Corporate influence and accountability

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Corporate actors – be they companies, their associations, foundations, or employees - play an ever increasing role in global, international and national policy making. They are regarded a source for finance for international organizations, for public service provision or infrastructure investments. They influence policy making on all levels as well as international discourses around issues like health, human rights, or tax.

This section looks at the role corporations play on various levels of governance. It highlights and analyzes the influence of corporate actors in various policy arenas and highlights the specific role of private philanthropic foundations. Are there potentially negative repercussions for relying too heavily on the private sector? And what could be the limits of and alternatives to the trend in establishing more and more so-called “partnerships” between the public and private sectors?

One specific focus in our work on corporations is following various processes that are aimed at creating binding norms for transnational corporations, especially in the area of business and human rights.

Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2020

Lessons from the global COVID-19 crisis

This is the fifth edition of the report Spotlight on Sustainable Development. Since 2016, we have published this report annually to assess not only the implementation of the 2030 Agenda but also the structural obstacles in its realization.

When we started to plan for this year’s report in Autumn 2019, mass protests were shaking a growing number of countries in various regions of the world. In Ecuador, Brazil, Chile and Argentina, in Egypt, Lebanon, [...]

Global Civil Society Report on the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs

New York, 18 September 

The COVID-19 crisis and the worldwide measures to tackle it have deeply affected communities, societies and economies around the globe. The implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has been put at high risk in many countries. COVID-19 is a global wake-up call for enhanced international cooperation and solidarity.

But calls for “building back better” by just pushing the reset button will not change the game. We need structural changes [...]

Stellungnahme der Treaty Alliance Deutschland zum zweiten überarbeiteten Entwurf für ein verbindliches UN-Abkommen zu Wirtschaft und Menschenrechten (»Second Revised Draft«)

Im Juni 2014 erteilte der Menschenrechtsrat der Vereinten Nationen (UN) mit der Resolution 26/9 einer zwischenstaatlichen Arbeitsgruppe das Mandat, ein völkerrechtliches Abkommen zur menschenrechtlichen Regulierung von globalen Wirtschaftsaktivitäten zu erarbeiten. Ziel des Prozesses ist es, die im Zuge der Globalisierung entstandenen Rechtslücken beim Schutz von Menschenrechten in der Wirtschaft zu schließen. Bislang fanden in Genf fünf Verhandlungsrunden statt, bei denen Regierungen, Rechtsexpert*innen und Vertreter*innen der Zivilgesellschaft und Wirtschaft über die rechtliche Ausgestaltung des Abkommens debattierten. Auf Grundlage dieser Konsultationen hat [...]

Gemeinsame Pressemitteilung von Initiative Lieferkettengesetz, CorA-Netzwerk, ECCHR, BUND

Pressemitteilung vom 12.02.2020 | Ein Lieferkettengesetz in Deutschland ist machbar – für Unternehmen genauso wie für den Gesetzgeber. Das zeigt ein Rechtsgutachten der Initiative Lieferkettengesetz, erstellt von Rechtsexpert*innen des Bündnisses mit Unterstützung durch Rechtsanwalt Robert Grabosch. Unternehmen in Deutschland sollen mit einem solchen Gesetz dazu verpflichtet werden, Mensch und Umwelt bei ihren globalen Geschäften besser zu schützen.

„Unsere Analyse zeigt: Menschenrechts- und Umweltschutz entlang der gesamten Wertschöpfungskette sind keine Utopie, sondern nur ein Gesetz weit entfernt. Die Bundesregierung muss dem [...]

Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2019

Transforming institutions – shifting power – strengthening rights Four years after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda the world is off-track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Most governments have failed to turn the transformational vision of the 2030 Agenda into real transformational policies. Even worse, xenophobia and authoritarianism are on the rise in a growing number of countries. But there are signs of change. Social movements have emerged worldwide, many with young people and women in the lead. [...]

Global civil society report assesses structural obstacles and institutional gaps in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda

New York, 8 July 2019: “The world is off-track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Most governments have failed to turn the transformational vision of the 2030 Agenda into real transformational policies. Even worse, xenophobia and authoritarianism are on the rise in a growing number of countries.”

“The implementation of the 2030 Agenda is not just a matter of better policies. It requires more holistic and more sweeping shifts in how power is vested, including through institutional and governance [...]

The increasing role of venture philanthropies in Global Health: Win-win situations or conflicts of interest with and for the WHO?

To coincide with the World Health Summit and the Grand Challenges Conference of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Berlin, Global Policy Forum, Brot fuer die Welt, medico international, and MISEREOR invite you to discuss the benefits, risks and side-effects of the WHO’s engagement with philanthropic foundations, and reflect on how the WHO can be strengthened in order to fulfill its responsibilities. Speakers will include representatives from the German Ministry of Health, the WHO (tbc) and international civil society.

Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2018

How to overcome obstacles and contradictions in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda “The world is off-track in terms of achieving sustainable development and fundamental policy changes are necessary to unleash the transformative potential of the SDGs.” This is the main message of the Spotlight Report 2018, the most comprehensive independent assessment of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The Private Sector and the Sustainable Development Goals

At the United Nations (UN) summit in September 2015, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was adopted by all UN member states. The Agenda gives a comprehensive framework for a global socio-ecological transformation.

The novelty of the SDGs vis-à-vis the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is its paradigm shift: all countries, not just the countries of the Global South, have to implement the SDGs, working closely together to achieve the common goal of a [...]

The United Nations face a funding dilemma. On the one hand, member states continue to transfer new responsibilities to the UN system, not least in implementing the 2030 Agenda and their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); on the other hand, they do not match these mandates with adequate resources.

Some see the way out of this financial mess in reinforced UN partnerships with private donors and their foundations. The UN Foundation (UNF) plays a special role here. It was established by [...]

Report of the third session of the UN working group on a binding instrument on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights (“treaty”)

n 2014, following a resolution initiated by Ecuador and South Africa, the Human Rights Council of the United Nations decided by a majority vote for the establishment of a process to create a human rights treaty to regulate business activity. In 2015 and 2016 the first two sessions of the open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights (OEIGWG) took place, and between October 23 and 27, 2017 the working group convened [...]

Development players mine a new seam

“Data is the new Gold” headlined a 2014 article in the business press on the marketing power it offers. “Each click, like, and share creates new data in the world, much of which can be used to deliver relevant marketing information and bring increased value to consumer audiences.” Picking up on the potential of so-called Big Data to measure national and global progress on development goals agreed in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the 2030 agenda has driven a [...]