Civil society groups reclaim policies for the public

Global report assesses how privatization and corporate capture have become obstacles to progress under the 2030 Agenda

New York, 10 July 2017: A global coalition of civil society organizations and trade unions presents today the report Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2017. It is published on the opening day of the High Level Political Forum at the United Nations in New York. The report provides the most comprehensive independent assessment of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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The editing team of the Spotlight Report states:

“In the 2030 Agenda governments committed to a revitalized Global Partnership between States and declared that public finance has to play a vital role in achieving the SDGs. But in recent decades, the combination of neoliberal ideology, corporate lobbying, regressive fiscal policies, tax avoidance and tax evasion has led to a massive weakening of the public sector and its ability to provide essential goods and services.

“The same corporatized strategies and fiscal and regulatory policies that led to this weakening have enabled an unprecedented accumulation of individual wealth and increasing market concentration.

"The proponents of privatization and public-private partnerships (PPPs) use these trends to present the private sector as the most efficient way to provide the necessary means for implementing the SDGs. But many studies and experiences by affected communities have shown that privatization and PPPs involve disproportionate risks and costs for people and the public purse. PPPs can even exacerbate inequalities, decrease equitable access to essential services and jeopardize the fulfilment of human rights.

“Therefore, it is high time to counter these trends, reclaim public policy space and take bold measures to strengthen public finance, regulate or reject PPPs and weaken the grip of corporate power on people’s lives. In short, to put ‘people over profit’. These are indispensable prerequisites to achieve the SDGs and to turn the vision of the transformation of our world, as proclaimed in the title of the 2030 Agenda, into reality.”

The 160-page report is supported by a broad range of civil society organizations and trade unions, and based on experiences and reports by national and regional groups and coalitions from all parts of the world. Its 35 articles and textboxes cover all sectors of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, and reflect the rich geographic and cultural diversity of their authors.

The Spotlight Report is published by the Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND), the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR), Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN), Global Policy Forum (GPF), Public Services International (PSI), Social Watch, Society for International Development (SID), and Third World Network (TWN), supported by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.

The Spotlight Report will be disseminated and discussed at various events at the High-Level Political Forum over the next two weeks. The report's key findings and recommendation will be presented and discussed by the authors at a round table-event on Tuesday 18 July.

Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2017

Reclaiming policies for the public. Privatization, partnerships, corporate capture and their impact on sustainability and inequality - assessments and alternatives.

Report of the Reflection Group on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Beirut/Bonn/Ferney-Voltaire/Montevideo/New York/Penang/Rome/Suva, July 2017        #SpotlightSDGs

Contact in New York

Barbara Adams, Global Policy Forum (GPF):; Jens Martens, Global Policy Forum (GPF):; Chee Yoke Ling, Third World Network (TWN):; María Graciela Cuervo, Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN):;Kate Donald, Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR):; Roberto Bissio, Social Watch:; Sandra Vermuyten, Public Services International (PSI):; Stefano Prato, Society for International Development (SID):; Ziad Abdel Samad, Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND):

Contributing partners of the Spotlight Report 2017

Arab NGO Network for Development, ATD Fourth World, Blue Planet Project, Center for Economic and Social Rights, Corporate Accountability International, Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era, Education International, ETC Group, Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice, Global Forest Coalition, Global Policy Forum, ITF, Pacific Netowrk on Globalization, Forum on Public Services International,  Society for International Development, Social Watch, Third World Network, TNI, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Twaweza