A few days ago, the United States, Japan and 10 other countries from the Pacific region arrived at a final agreement to approve what has been cited as the largest regional trade accord in history, The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. The trade deal focuses on lowering trade barriers to goods and services, tightens intellectual property (IP) laws and establishes an investor-state dispute settlement mechanism.
Member States of the United Nations (UN) have set 2015 as the year when they chart a new course for humanity. After nearly three years of consultations and intergovernmental negotiations, Heads of State and Governments adopted the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” on September 24, 2015. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon describes this as “a plan of action for ending poverty in all its dimensions, irreversibly, everywhere, and leaving no one behind.”
It took a photo of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, a Syrian refugee whose body was washed up dead on the shores of Turkey, for the world to notice the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world today. Driven by poverty and war, the mass exodus of refugees arriving in the European region is considered as the biggest refugee crisis since the end of the Second World War. Many are now wondering how this situation worsened. Why did the United Nations (UN) and powerful Northern countries allow such crisis to intensify?
IBON International strongly denounces the killings of Emerito “Emok” Samarca, executive director of the Alternative Learning Center for Livelihood and Agricultural Development (ALCADEV), Dionel Campos, chairperson of an indigenous peoples organization in his community along with his cousin Bello Sinzo. We express our deepest condolences to their families and loved ones. We find these vile acts of murder beyond inhumane, and representative of the state of terror perpetrated by the same government forces who swore to protect its people.
In September of this year, Heads of States and Governments will gather at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York City to agree on a new set of “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs) and a “global plan of action for people, planet and prosperity”. The latest draft of this declaration which promises to “transform our world” by 2030 and ensure that “no one will be left behind” in the process has just been released today.
As the first of three major development conferences this year, the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD3) in Addis Ababa is expected to play a fundamental role in laying the financial groundwork both for the post-2015 development agenda and the climate negotiations. With the current state of negotiations, however, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (Addis Action Agenda) signals a retreat of ambition and is far from upholding Monterrey and Doha, and much less in delivering any adequate response to the needs of the poor and the marginalized.
The much awaited publication of the Pope’s encyclical letter on climate change takes the issue of climate change and social justice further into the public’s consciousness. The Pope aims to influence governments and corporations in time before the 21st Conference of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) commences negotiations for a global climate deal in Paris on December 2015. It sends a heightened call-to-action, not only for world leaders to adopt a legally binding agreement on greenhouse gas emissions reductions and other urgent climate measures by governments and corporations, but also to billions of people, in their organizations and communities, to stand for climate justice and transformative social change.
The emerging consensus on financing the post-2015 development agenda not only holds up the private sector as the engine of growth and innovation, but also promotes private finance as the fuel of development.
Five years from the next big ‘deadline on climate’, world leaders are still negotiating over deadlines. They are nowhere near agreeing on, much less mobilizing, even a basic roadmap for ensuring the fulfillment of commitments made by northern countries to the global south. This includes bankrolling US $100 billion of climate finance to developing countries every year by 2020, an amount climate scientists estimate is itself barely enough to meet the challenges we face.