Highlights from New York

Past Event: “From Tax Competition to Tax Cooperation: An Alternative to the Race to the Bottom”

intern1 : September 13, 2017 4:11 pm : Events 2017, Global Economic Governance, Highlights from New York, Topics

Monday, September 18, 2017, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Roger Smith Hotel, 501 Lexington Ave, New York

Tax havens are the ultimate expression of the global corporate tax race to the bottom, and they have largely increased over the years. The United Nations estimates that financing needed for basic infrastructure investment in developing economies is between USD 1 to 1.5 trillion annually. According to a report by Kar and Spanjers, developing economies are estimated to have lost about US$7.8 trillion in illicit financial flows (IFFs) during 2004-2013. Retaining and taxing these resources could contribute to reduce income inequality, strengthen human rights, and boost the implementation of the SDGs. Therefore, it is vital to improve and reform the taxation system and this will require strengthening cooperation at the global, regional and sub-regional levels.

In this context, FES New York, together with the Permanent Missions of Ecuador and Tanzania and the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation (ICRICT), co-hosted a public debate with the high-level guests like María Fernanda Espinosa, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility of Ecuador and Modest Mero, the Permanent Representative of Tanzania to the UN. Next to personal remarks by each of the debaters on the issue this event also gave the audience the opportunity to ask questions, express views and to continue the conversation at a reception after the debate.

Invitation

Concept Note & Agenda

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Past Event: “UN-Civil Society Cooperation: Strengthening Accountability and Prevention under the Responsibility to Protect”

intern1 : September 12, 2017 3:40 pm : Events, Events 2017, Global Security Governance, Highlights from New York, Topics

Thursday, 7 September, 2017, 9:30am – 11:30am
The Church Center for the United Nations, 2nd Floor

On the occasion of the ninth annual informal, interactive dialogue on the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) of the General Assembly, FES New York  in cooperation with the Stanley Foundation and the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect (ICRtoP) co-hosted this civil society discussion on R2P and the prevention of atrocity crimes. This event allowed  civil society actors to exchange views and information with Ivan Simonovic, Assistant Secretary-General and Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Responsibility to Protect (picture) and provided the opportunity to hear diverse viewpoints, to connect and reflect on potential areas of cooperation and to explore how existing initiatives and programs can complement one another in the future.

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New Publication – “Are the Multilateral Organizations Fighting Inequality? 2017 Financial Impact Report Executive Summary”

intern1 : July 17, 2017 12:01 am : Events, Events 2017, Global Economic Governance, Highlights from New York, Publications on Global Economic Governance

Reducing inequality within and among countries is now a stand-alone goal for the United Nations: Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 10 in the UN’s Agenda 2030. While many countries have adopted SDG action plans that include policies to reduce domestic inequality, at the global level it remains difficult to evaluate what effect the policies of the multilateral system have on the international dimension of inequality. This is so even though reducing inequality has become a greater priority for the multilateral system.

A timely new report, “Are the Multilateral Organizations Fighting Inequality?”, helps to highlight the impact of the global financial rule-makers.  This report reviews policies of the United Nations (UN), International Monetary Fund (IMF), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), World Bank Group (WBG), Financial Stability Board (FSB), and Group of 20 (G20) and scores them on a scale of 1–5 on their efforts and success at reducing inequalities. Eminent economist José Antonio Ocampo has written a Foreword to the report that highlights the key role multilateral organizations should be – but are not yet – playing to ensure that we reverse disastrous trends in inequality and allow all of the world’s citizens to benefit from future growth and development.

Download report Executive Summary

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Recent Event: “Are UN Member States Ready to Eradicate Poverty and Promote Gender Equality by Tackling Inequality?”

intern1 : July 14, 2017 5:35 pm : Events 2017, Global Economic Governance, Highlights from New York, Publications on Global Economic Governance, Topics, Uncategorized

Monday July 17,  1:15-2:30 pm

Convene Conference Center, 730 Third Avenue (between 45th and 46th Streets)

Left to right: H.E. Marcos Barraza (Minister of Social Development, Chile), H.E. Kai Sauer (Permanent Representative of Finland to the UN), Winnie Byanyima (Executive Director, Oxfam International), José Antonio Ocampo (Professor, Columbia University; Fmr. UN USG), Jo Marie Griesgraber (Executive Director, New Rules for Global Finance), Guy Ryder (Director-General, ILO)

The 2017 High-Level Political Forum focused on eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity (Goal 1) and combating gender inequality (Goal 5). This special high-level panel engaged some of the key global leaders in this effort, including two key member states in a multi-stakeholder debate.

The panel discussed two reports that highlight issues of poverty, gender equality and income inequality. “Are the Multilateral Organizations Fighting Inequality?”, prepared by New Rules for Global Finance and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, assesses six multilateral organizations (IMF, World Bank, FSB, OECD, G20 and UN) for their impact on poverty, shared prosperity and gender inequality.  The “Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index” prepared by Oxfam and Development Finance International, ranks 152 countries by their policy commitments to reduce poverty, gender inequality and broader income inequality.

This high-level event also provided an excellent opportunity for key Northern and Southern member states and leaders of UN agencies to update the audience on initiatives they are taking both at home and for global development.

Download the program here.

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Recent Event: 2017 FES New York Summer Academy

intern1 : June 22, 2017 10:25 am : Highlights from New York

June 19 – 23, 2017
Roger Smith Hotel

At FES New York’s 2017 Summer Academy, young leaders from across the globe explored the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a tool to further progressive, transformative politics in their respective home countries. During this week-long workshop, participants shared their experiences and expertise, collaborated on various tasks and activities related to some of the Agenda’s key themes (e.g. climate change, decent work, sustainable consumption, etc.), and developed skills to influence their countries’ political agenda toward the implementation and follow-up of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At the end of the Academy, all participants were asked to develop individual policy papers to help create synergies between their ongoing work for political transformation and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in their home countries.

Download the program here.

Watch the video here.

 

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Recent Event: “Protecting Rights, Remediating the Environment: Addressing the Harm from Nuclear Weapons”

intern1 : June 15, 2017 5:52 pm : Events, Global Security Governance, Highlights from New York, Publications on Global Security Governance

Wednesday, June 21, 1:15 pm – 2:45 pm

United Nations HQ – New York Conference Room B

This panel discussion was a side event during the negotiating conference on a nuclear weapons ban treaty. Discussants assessed  the positive obligations in the first draft of the treaty, suggested ways to improve them, and highlighted why such revisions would be particularly important to the prohibition treaty. By promoting the inclusion of strong positive obligations in the new legal instrument prohibiting nuclear weapons, this event helped ensure that the treaty not only builds on previous humanitarian disarmament treaties but it also contributes to the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda.

To read about the event click here.

Download the program here.

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New Publication – FES Perspective: “The Nuclear Weapons Ban and Human Security for All: Assessing the Draft Convention on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons from a Human Security Perspective”

intern1 : June 15, 2017 5:44 pm : Highlights from New York, Publications on Global Security Governance

by Matthew Bolton

June 2017

Efforts to abolish nuclear weapons have regained momentum by the current negotiations for a nuclear weapons ban treaty. Despite the resistance from nuclear powers, the majority of UN Member States is determined to come to an agreement in July 2017. This publication discusses proposals for a strong, human-security-based treaty that would include references to human rights and environmental law, explicitly prohibit financing nuclear weapons production, and strengthen positive obligations on victim assistance and on environmental remediation. The author also suggests that the agreement should include a pathway towards engagement and eventual accession for nuclear-armed and nuclear alliance states.

Download the publication here.

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New Publication – FES International Policy Analysis: “Making the Global Financial System More Resilient: A Regional / Group-wise Approach to Sovereign Debt Workouts”

SaraB : May 24, 2017 4:35 pm : Global Economic Governance, Highlights from New York, Publications on Global Economic Governance, Uncategorized

by Jürgen Kaiser

May 2017

More countries in the Global South may be heading toward a new debt crisis as the result of a new wave of debt financing due to low global interest rates coinciding with low commodity prices. Thus far, innovative approaches to a debt workout with regard to the new crisis have been in short supply. To rise to the next challenge, there is much to learn from the HIPC/MDRI initiatives of the 1990s and 2000s, namely, that it may be possible to overcome political deadlocks by designing debt relief exclusively for a limited group of countries. Such limited debt relief schemes could then prompt procedural innovation, such as comprehensiveness and impartiality, which would remedy weaknesses of the HIPC/MDRI schemes and debt restructuring mechanisms at large.

FES New York is pleased to share this proposal in a new FES International Policy Analysis publication by Erlassjahr’s Jürgen Kaiser.

Download the publication here

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Workshop for Middle Income Countries: Preparing for the 2017 Financing for Development Forum

SaraB : May 24, 2017 4:30 pm : Events 2017, Highlights from New York, Publications on Global Economic Governance

Middle income countries (MICs) face an intractable identity problem: what exactly is a “middle income country”? This categorization focuses on income per capita as the main factor for defining groups of countries and for allocating the financial resources for development cooperation. Classifying countries this way ties in with the development narrative that countries take responsibility for their own development once they “graduate” from low income status. The problem is that the income boundaries between groups of countries are defined inconsistently across development institutions and are unidimensional, failing to account for multidimensional poverty, complex economic and social inequalities, and for the fact that many countries graduate to “middle income” status only to slip back into a “lower income” group once official development assistance (ODA) is taken away. This last phenomenon reveals that “graduation” may reflect only marginal changes in economic conditions and not genuine economic transformation.

To address this growing concern, FES organized a workshop on May 9, 2017 to help MICs prepare for the 2017 Financing for Development Forum.

Download the Summary Report

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Past Event: “Learning from HIPC: The potential for regional and group-wise debt relief schemes”

SaraB : May 23, 2017 7:05 pm : Events 2017, Global Economic Governance, Highlights from New York, Publications on Global Economic Governance, Uncategorized

Mr. Jürgen Kaiser, Political Coordinator, Erlassjahr

Wednesday, May 24, 8:30 am – 9:45 am
United Nations HQ – New York
Delegates Dining Room

While loan and bond financing are actively promoted by the G20 and the World Bank, the IMF is warning of the risk of a new sovereign debt crisis resulting from a combination of low global interest rates, low commodity prices, and a new wave of infrastructure financing in the Global South. Civil Society groups in both North and South echo these concerns and – as part of the 2030 Agenda, Addis Ababa Agenda and Paris Agreement – underscore the fact that targeted debt workout mechanisms need to be in place before more and more countries are faced with either default on their debt or austerity policies of the sort that have caused great social unrest in the 1980s, 1990s and following the most recent financial crisis.

This breakfast roundtable looked at one innovative proposal based on lessons from the HIPC/MDRI initiatives of the 1990s and 2000s: overcoming political deadlocks by designing debt relief exclusively for a limited group of countries. The keynote address launched a new publication by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and Erlassjahr outlining how a limited debt relief scheme could facilitate procedural innovations to remedy existing weaknesses in the HIPC/MDRI schemes and in debt restructuring mechanisms at large, by making them more comprehensive and impartial. Following the keynote, Member States and experts from the multilateral system and civil society engaged in a moderated roundtable discussion.

Download program | meeting summary report

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Past Event: “Can Long-Term Investment in Infrastructure Reduce Inequality?”

SaraB : May 21, 2017 7:57 pm : Events, Events 2017, Global Economic Governance, Highlights from New York, Publications on Global Economic Governance

H.E. Mr. Frederick Musiiwa Makamure Shava

Monday, May 22, 1:15 pm – 2:45 pm
United Nations HQ – New York
Delegates Dining Room

On the occasion of the second Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Forum on Financing for Development follow-up, the seventy-second President of ECOSOC, H.E. Mr. Frederick Musiiwa Makamure Shava, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Zimbabwe to the United Nations, and Ms. Bettina Luise Rürup, Executive Director of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung New York Office, hosted the annual luncheon for the Special high-level meeting of the Council with the Bretton Woods institutions, the World Trade Organization and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Mr. Michael Shank, Director of Communications for the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, served as moderator, and Banque de France economist Mr. Patrick A. Pintus provided keynote remarks. Mr. Pintus’s co-author Professor Sanjay Peters joined for the question and answer session.

Download program | speech of Mr. Pintus

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Past Event: Are Governments & the Bretton Woods Institutions Fighting Inequality?

intern1 : April 18, 2017 10:45 am : Events 2017, Global Economic Governance, Highlights from New York, Topics

Friday, April 21
International Monetary Fund HQ2
(3rd Fl) 03B-838B, Washington DC

The recent backlash against globalization in advanced economies was in part driven by the increasing wealth and income gaps between those who benefit and those who do not.

The consequences include political shifts in countries that have been the leading proponents of globalization. These shifts have put in question the future role of the multilateral institutions. This high-level panel co-organized by FES New York, New Rules, Development Finance International and Oxfam International aimed to promote a multi-stakeholder debate on the key measures global institutions and governments need to pursue in order to more effectively tackle economic inequality.

The panel covered issues which are crucial to reinforcing the roles of the IMF and World Bank in combating inequality and ensuring shared prosperity and discussed main roadblocks to progress, including inadequate data and political capture, which were main findings of a 2016 workshop on Assessing Inequality (read that report here).

Program

Handout

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Past Event: “African Directions: Towards an Equitable Partnership in Peace Operations”

intern1 : March 13, 2017 5:40 pm : Events 2017, Global Security Governance, Highlights from New York

Tuesday, April 11, 2017, New York

Left to right: Luise Rürup (Executive Director, FES New York), El-Ghassim Wane (Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, UN)

FES New York co-hosted a panel discussion and an expert-level workshop on the final report of the “The New Geopolitics of Peace Operations II” initiative, which was conducted by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) in partnership with FES and the Foreign Ministries of Finland and the Netherlands. Findings of the initiative, and particularly the pathways to improve future collaboration between African and external actors, especially the UN, were discussed with representatives from UN Member States and the New York peace operations experts community.

 

New Geopolitics of Peace Operations

SIPRI-Report

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Past Event: “Global and Regional Nuclear Orders in a Moment of Geopolitical Uncertainty”

intern1 : March 13, 2017 5:30 pm : Events 2017, Global Security Governance, Highlights from New York

Thursday, March 16, 2017

UNHQ, New York

From left to right: Ramesh Thakur (Director, Centre for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament), Angela Kane (Former UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs), and Daryl Kimball (Executive Director, Arms Control Association)

As recent geopolitical shifts continue to stress-test the existing regional and global nuclear orders, more than 100 UN Member States will gather in March 2017 to begin negotiating a nuclear weapons ban treaty.

In the run-up to these negotiations, FES New York and partners have brought timely insights and analyses from expert speakers about global nuclear policy challenges as well as an update on US policy debates from Washington to the UN. It has been an exchange of ideas among those who embrace the upcoming negotiations as a global effort to delegitimize nuclear weapons and others who see such talks as a distraction from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

Program

Summary

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Past Event: International Reception during CSW61: “Women’s Economic Empowerment: Strategizing and Networking across Boards and Borders”

intern1 : March 12, 2017 1:49 pm : Events, Events 2017, Global Economic Governance, Highlights from New York, Uncategorized

Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Roger Smith Hotel, New York

Left: Cornelia Möhring, Deputy President of Parliamentary Group, Die Linke; Right: Elke Ferner (SPD), Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Ministry for Family, Seniors, Women, and Youth

The sixty-first session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61) took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 13 to 24 March 2017.

In line with this year’s priority theme (“Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work”), FES New York, together with Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung – New York Office, Global Policy Forum, and Public Services International, co-hosted an international reception on “Women’s Economic Empowerment:  Strategizing and Networking across Boards and Borders.”

Bringing together government representatives, experts, academics, and activists from around the globe, this reception aimed to strengthen existing networks, create new ones, and promote women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work.

Brief remarks were delivered by members of the sponsoring organizations and our distinguished guests,  Ms. Elke Ferner (SPD), (Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Ministry for Family, Seniors, Women, and Youth) and Ms. Cornelia Möhring (Deputy President of Parliamentary Group, Die Linke).

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Publication: “Strengthening Civil Society Engagement with the United Nations.”

intern1 : February 28, 2017 3:52 pm : Highlights from New York, Publications on Reforming the United Nations, Reforming the United Nations

Published and co-compiled by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung New York, the United Nations Association-UK, CIVICUS and Avaa

February 2017

This new publication is a co-production of FES New York and three other founding organizations of the campaign ‘1 for 7 billion’ committed to a democratic and transparent election of the Secretary-General.

This new publication features practical recommendations on how the new Secretary General and the UN can improve multilateralism between governments and also with community leaders, civil society organizations and activists. At the heart of all these recommendations, is a common message for António Guterres to build a more inclusive UN. The authors – ranging from youth activists, NGO directors and policy experts – call on the new Secretary-General to broaden and foster relationships with civil society on a wide spectrum of common interests.

Download here

 

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Publication: “The Silk Road Economic Belt: Security Implications and EU–China Cooperation Prospects” by Ghiasy and Jiayi Zhou

intern1 : February 23, 2017 11:52 am : Highlights from New York, Publications on Global Security Governance

Richard Ghiasy and Jiayi Zhou

Publication by SIPRI in collaboration with FES

February 2017

FES New York is pleased to share this new publication: “The Silk Road Economic Belt: Security Implications and EU-China Cooperation”, which is a result of the FES project work on Asia in collaboration with SIPRI.

The Silk Road Economic Belt (the ‘Belt’) component of the Belt and Road Initiative, announced by Xi Jinping over four years ago, represents an ambitious Chinese vision to promote infrastructural development and connectivity, and stimulate economic integration across the Eurasian continent. Ostensibly an economic initiative, the Belt also has important strategic implications, and is likely to interact with local security dynamics in many of the states with which China is partnering in a significant way. This report examines the wider security dynamics related to the Belt, at a geopolitical as well as intra-state level – and provides a number of cooperation avenues for the EU and China. The report is based on a one-year desk study as five regional workshops conducted over the course of 2016. It consists of three parts. First, it describes what the Belt is, what has driven China to initiate it, and how it relates to China’s security interests. It then examines security implications of and security risks to the Belt in two important regions of Central and South Asia. Finally, the report assesses how the Belt fits into EU interests, and provides recommendations for EU-China cooperation, to maximize positive spillovers of the Belt and to mitigate common security concerns. This project and its final report fill a gap in the discourse on the more localized and regional political implications of the Belt,for all stakeholders. Bringing together viewpoints from experts, academics, and policymakers across Eurasia, the report provides a comprehensive view how China’s initiative may affect the strategic landscape, and how the EU policymakers should best engage with it.

Download the publication here

Link to SIPRI’s publication announcement here

 

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Past Event: “Trade Union Perspectives on Women’s Economic Empowerment in the Changing World of Work” – Global Trade Union UNCSW Preparatory Meeting

intern1 : December 20, 2016 10:02 am : Events, Events 2016, Highlights from New York, Uncategorized

December 6-7, 2016
Hotel Roger Smith, New York

DSC_0949 - SV

Sandra Vermuyten (Head of Campaigns, PSI)

FES New York, in conjunction with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Education International (EI), and Public Services International (PSI), hosted a seminar on “Trade Union Perspectives on Women’s Economic Empowerment in the Changing World of Work”. The seminar served as a Global Trade Union preparatory meeting for the 2017 United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61), which has taken up the priority theme, “Women’s Economic Empowerment in the Changing World of Work”.

The participating trade unionists worked to develop a strategy for trade union representation and labour lobbying in the UNCSW61, to ensure high-level participation of trade unions in panels and official side-events, and to develop a strategy for increased labour visibility at UNCSW61.

Concept Note & Program

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Past Event: World Bank-ITUC-FES Workshop on Labour Safeguards at Multinational Development Banks (MDBs)

intern1 : December 20, 2016 10:02 am : Events, Events 2016, Highlights from New York, Uncategorized

November 30 – December 1, 2016
World Bank HQ, Washington D.C.

IMG_3389

From let to right: Peter Bakvis (Executive Director, ITUC/Global Unions – Washington D.C. Office) and Luise Rürup (Executive Director, FES New York)

FES New York, in cooperation with the World Bank and International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), convened a workshop on labour safeguards policies at the World Bank and other Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs). Aiming to develop a cooperative approach for the implementation of labour safeguards at the World Bank and other MDBs, this workshop brought together specialists from Trade Unions, MDBs (World Bank, IFC, EBRD, ADB), and the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Against this backdrop, special emphasis was placed on the World Bank’s newly adopted labour safeguard, which establishes enforceable lending requirements for the Bank’s public sector divisions (IBRD and IDA). With the new safeguard taking effect in early 2018, the workshop highlighted the need for both the trade union movement and the ILO to be actively involved the preparations and subsequent monitoring in order to ensure that World Bank-funded activities truly comply with international labour standards.

Program

Concept Note

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