UN and global governance

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GPF’s core mission is to monitor policy making at the United Nations. This covers thematic areas, like sustainable development, human rights, and financing for development, but also more general issues of global governance and the funding and reform of the United Nations.

In this section you will find information, analyses, material etc. on questions of UN reform, the financing of international organizations, the role of various international “clubs” (like the G20), new forms of public-private interactions, like multi-stakeholder initiatives and global partnerships, the modi operandi of global institutions and their subsidiary bodies, the role of civil society organizations and social movements, and much more.

Statisticians seek greater voice

By Barbara Adams and Karen Judd

Download this briefing (pdf version).

A common theme that ran through the 50th Session of the UN Statistical Commission, March 2019, was the often tense interface between data and policy-making and the asymmetrical power dynamics that shape it. This was evident in the several reports submitted for consideration by the Commission. One from the UN Statistics Division (UNSD) reported on the federated system of data hubs, designed to integrate new data sources [...]

Who controls the process, who owns the results? UN Monitor #2

Statisticians from around the world, meeting at the UN Statistical Commission in March, will again take stock of progress in the world of data over the previous 12 months, largely driven by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The official report on filling the gaps in the global indicator framework—a clear priority of the 2018 Commission—show that while some progress has been made much has stalled. Gaps and tensions continue over the selection and interpretation of indicators, the data to [...]

UN Monitor #01

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has become a premier driver and justification for institutional and financial reforms along with the collection and analysis of more and more sophisticated data and statistics. Many UN Commissions are contributing to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). One of these is the UN Statistical Commission, which meets for its 50th annual session 5 – 8 March 2019 at the UN headquarters in New York.

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.

The United Nations (UN) is a highly complex organisation. It can be difficult for civil society advocates to know where to start and the best way to exert any influence. This toolkit will help civil society organisations (CSOs) and other stakeholders to navigate the politics and structure of the UN system and its main decision-making bodies. It will also provide a roadmap to help guide CSOs through the main types of UN agreements and how they are negotiated, with 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 [...]

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 [...]

Oligarchy and Global Power in the UN Security Council

By James A. Paul. When the United Nations was founded over seventy years ago, the victorious Allies saw it as the capstone of the postwar order. This new organization would work to keep the peace that had been achieved at such tremendous cost. At its head would be the Security Council, dominated by its five permanent members, united in a “trusteeship of the strong.” These powerful nations would serve as the world’s policemen, taking on the burden of keeping the [...]

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Picture
Young FoEE/Simona Getova CC BY-SA 2.0

108 national and international environmental organizations sent a letter to the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), to raise their concerns about the selection of authors for the special report on the impacts of global warming, which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will present next year. One of the selected authors (proposed by the US government) works for ExxonMobil, another for the Saudi oil company SaudiAramco. The signatories criticize that this selection does not correspond [...]
UNA-UK
UNA-UK

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

By Gabriele Köhler Honorary Associate, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, Philip Mader Research Fellow, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, Richard Jolly Honorary Professor and Research Associate, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, Robin Luckham [...]

The case of the B20 and transnational business networks

Over the past eight years, the G20 has emerged as one of the most prominent political fora for international cooperation. For transnational corporations and their national and international associations and lobby groups, the G20 process provides important opportunities to engage with the world’s most powerful governments, shape their discourse, and influence their decisions. For this purpose, business actors have created a broad network of alliances and fora around the G20, with the Business20 (B20) as the most visible symbol of [...]
The General Assembly hall
The General Assembly hall
Photo: Patrick Gruban/flickr

World's largest business association gets direct voice in UN decision making

In an unprecedented and historic move, the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly recently granted observer status to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). The resolution was submitted by France, Albania, Colombia, the Netherlands and Tunisia. The resolution sets out the ICC’s position as observer in the General Assembly from 1 January 2017 on. Granting observer status to the ICC risks to further strengthen the power of big business and widens the imbalance between corporate interests and civil society [...]