and their long-term impacts.

3.  We are deeply concerned by the prioritization given to public-private partnerships in the 2030 Agenda and its potential to promote the outsourcing of development programmes as well as critical public services. The private sector has its own interests, which often conflict with those of people, resulting in programmes and services that prioritise profits over long-term public good and the needs of the most marginalised people. Certain public services should be the primary responsibility of states and ring-fenced from public-private partnerships, especially those related to the delivery of health care, education, water, sanitation and energy. That is consistent with the duties of governments to fulfil the human rights of its citizens to health care, education, water, housing sanitation and other goods. Further, any public-private partnerships that do proceed must be evaluated ex ante for their economic, social and environmental impacts; compliance with gender equality and human rights standards; and any potential conflict of interest. Their work must be conducted in a transparent manner with data that is measurable to evaluate the advancements made of the 2030 Agenda. Costs for human rights and ecosystem protections, stakeholder participation, and remediation must be internalized into projects achieving the 2030 Agenda. Risk should be balanced to ensure that marginalized groups are not bearing the risks, including climate change impacts. They should demonstrate specific added value in contributing to the achievement of agreed sustainable and social development principles and goals as outlined in the Rio Declaration, the Copenhagen Declaration, the ICPD Programme of Action and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, as well as the future SDGs. Further, the Follow-up Review process must include strong commitments on the parts of States to ensure private sector accountability, including for transnational corporations in their cross-border activities, international financial institutions and multilateral development banks, including access to justice and legal remedies where human rights are violated, monitoring and periodic evaluation, and participatory review mechanisms.

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Policy Brief 1: Addressing Systemic Barriers to Achieving Sustainable Development http://wedo.org/policy-brief-addressing-systemic-barriers-achieving-sustainable-development/ Wed, 13 Jul 2016 15:34:01 +0000 http://wedo.org/?p=17359 New York, NY (July 12, 2016) – Contributing to the 2016 High-level Political Forum’s theme of ‘leaving no one behind’, the Women’s Major Group is pleased to release the first in a set of policy briefs – ISSUE #1: Addressing Systemic Barriers to Achieving Sustainable Development.

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New York, NY (July 12, 2016) – Contributing to the 2016 High-level Political Forum’s theme of ‘leaving no one behind’, the Women’s Major Group is pleased to release the first in a set of policy briefs – ISSUE #1: Addressing Systemic Barriers to Achieving Sustainable Development.

KEY MESSAGE

Agenda2030 cannot be achieved unless the systems and structures that impede sustainable and equitable development are dismantled. The HLPF and regional follow-up processes should address at least one key barrier to achieving sustainable development annually. Member states should include systemic barriers in their country reports, which includes: (1) land and resource distribution, (2) trade and investment agreement, (3) militarism and conflict, (4) corporate influences and (5) patriarchy and fundamentalism.

BACKGROUND

Agenda2030 cannot be achieved without a shared commitment to addressing the systemic barriers to its implementation. During negotiations member states, particularly G77 countries, drew attention to the need to address systemic and structural imbalances in economic and political governance. Several states also drew attention to the need to address systemic human rights, conflict and justice barriers. Identifying and tackling systemic drivers of inequality must be central to the annual review of Agenda 2030 to ensure the agenda is truly universal. The final text of Agenda2030 and Resolution 67/290 provides space to address ‘new and emerging challenges’ and ‘shared challenges’. This briefer focuses on the importance of institutionalizing space within the follow-up and review processes to address systemic barriers, particularly those inadequately addressed in Agenda2030 itself.

The theme of ‘leaving no-one behind’ should have included a review of systemic drivers recognizing that exclusion is the result of deliberate policies, practices, and decisions designed to enrich and empower a few at the expense of others. Communities are not forgetfully ‘left behind’. Instead, some are catapulted ahead through global economic and political systems that depend on the exclusion and exploitation of others, particularly women in economically and politically marginalized communities. This neocolonialism model has its’ effects on women’s productive and reproductive labor where women continue to be exploited and manipulated by the market force. Systemic drivers of inequality including neoliberalism, fundamentalisms, militarism, racism and patriarchy are largely co-constituent of each other and could form the basis of thematic reviews.

RELEVANT LANGUAGE

Res67/290 2 – Decides that the high-level political forum, consistent with its universal intergovernmental character, shall provide political leadership, guidance and recommendations for sustainable development, follow up and review progress in the implementation of sustainable development commitments, enhance the integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development in a holistic and cross-sectoral manner at all levels and have a focused, dynamic and action-oriented agenda, ensuring the appropriate consideration of new and emerging sustainable development challenges; 

Agenda2030 para 73 – It will mobilize support to overcome shared challenges and identify new and emerging issues. Para8.

Para8  A world in which every woman and girl enjoys full gender equality and all legal, social and economic barriers to their empowerment have been removed. A just, equitable, tolerant, open and socially inclusive world in which the needs of the most vulnerable are met.

TWWW para82  It should ensure that the Agenda remains relevant and ambitious and should focus on the assessment of progress, achievements and challenges faced by developed and developing countries as well as new and emerging issues.

TWWW 85(d) – Have a focused, dynamic and action-oriented agenda, ensuring the appropriate consideration of new and emerging sustainable development challenges;

EXAMPLES OF STRUCTURAL, SYSTEMIC BARRIERS

1. Land and Resource distribution – Communities that are directly dependent on land and natural resources are increasingly at risk of being ‘left behind’ and denied livelihoods. Indigenous peoples, ethnic minorities, rural communities and subsistence farmers (the majority of whom are women) face increasing threats to their land tenure, territorial rights and their livelihoods from land concessions awarded to corporations, large-scale ‘development’ and infrastructure (including those conducted under the guise of ‘green growth’) and from climate change without respecting the principle of free, prior, informed consent. Finite resources within a global economic structure based on competition and growth exposes land dependent communities and their defenders to gross human rights violations.

2. Trade and Investment Agreements – Mounting evidence and awareness that neo-liberal economic policies widen inequalities, impact most negatively on those ‘left behind’ and pose a threat to the future of the planet has failed to shift government policy in most states. While paragraph 30 of Agenda 2030 strongly urges states to “refrain from promulgating and applying any unilateral economic, financial or trade measures not in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations that impede the full achievement of economic and social development, particularly in developing countries”, trade agreements that conflict with both Agenda 2030 and the UN Charter were pursued immediately after the agreement was signed. These agreements give multi-national corporations powers to challenge national policies designed to advance environmental protections, fiscal policies, labour rights, affirmative action policies, public health and public access to basic needs and services and human rights. In doing so they accelerate the power of the wealthiest and leave the vast majority of the population behind. The proposed and concluded agreements include clauses that directly contradict targets within Agenda2030 including on access to medicines, seed availability and sovereign policy space. Trade Agreements magnify existing inequalities and have been found to have a discriminatory impact on women, Indigenous peoples, people living with HIV or other illnesses, people with disabilities, older people, rural communities, workers and those dependent on state support, living in poverty or those already ‘left behind’.

3. Militarism and conflict – Conflict, the presence of state and non-state armed forces and military spending are systemic drivers of inequality, poverty and human rights violations. The drivers of conflict increasingly intersect with core issues of Agenda2030 – resource scarcity, climate change, inequalities and poverty. Consequently, reducing militarism is both a driver and an outcome of inclusive, sustainable development. In addition to the immediate devastation of conflict, people, particularly women, displaced by conflict are amongst the communities most likely to be ‘left behind’ with generational consequences. Stateless people and those who migrate from conflict zones are most likely to be forced into cheap, exploitable labour or trafficked into slavery like conditions. Within these populations, women, people with disabilities, children and the already economically marginalised face deeper risks and less ability to seek safe refuge. Given the recent political responses to conflict and asylum, a thematic focus on militarism is required.

4. Corporate influence – It is increasingly evident that the interests of many trans-national corporations and the interests of ‘people and planet’ conflict. Of the largest economies in the world, 51 are now corporations. The revenue of the top 200 corporations exceeds the value of the economies of 182 countries combined. They have more than twice the economic power of 80% of humanity. The UN Secretary General recognized that “a lack of clarity about additionality; a risk of misalignment of private sector and country priorities; and diminished transparency and accountability” make public-private partnerships a questionable way to advance sustainable development. Corporations are increasingly able to engage in manipulative price transfers, tax evasion and avoidance and avoid environmental and social responsibility. As state sovereignty and policy making power has been diminished and increasingly handed to the private sector, no corresponding system to ensure regulation and accountability of the private sector has emerged. This needs to be addressed to ensure the 2030 agenda is not ‘left behind’.

5. Patriarchy and fundamentalisms – Ideologies that rigidly limit opportunities, participation and autonomy for some members of the population cause whole groups of people to be ‘left behind’. Patriarchy – the belief that power and decision making should reside with some men, permeates lives, relationships and policies at the family, community, national and international levels. Fundamentalisms, whether cultural, religious, political or economic, similarly ascribe rigid beliefs about the roles and value of different groups of people. In doing so fundamentalist beliefs commonly focus on women’s bodies, sexuality and decisions, systematically limiting women’s participation in every aspect of private and public life. Many countries continue to have high rates of child, early, and forced marriages, which affect all aspects of girls’ wellbeing, in addition to other forms of violence against women such as honour-killings, acid burning, systematic rape and political, physical and sexual violence, justified in the name of culture, custom and/or religion with the terms used synonymously, and exercised with rampant impunity. When these ideologies shape policies and laws, women, sexually and gender diverse groups, single or unmarried women, women human rights defenders are ‘left behind’. While Goal 5 sets some important targets that measure some of the consequences of patriarchal policies, a more holistic review of the systemic causes of inequality as a review theme would allow the intersectional nature of the Agenda to be interrogated.

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Women’s Major Group Paper for HLPF http://wedo.org/womens-major-group-paper-high-level-political-forum-2016/ Mon, 11 Jul 2016 20:44:42 +0000 http://wedo.org/?p=17297 The WMG identifies below what we are doing to support implementation, follow-up and review of the SDGs; the need to address systemic causes of being ‘left behind’; and proposes key areas for action.

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“Ensuring that no one is left behind”: Listen to women for a change.

 

1. Introduction

The Women’s Major Group (WMG) and its members are fully committed to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to doing so while leaving no one behind, irrespective of gender, race, ethnicity, caste, sexual orientation, migrant status, nationality or other status.

Achieving gender equality, the realization of women’s human rights and the empowerment of women are essential and cross-cutting to all of the SDGs and to actualizing a transformative agenda, rather than replicating business as usual.

Creative and complementary efforts are required by government, UN and civil society as we implement sustainable development in order to both ensure human rights of all and dismantle systemic inequalities. Pursuing the SDGs also carries risks if not implemented with a human rights-based approach or monitored for human rights abuses. Cases of land-grabbing for (renewable) resources, the recent murder of Berta Caceres, and the abuse of hundreds of other indigenous and women human rights defenders each year exemplify this.

The WMG identifies below what we are doing to support implementation, follow-up and review; the need to address systemic causes of being ‘left behind’; and proposes key areas for action.

2. The Women’s Major Group

The WMG, a coalition of more than 600 organizations working to advance gender equality and women’s human rights across the full sustainable development agenda, is uniquely positioned to work on implementation, follow-up and review of the SDGs. We are self-organized, with principles of inclusivity, respect for diversity, sensitivity to power imbalances, transparency, and regionally representative leadership. Our work is global, drawing on our reach and the expertise of regional, national and local member organizations. We are committed to a model of leaving no one behind in governance and actions and expect all other stakeholders at all levels to do the same. In that sense, the WMG is itself a means of implementation.

We acknowledge and appreciate the degree to which our voices have been heard in the 2030 Agenda. Goal 5 on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls is a historic mandate for change; however, we are adamant that the full agenda, and all three dimensions of sustainable development (economic, social and environmental), are relevant to girls and women of all ages and in all their diversity. Accountability for gender equality is essential across all 17 SDGs and the implementation, follow up and review of the agenda should ensure a gender perspective throughout. This cross-cutting focus will support the holistic implementation of the agenda, and contribute to leaving no one behind.

Our success in terms of impact on the agenda and our own methods of work is part of a larger process of feminist movement building. We are eager to scale up our work and share our expertise on gender equality as pivotal for the SDGs and insist on the allocation of resources to achieve these goals.

The WMG has identified next steps for its role in implementation, follow-up and review through a strategic planning process. This includes work at global, regional and national levels on the 2030 Agenda as well as linking to other processes; capacity building within the WMG; collaboration with diverse actors; and shadow reporting; to name a few key strategies. As rights holders, as activists and as experts, we know what is needed to transform the systems that hold women back. As non-state actors, we have experience in motivating political will and assisting states to develop accountability processes for inclusion of individuals and communities that have historically been “left behind.”

We look forward to collaborating with member states on national reviews for the High Level Political Forum (HLPF). We willingly share our knowledge and skills in measuring progress on the SDGs, and we aim to capture and to amplify the stories and gaps in implementation and review of accountability processes.

3. Addressing the systemic causes of ‘being left behind’

“Tackling systemic drivers of inequality must be central to the annual review” of the 2030 Agenda, as proposed by the Asia Pacific Regional Civil Society Engagement Mechanism (APRCEM). Identifying and responding to the intertwined systemic issues of neoliberalism, fundamentalisms, militarism, racism and patriarchy, and their correlation to inequality and gender inequality, are essential for the successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda and should be an important focus of follow up and review processes at all levels, including thematic reviews.

The systemic drivers of inequality play out in diverse ways in different contexts, and in many cases, contribute to deepening and magnifying exploitation and exclusion. For example, the digitisation of cities under the ‘smart city’ focus in rapidly growing economies like China, Nigeria, India, Brazil and South Africa brings risk of leaving behind newly arrived migrants; girls and women of all ages; indigenous peoples; people of color, youth and children; the elderly; the disabled; LGBT and gender non-conforming; and the historically subjugated and ‘invisible’ communities, who may not have access to appropriate technologies or the ability to participate on an equal basis with others.

Systemic drivers of inequality are also contributing to new and emerging trends and challenges that will have an impact on our ability to implement the 2030 Agenda and have specific effects on women and girls. These include the increasing feminisation of agriculture; the impacts of climate and of development and infrastructure undertaken in the frame of “green economy/green growth” on land and resource distribution, particularly on small and subsistence farmers (many of whom are women), indigenous peoples, ethnic minorities and rural communities; the widening of inequalities as a result of economic, trade and investment rules that conflict with both Agenda 2030 and the UN Charter1; among others.

1 The UN Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable order stated that preferential trade agreements contravene both the supremacy clause in the UN Charter (103) and the state Responsibility to Act (R2A) to advance human rights, including the right to development. http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/IntOrder/Pages/Articles.aspx

To be effective, the follow up and review processes, including the HLPF must identify and respond to shortfalls in implementation of policies; address the systems that negatively affect the lives and lived realities of all girls and women of all ages; and identify and respond to new and emerging challenges related to governance of the SDGs across all three dimensions.

4. Key areas of action for implementation, follow-up and review to ensure no one is left behind

Women are differentially impacted by the multiple problems the SDGs aim to address and will differentially benefit from progress towards the proposed goals. It is essential that women and girls be meaningfully involved, and their needs addressed, throughout the implementation of the entire 2030 Agenda. In order to ensure that women and girls are not left behind, the WMG urges the following actions:

a. Inclusion and participation of grassroots women’s organizations in planning, implementation and monitoring of 2030 Agenda at the local and national level

It is time to embed gender focused planning at every level of government through greater participation of grassroots women’s organisations in policy development and governmental review processes.

The participation of grassroots women’s and other civil society organizations is key for the achievement of sustainable development. Grassroots groups are implementing good projects but historically have not been included in program development beyond tokenistic consultation processes. Yet their experiences can provide valuable lessons as governments consider how to develop and scale-up programs to implement the SDGs. For example, with increasing feminisation of agriculture and urban migration, women are leading more ecologically sustainable practices as farmers and food producers, and resource-sharing in the cities.

It will be crucial to provide grassroots women’s groups and civil society organisations with adequate financing and training to address their needs and those of their communities and also to support their role as vital stakeholders in the development and implementation of policies and programs to achieve sustainable development.

The advice of 19 year old Berryl from Kenya sums this up quite succinctly:

Bringing girls and young women to the table during the discussions about the SDGs is important because girls are the experts in their own lives. Girls and young women in the communities should be taught about the SDGs and how they affect their lives so they can monitor the implementation and how well the governments are doing. I think that world leaders need to:

  • Give better support to girl advocates by providing resources and encouragement.
  • ….allocate budget[s] for implementation of the SDGs, especially Goal 5 and Goal 16.
  • Invest in girls and their access to education

An educated, empowered girl is good not only for the family but also for the community, country and the world.

b. Financing and capacity building for women’s rights groups at all levels

The critical importance of civil society, including women’s rights groups, in implementing, monitoring and ensuring accountability for the new development agenda cannot be overstated. Yet, women’s organizations globally struggle to raise the resources necessary to do their work. For example, AWID research in 2010 revealed that the median budget for 740 women’s organizations all over the globe was US$20,000.2 This is despite evidence that women’s movements are the key drivers of national and global-level action to realize women’s human rights and gender equality.

In addition, women’s priorities continue to be underrepresented in national plans and budget allocations.

In order address these shortfalls, governments must:

  • Allocate and track specific funding to support women’s rights groups at all levels, including through national budgets and official development assistance.
  • Implement gender-budgeting at all levels to ensure that the differential needs of women, men, girls and boys are being adequately addressed and responded to.
  • Ensure that women’s groups benefit from opportunities for capacity building.

The WMG will work at national, regional and international levels to identify and strengthen existing mechanisms for flexible and rapid funding for women and feminist organizations in order to improve their capacity for effective response to ongoing issues, urgent crises and opportunities.

c. Gender disaggregated data to inform gender-responsive SDG implementation, budgets and monitoring

Gender disaggregated data is required to identify the gender gaps in resourcing and move away from tokenistic implementation of strategies by governments towards gender inclusion and well-being. Data is currently lacking and incomplete for many of the SDG Goals and targets and we have an incomplete picture of how women and girls are being impacted by the various issues the SDGs address.

For example, the scope and scale violence against women and girls is not captured adequately in most countries. The severity and extent of injuries, and the different forms of violence women and girls experience, including instances of femicide, is often lacking. In addition, the data that is collected is often incomplete. For example, the Demographic Household Survey (DHS), collects data only among women of reproductive age, between 15 and 49. This means that no woman 50+ who suffers from domestic violence, or girl under the age of 15 who experiences abuse, for example, is counted. They remain invisible.

The WMG therefore calls for:

  • The disaggregation of data collected on all indicators on the basis of gender, age, disability, geographic location, migration status, marital status, and other relevant factors.
  • The interpretation of data from a gender lens as a key requirement for planning and monitoring of the SDGs at national level.
  • The full engagement and participation of constituencies and rights holders, including the most marginalized, in development of more gender-focused data collection through country census, surveys and periodic reviews.
  • Independent data from women’s organizations and other civil society constituencies to be taken into account in national reviews of progress on the SDGs.
5. Ensuring that the Review of 2030 Agenda Leaves No One Behind

The sound implementation and regular national, regional and global reviews of the SDGs by all players – civil society, governments, private sector and the communities – is essential for equality for women everywhere. We urge that the 2030 Agenda be implemented in a way that is gender-responsive, comprehensive and inclusive, and that builds on synergies between the three dimensions of sustainable development, rather than reverting to silos.

At the global level, the High Level Political Forum must be a venue that, in addition to addressing the systemic drivers of inequality identified above, supports collaborations with civil society; shares best practices; and holds governments, the private sector and other stakeholders, including civil society, accountable for their sustainable development and human rights commitments. It must create robust links with national and regional accountability mechanisms, particularly the Regional Economic Commissions where solid data, regional realities and consultations with CSOs can inform its work. It must also recognize the special circumstances faced by many countries, including least developed, land-locked developing and small island developing states, as well as those of conflict-affected areas and ensure that specific space is dedicated to address the specific challenges they face in implementation.

We urge that national reports to the HLPF set ambitious goals and incorporate lessons learned in implementation and be widely disseminated at the national level, as well as globally. In order to supplement the voluntary reports submitted by member states, we urge the HLPF to establish formal mechanisms to consider reports, including shadow reports, by women’s groups and other civil society constituencies. The WMG and allies will be conducting shadow reports that vary depending on country context as a contribution to the voluntary reporting process. In addition, the HLPF should establish spaces for dialogues between countries that are reporting and major groups, civil society constituencies and rights holders through official events such as roundtables or interactive dialogues. Lessons learned from the first reviews in 2016 should strengthen the review process moving forward rather than constrain it.

Regional sustainable development forums have a critical role in the follow up and review architecture for Agenda 2030. Planning, implementation and follow-up mechanisms at regional level must be inclusive of all civil society; take a gender perspective; address the full agenda; and allow learning and sharing. The WMG recommends that they be used to:

  • share experiences, best practices and lessons learned in implementation among countries with similar development backgrounds and histories;
  • identify regional-level trends and challenges, as well as strategies to address them, including through cross-border approaches;
  • facilitate south-south and triangular cooperation to accelerate implementation, as well as other means of implementation; and
  • identify regional-level priorities for the HLPF. Regional reviews should have robust mechanisms for the participation of major groups, other constituencies and rights holders.

Effectively using the regional space prior to the global review will support increased participation, peer learning and could provide official inputs to global HLPF. Regional reviews that institutionalize space for major groups, civil society constituencies and rights holders and their contributions (shadow reports, reactions, parallel reports) will contribute to ensuring that no one is left behind, since these reports will support member states to better understand the impacts, gaps and successes of the policies in place.

The WMG recommends that national review processes should be undertaken regularly, 3 or 4 times before 2030. Governments should incorporate major groups, other civil society, constituencies and rights holders into the process of undertaking national level reviews, including in the processes to develop and review indicators, collect and verify data and conduct qualitative reviews. They should officially invite reports from women’s organizations and other

civil society groups to be submitted at national level and incorporate their findings in national reports.

6. Conclusion

The Women’s Major Group sees the need for three key areas of action to ensure that the 2030 Agenda will leave no one behind, irrespective of gender, age, race, ethnicity, caste, sexual orientation, migrant status or nationality, or any other condition:

a. Inclusion and participation of grassroots organizations in planning, implementation and monitoring of 2030 Agenda at local and national level;

b. Financing and capacity building for women’s rights groups;

c. Gender disaggregated data to inform gender-responsive SDG implementation, budgets and monitoring

Finally, women’s groups must be meaningfully engaged at all levels of the implementation, follow up and review of the 2030 Agenda, from the national level to the global.

We conclude with the words of Berta Caceres, Indigenous leader and environmental activist from Honduras, which she spoke at her acceptance speech for the 2015 Goldman Prize, before she was murdered:

Let us wake up! Let us wake up, humankind! We are out of time. We must shake our conscience free of the rapacious capitalism, racism and patriarchy that will only assure our own self- destruction. […] Earth – militarized, fenced in, poisoned, a place where basic rights are systematically violated – demands that we take action. Let us build societies that are able to coexist in a dignified way, in a way that protects life…

Contributing Organizations

ADBR asbl

African Women’s Devt and Communication Network (FEMNET)

Afrihealth Optonet Association (CSOs Network), Nigeria

Akina Mama wa Afrika

Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD)

Association « Development of a civil society », Kazakhstan

Association for Farmers Rights Defense, AFRD EUFRAS Georgia

Association of disabled women, Kyrgyzstan

Center for Reproductive Rights

Centre for Human Rights and Climate Change Research Nigeria

Chimkent Women resource Center. Kazakhstan

Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd

Coordinadora de la Mujer, Bolivia

Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality

Ecological Assosiation of Women of the Orient, Kazakhstan

FEIM- Fundacion Para Estudio e Investigacion de la Mujer. Argentina

Feminist League of Kokchetav, Kazakhstan

Feminist League, Kazakhstan

Forum of women’s NGOs of Kyrgyzstan

Gender Equity: Citizenship, Work and Family (Mexico)

Groots Trinidad

ILGA

International Planned Parenthood Federation, Western Hemisphere Region

International Women’s Health Coalition

International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific

Ipas

NAWO, the National Alliance of Women’s Organisations (UK)

Niger Delta Women’s movement for Peace and Development, Nigeria

OO Safewomb International Foundation (OOSAIF)

Out Right Action International

Pearls Care Initiative (PCI)

Plan International UN Liaison Office

Reacción Climática-Bolivia

Red de Educacion Popular entre Mujeres A lainta y el Caribe , REPEM

Rural women “DIA”, Kyrgyzstan

Rural women “Epkin”, Kyrgyzstan

Rural women’s NGO Alga, Kyrgyzstan

Sanctus Initiative for Human Development and Values Sustainability(SIHDEVAS)

Sansristi, India

Sathi All for Partnerships (SAFP)

SecurityWomen (Member of NAWO)

Sistren Theatre Collective/ Groots Jamaica

Soroptimist International

Stakeholder Group on Ageing

Temple of Understanding

UN Women National Committee Germany

United and Strong Inc , Saint Lucia

WECF International

Women for Peace and Ecology, Germany,,Berlin

Women for Women’s Human Rights (WWHR) – New Ways

Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO)

Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR)

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

Women’s Resource and Outreach Centre (WROC) Jamaica

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13th Green Climate Fund Board Meeting http://wedo.org/13th-green-climate-fund-board-meeting/ Tue, 28 Jun 2016 18:30:13 +0000 http://wedo.org/?p=17172 From 28th to 30th of June, 2016, the Global Climate Fund (GCF) will hold the thirteenth meeting of the board at the Headquarters in Songdo, Republic of Korea. And for the first time, the meetings can be streamed live to enable the broader GCF stakeholder community to follow the deliberations of the sessions.…

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From 28th to 30th of June, 2016, the Global Climate Fund (GCF) will hold the thirteenth meeting of the board at the Headquarters in Songdo, Republic of Korea. And for the first time, the meetings can be streamed live to enable the broader GCF stakeholder community to follow the deliberations of the sessions.

The GCF Board adopted a comprehensive Information Disclosure Policy (IDP) at its last meeting (GCF/B.12/24) that specified live webcasting of all Board meetings in 2016 and 2017, with a review of the measure by early 2018.

WEDO will continue to provide further updates on the meetings and sessions.

To view the live webcast, click here: http://www.greenclimate.fund/live

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