Means of implementation or means of appropriation?

Global spotlight report challenges the notion that “trillions of private finance” are needed to advance SDG implementation and  highlights the centrality of public policies and investments, pointing out how developed countries’ refusal to any meaningful democratization of global economic governance remains the key obstacle to unlocking the necessary means of implementation

New York 13 July 2017: As the SDG 17 is under review today at the HLPF 2017, civil society groups express their concern for the inadequacy of the combined MoI/AAAA framework to match the ambition of the 2030 Agenda. The worrying slogan of ‘making the business case for sustainable development’, clearly exemplifies how private finance, rather than public policies and investments, is being portrayed as the fundamental key to SDG implementation, says the Spotlight Report,  a comprehensive independent assessment released in New York on the opening day of the High Level Political Forum 2017.

Two main challenges undermine the implementation of the Agenda 2030: the refusal of developed countries to engage in any meaningful democratization of global economic governance and the pervasive private sector bias, explains Stefano Prato, Managing Director of the Society for International Development and one of the authors of the Spotlight Report.

While developing countries are being pressured to advance national implementation of the 2030 Agenda, developed countries oppose strong resistance to the call for democratization of the global economic governance, and continue to strengthen their own institutions (i.e.OECD) and those they unevenly control (i.e Bretton Woods institutions).

International tax cooperation to tackle illicit financial flows, multilateral mechanisms to ensure debt sustainability, equitable multilateral trade systems, alignment of international finance with sustainable development, are all essential to create the policy and fiscal space for countries to advance implementation. However they remain peripherical, if not completely unaddressed, in the follow-up and review process of the 2030 Agenda. This translates into the persistence of systemic structural obstacles for developing countries to advance any meaningful development progress.

We are witnessing an increasing abdication of the state’s responsibility to challenges - such as human mobility,  climate,  trade, finance. The state seems to feel inadequate or powerless to confront - points out Stefano Prato - ceding portions of public space to the private sector.

Rather than means of implementation, the international community is confronted with ‘means of appropriation’ of the development aspirations of developing countries and their communities to maintain an outdated, untenable, fragile and undemocratic economic order, claims the Spotlight Report.

The Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2017 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. It provides the most comprehensive independent assessment of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

For more, see

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