The 2008-09 global economic crisis unleashed major upheavals in the global economic and social policy arrangements, requiring firm governmental action to contain the crisis and to deal with the negative economic and social consequences.
Although the financial sector was saved, the real economy suffered a crushing blow to global growth and is still struggling to overcome the dramatic collapse in economic activity, which left countries with high unemployment, higher poverty levels and ballooning budget deficits. Inequalities both within and between countries, which were a major contributing factor to the financial crisis, have increased, and governments are now trying to balance their accounts on the back of those who can least afford it.
This and the fact that little attention has been given to assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the present international monetary system underscores the urgent need to move toward a more stable global monetary system, and a more cooperative, inclusive and legitimate governance of it.
FES New York is working to strengthen the UN’s role in global economic governance and to bolster the voices of developing countries in related debates and processes taking place in the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and within the G20 process.
Past Event: “Can the IFIs Support Sustainable Growth, Reduce Inequality and Protect Labor Rights at the Same Time?”intern1 : October 4, 2017 5:59 pm : Events, Events 2017, Global Economic Governance, Highlights from New York, Topics
Thursday October 12, 2017 – 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Room IMF HQ2 – 3B 838 B
1900 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC, 20431
All who are accredited to attend the IMF/WBG CSO Forum are invited
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 panel – organized by FES New York, ITUC and New Rules for Global Finance – presents cutting-edge research on the global financial rule-making institutions and explores the nexus between labor policy and human rights, sustainable development and reducing inequality. The meeting started with a 2017 Financial Impact Report, “Are the Multilateral Institutions Fighting Inequality?”, which looks at the impact made by the global financial rule-makers (United Nations, International Monetary Fund, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Bank Group, Financial Stability Board and Group of 20).
The analysis finds the roots of constructive policy research and trends in the work of both WBG and IMF as well as potential for positive synergy between human rights, labor rights, reducing inequality and promoting sustainable growth under the umbrella of the UN Sustainable Development Goal 10. The purpose of the presentations and discussions was to illuminate how the IFIs can achieve their own goals/mandates through labor policies that are consistent with human rights.
Past Event: “Reclaiming policy space for the public: presenting Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2017”intern1 : October 4, 2017 4:58 pm : Events, Events 2017, Global Economic Governance, Highlights from New York
Thursday October 12, 2017 – 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
World Bank Group I Building (1850 I St NW, Washington, DC ) – Room to be announced
All who are accredited to attend the IMF/WBG CSO Forum are invited
The Center for Economic and Social Rights, Arab NGO Network for Development, FES New York; Society for International Development, and Public Services International organized a session in the CSO Forum of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group to present findings and recommendations from the global civil society report ‘Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2017’ published by six international NGOs and networks. The Spotlight Report provides the most comprehensive independent assessment of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), based on experiences of national and regional groups around the world. From a cross-regional perspective, speakers examined the impacts of privatization, PPPs and corporate capture on 2030 Agenda implementation, and explored the IFIs’ role in policy coherence and tackling inequalities.
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.
September 5-6, 2017
International Labour Organisation, Geneva, Switzerland
General trends show that two thirds of world inequality is due to international (not “within-country”) inequality, and global inequality is greater than inequality in any single country, which drives a lot of international migration. FES New York partnered with G24 and ILO in this forum for developing countries to consider this and other perspectives, successes and challenges to boosting growth while reducing inequality. Take-aways include the argument that to reduce (international) inequality fastest, we need to focus on reducing poverty because of the 870 million global poor and the view that the concept financial inclusion must be broadened to include access to finance, use of finance, cost of access and quality of finance that is not only to individuals or firms but also to developing country governments.
To request the upcoming summary report, please email our office at:
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
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)
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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).
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
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).
Past Event: FES New York 2016 Fall Academy: “Using the UN’s Sustainable Development Agenda for Transformative Politics” – A Training for Young International Policy Makersintern1 : December 1, 2016 12:05 pm : Events, Events 2016, Global Economic Governance
November 14-18, 2016
Hotel Roger Smith and UNHQ, New York
At this year’s Fall Academy, young policy makers developed skills to influence the political agenda associated with the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their respective home countries. The participants collaborated on different topics (e.g. gender equality, decent work for all, consumption, climate change) in order to share expertise and learn from one another’s experience. Based on this group work, individual policy papers were developed to help create a synergy between participants’ ongoing work for progressive political transformation and the implementation of the SDG agenda in each participant’s home country.
Martin Guzman and Joseph E. Stiglitz
FES New York – International Policy Analysis, October 2016
As authors Martin Guzman and Joseph Stiglitz show, sovereign lending markets are not working well. The current system remains fraught with perverse incentives that lead to destructive and inequitable outcomes. In September, 2015, the United Nations General Assembly approved nine principles to guide sovereign debt restructuring processes. These are: sovereignty, good faith, transparency, impartiality, sovereign immunity, legitimacy, sustainability, and majority restructuring. This timely brief analyzes the usefulness of the nine principles and discusses to what extent countries can use them as an effective tool. The brief concludes with a strategic discussion on how to move reform efforts forward.
Download the publication here.
Past Event: “Breakfast Q&A with Professors Joseph Stiglitz and Martin Guzman on Building a Soft Law Mechanism for Sovereign Debt Restructuring”intern1 : October 25, 2016 4:49 pm : Events 2016, Global Economic Governance
By Invitation only:
UN Delegates’ Dining Room, 8:30 am – 9:45 am, October 31, 2016
As the 2016 session of the UNGA Second Committee moves to consider macroeconomic policy questions related to external debt sustainability and development, FES New York was hosting a breakfast to celebrate the launch of the new FES International Policy Analysis paper on “A Soft Law Mechanism for Sovereign Debt Restructuring” by Martin Guzman and Joseph Stiglitz. The breakfast Q&A was moderated by Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network and was intended as a strategic discussion with its authors on how to move reform efforts forward by means of the UN Nine Principles.
Report launched 25 October 2016 | Workshop 3-4 June 2016
New York, N.Y.
We are pleased to share with you a new conference report from the June 2016 workshop organized by FES and New Rules to strengthen how we understand, assess and report on inequality and the role that the global financial makers in the IMF, World Bank, OECD, United Nations, G20, and Financial Stability Board can have on it. For this event, FES convened an academic- and policy-experts’ Reflection Group on Inequality to advise on how best to strengthen understanding and reporting on inequality. Far from merely recommending how to refine the use of best measures, literature and data, participants in the Reflection Group on Inequality focused on the ongoing need to engage more deeply with fundamental questions like, “What do we mean by inequality? Why do we care about it? What can we know about it?” They identified two main roadblocks: a lack of sufficient data to accurately assess inequality, especially international inequality, and political capture of international organizations by the richest and most powerful countries and of national governments by the richest and most powerful private actors.
The report summarizes the debate between leading academics, economic and financial policy experts, and representatives from global financial institutions and recommends a two-pronged way forward to assess the role of the institutions in combating or exacerbating inequalities.
Past Event: “Global Financial Rule-Making Bodies’ Impact on Inequality: Focus on Transmission Mechanisms”intern1 : October 25, 2016 4:27 pm : Events 2016, Global Economic Governance
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
This working seminar was a follow up to the 3-4 June 2016 workshop, “Assessing How Global Financial Institutions Impact Inequality” with authors of an upcoming “Governance and Impact on Inequality” report that will launched in April 2017.
New Publication – FES Perspective “Rights and Environmental Protection Following Paris and the SDGs: Towards a Stronger Role for the United Nations” by Ken Concaintern1 : September 30, 2016 11:26 am : Global Economic Governance, Global Security Governance, Publications on Global Economic Governance, Publications on Global Security Governance, Uncategorized
FES New York – Perspective, September 2016
The author Ken Conca argues that the UN’s current approach to protect the environment has run up against the structural limitations of an increasingly globalized economy. Yet successful implementation of the Paris Climate Accord and the Sustainable Development Goals will require making human rights visible again and recognizing people as rights holders, not just stakeholders. Conca recommends that policy initiatives take into account extra-territorial impacts on local communities in other countries, especially those who are most vulnerable. Moreover, the UN’s rights machinery should be deployed to protect the rights and safety of environmental defenders who challenge governments and transnational economic agents.
Download the publication here
Past Event: FES Study on Global Protests featured in Academic Discussion at The New School: “Global Inequality – Drivers, Consequences and Response”intern1 : September 16, 2016 10:29 am : Events 2016, Global Economic Governance, Uncategorized
Tuesday, September 20, 2016, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
The New School, 66 West 12th St, room 407
Growing inequality is increasingly understood as a political issue, not just an economic trend. Two leading experts, Branko Milanovic (CUNY Graduate Center) and Sara Burke (FES New York), spoke about their recent research on the dynamics that drive the rise and fall of inequality, and the protest movements that have emerged across the world.
Publication: “How to Achieve Sustainable Peace: The Radical Potential of Implementing UN Sustainable Development Goal 16″intern1 : July 6, 2016 10:26 am : Global Economic Governance, Global Security Governance, Publications on Global Economic Governance, Publications on Global Security Governance
FES Perspective, June 2016
The UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 promotes peaceful and inclusive societies and endorses accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. This Perspective offers ideas on a roadmap for implementing SDG 16 that will be relevant for this year’s UN’s High-Level Political Forum. In line with the topic for the upcoming UN discussions to leave no one behind, the author suggests focusing on the poorest and most conflict-affected countries, such as the g7+ and other least developed countries. The UN, according to the author, can support government-to-government and society-to-society collaboration, convene global partnerships and identify norm and implementation entrepreneurs.
Past Event: “From Extractivism to Sustainable Development in Latin America – How to Make Best Use of the UN”intern1 : June 10, 2016 8:18 am : Events 2016, Global Economic Governance, Global Security Governance
June 13-14, 2016, 9:30am – 4:45pm
Hotel Roger Smith, New York
As the UN and Member States prepare for the first High-Level Political Forum and strategies for the implementation of the Agenda 2030, a responsible extraction of natural resources remains a key challenge for sustainable development in many Latin American countries. Against this backdrop, this conference is a timely opportunity for different communities of expertise and practice – inside and outside the UN – to discuss UN instruments and processes suitable for governing resource extraction. FES New York invited a group of senior experts coming from Latin America to engage in a lively and frank discussion under Chatham House Rule with representatives from UN Missions, the UN Secretariat, civil society and academia.
Two background papers on the ECOSOC Dialogue on the longer-term positioning of the UN Development Systemintern1 : June 8, 2016 4:37 pm : Global Economic Governance, Publications on Global Economic Governance, Uncategorized
“UNDS Reform: Is the Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
The glass is too big”
FES New York – Meeting Report, June 2016
This report reflects upon an informal round table discussion held 19 May 2016, to which all UN Member States were invited, on “Governance and Partnerships in the Longer-term Positioning of the UN Development System”, organized by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung New York, hosted by the Mission of Indonesia to the UN and co-sponsored by the Mission of El Salvador to the UN. Virtually all UN Member States agree the UNDS has become fragmented and incoherent, leaving only three options: abandon the system, reform it, or go along with business as usual. The discussion focused primarily on key governance issues raised by both donor and recipient countries in the context of UNDS reform debates, and how to avoid business as usual. Recommendations: 1) A frank and open discussion of who wins and loses in proposed reforms is urgently needed ; 2) a pilot single board over UNDS, extending the model currently in place for UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS can be created without adding new or additional mechanisms; 3) UN Member States need to engage the upcoming Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR) negotiations at the highest level of representation in order to lay the groundwork for a concise and strategic QCPR in the fall of 2016.
“Partnerships and the 2030 Agenda: Time to reconsider their role in implementation”
Barbara Adams and Jens Martens of Global Policy Forum
FES New York – Background Note, May 2016
Adams and Martens argue that “Partnership” is a misleading term to cover every type of engagement between UN entities and non-State actors, in part because it promotes a false sense of equality. Lumping CSOs and corporate actors together according to their non-State status ignores the profound differences in their orientation, interests and accountability. Before considering ways to enhance the effectiveness of partnerships between UN entities and non-State actors and establishing a system-wide delivery support, more fundamental questions should be addressed. This paper poses necessary questions and offers perspectives both from the work of Global Policy Forum as well as from previous proposals on partnerships offered by some Member States.
Past Event: “How Global Financial Institutions Impact Inequality: A Workshop to Strengthen Understanding, Assessment & Reporting”intern1 : June 4, 2016 2:42 pm : Events 2016, Global Economic Governance
June 3-4, 2016
Cornell University, ILR School Conference Center
On June 3 and 4, 2016 the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung New York Office and New Rules for Global Finance co-organized a workshop in New York City to strengthen understanding, assessment and reporting on what impact the global financial rules – and rule makers – can have on economic inequalities and the social and political inequalities that are linked to them. An academic- and policy-experts’ Reflection Group on Inequality considered best ways to measure inequality, problems with available data, and the overarching question, “Why do we care about inequality?” This was followed by presentations from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), United Nations (UN), G20 German Presidency, and the Financial Stability Board (FSB), on their current approaches to the issue. In all, the workshop brought together leading academics, economic and financial policy experts, and representatives from global financial institutions to debate how best to construct a methodological framework to understand and assess how global financial institutions impact inequality.
Past Event: “Intensifying and Expanding International Tax Cooperation to Achieve Sustainable Development”intern1 : April 21, 2016 7:00 pm : Events 2016, Global Economic Governance
April 21 2016, 3:00pm – 6:00pm
New York, UNHQ, Conference Room F
On April 21, 2016, the President of the General Assembly (PGA) was convening a High-Level Thematic Debate (HLTD) on “Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.” As the event aimed to contribute towards establishing much-needed coherence between the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the Agenda 2030, and the Paris Climate Change Agreement, domestic resource mobilization and taxation, among others, have emerged as vital policy areas that, if sustainable development is to be achieved, require a high-degree of and commitment to international cooperation.
In this context, and in support of the HLTD, the South Centre, UNCTAD, and FES New York were convening a two-part Dialogue Room entitled “Intensifying and Expanding International Tax Cooperation to Achieve Sustainable Development.” Part I, featuring initial presentations by international tax experts, was followed by a moderated roundtable for invited discussants. There was also some open seats for those with UN passes to participate in the roundtable.
The intended outcome of the event is a wider and better informed constituency among delegations in New York, especially those from the developing countries, and civil society support for new institutional arrangements to promote the higher level of international tax cooperation needed for countries to undertake Agenda 2030 and their commitments under the Paris Agreement.
April 19,2016, 1:15 pm-2:30 pm
New York, UNHQ, Conference Room 12
Financing conditions for most developing countries were favorable for several years due to high export earnings and easy access to credit. This has changed rapidly in the past year, as commodity prices have collapsed and capital flows have dried up. Recessionary or subdued growth expectations are taking hold everywhere, not just in developing countries, reflecting deep uncertainties. The debt sustainability indicators of many countries have deteriorated fast, and outlooks are for further deterioration. The Addis Ababa Action Agenda has recommitted that the international community ensure sustainable development financing to build better institutions to prevent and manage debt crises and to improve the international financial and monetary system as a whole. Against a challenging outlook for the global economy, the pursuit of a comprehensive reform agenda in this area is becoming increasingly urgent. The UN’s Financing for Development follow up process holds promise as a venue to build consensus and advance policy proposals to address these challenges. This side-event aims to reengage the wider development community in discussion of systemic issues, including debt, which are key aspects of the holistic financing for development agenda that are particularly urgent to address in these trying times.
Publication: FES Perspective – “The Contribution of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda to Agenda 2030: Toward a new era of international cooperation” by Jose Antonio Ocampointern1 : April 19, 2016 12:50 pm : Global Economic Governance, Publications on Global Economic Governance
The 2016 Financing for Development Forum faces a huge challenge to forge coherence among three flagship development agreements from 2015: the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, Agenda 2030 and the Paris Climate Change Agreement. To move these interdependent processes forward, international cooperation is needed in 1) tax evasion and avoidance, 2) countercyclical financing for the system of development banks, 3) more fair and democratic bilateral and mega-regional trade and investment agreements, and 4) systemic issues and debt. In this new publication, noted Columbia University economist José Antonio Ocampo argues that only a new era of international cooperation can adequately address these challenges.
Download the publication:
Past Event: UNCTAD G77 Lecture Series on Development Issues: “Preparing for the Financing for Development Forum”intern1 : March 8, 2016 12:54 pm : Events, Events 2016, Global Economic Governance
March 8, 2016
ECOSOC Chamber, United Nations HQ, New York
The New York Office of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung is pleased to team up with UNCTAD to organize a series of workshops on development issues geared to the interests of G77 Member States. The Lecture Series will allow UNCTAD experts to brief Member States on complex development issues relating to financing for development, trade, sovereign debt, systemic issues and other related topics. This first event featured a discussion with Richard Kozul-Wright, Director of the Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, and Steve MacFeely, Head of the Development Statistics and Information Branch, for UNCTAD.
February 1-2, 2016
United Nations Headquarters, New York
On the occasion of the 54th session of the Commission for Social Development (CSocD), FES New York co-organized a two-day forum for civil society representatives that aimed to prepare civil society participants to meaningfully engage with the Commission through a better understanding of its work regarding the 2030 Agenda. The Civil Society Forum’s topic this year centered on inequalities and the 2030 Agenda and contributed to the main theme of the CSocD54: “Rethinking and strengthening social development in the contemporary world”.
The Civil Society Forum brought together a diverse group of activists from around the world, as well as experts from academia and the United Nations System for a dynamic conversation about experiences, and a fruitful exchange of advice on ways forward. Among many others, speakers included Michael Cichon, Professor of Social Protection at the United Nations University (UNU MERIT); Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, Professor at the New School; Maryann Broxton, Activist with International Movement ATD Fourth World, and Beulah Walker, Activist with the Detroit Water Brigade.
December 1, 2015
United Nations Headquarters, New York
Hosted by the World Bank Group and the New York Office of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, this event featured an address by Nobel Laureate Professor A. Michael Spence, and World Bank Group Corporate Secretary and President’s Special Envoy Mahmoud Mohieldin.
The event consisted of two related presentations. The first presentation discussed the need to invest in inclusiveness, sustainability, and growth as a prerequisite for attaining the SDGs. The second presentation was the launch of a country development diagnostic framework, which assesses implementation challenges, potential policies, and sources of fiscal space for countries to achieve the 2030 Agenda.
September 28, 2015
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, New York Office was a co-sponsor of this high-level conference. The conference coincided with the first day of the UN General Assembly’s General Discussion and dealt with a specific package of reforms to overcome the crisis of global governance. The package is based on the Report of the Commission on Global Security, Justice and Governance, Confronting the Crisis of Global Governance, published in June 2015.
September 25, 2015
Delegates’ Dining Room, United Nations Headquarters, New York
The Group of Friends of Decent Work was established by UN Member States in September 2014 to serve as an intergovernmental platform to promote decent work issues in the Post 2015 Development Agenda. Over the last year the Group has held briefings, informal consultations and exchanges and worked in various international fora to advance decent work in the international agenda.
On 25 September 2015, the first day of the UN Sustainable Development Summit 2015, a high-level interactive dialogue was held by the Group along with the ILO. The executive director of the New York office of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung was invited to be part of the dialogue on goal 8 of the envisaged 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Goal 8 calls for the international community to “promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and full and productive employment and decent work for all”. The new agenda challenges the Member States, the UN System and other stakeholders to address the global jobs challenge of creating decent work, boosting economic growth while tackling poverty and inequality and encouraging the transition to a more sustainable economy by 2030.
September 22, 2015
Open Society Foundations, New York
In recent years the world’s people have turned to protest in increasing numbers, highlighting a failure of political representation in virtually every kind of political system. This September, as the United Nations celebrates its 70th Anniversary and activists look back on the fourth Anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, the trajectory of protests and government response remains a zero-sum game, with protesters growing more alienated from those who are supposed to represent their interests, and many governments rushing to suppress protest movements as threats to peace and security rather than pursuing a middle path toward real dialogue. Is the United Nations’ Post-2015 Development Paradigm—our once-in-a-generation commitment to development—really capable of addressing the grievances driving world protests?
In this context, FES, Occupy the Media and Open Society Foundations organized this international conference to launch a Global Platform on Participation and Protest. The Global Platform hosts the interactive World Protests Tool, which builds on research behind “World Protests 2006-2013”—subsequently expanded and refined in 2014—and brings it online for public use and engagement so that demands for meaningful political participation, economic justice, human rights, and the rights of groups, minorities and the environment can be documented, analyzed by journalists, scholars, and people in movements with online data-visualization tools and space for user-generated content and forum discussion.
The conference keynote address was delivered by Amy Goodman, Host and Executive Producer for national, daily, independent, and award-winning news program, Democracy Now!.
Download conference program
Download backgrounder “Conceptualizing Protest and Conflict”
Download working paper “World Protests 2006-2013“: Executive Summaries available in English, Spanish, French, German and Russian
Sara Burke (Ed.)
FES New York – Study, July 2015
In recent years, the world has been shaken by protests demanding real democracy and justice for socioeconomic grievances. This interdisciplinary report explores how governments and institutions of global governance can better respond to contentious politics and protests. Are they expressions of aspirations, grievances and demands? Or are they conflicts to be managed and subdued? From the point of view of government and governance, protests disrupt smooth governance, requiring management by experts in conflict resolution. From the point of view of protest movements and social justice campaigns, the performance of contentious acts must be carried out by people themselves – non-experts – acting directly on their own behalf and for the transformation of their economies and societies. This state of play is a zero sum game. To go beyond it, governments need to listen to protests. Even riots should be seen first as expressions of injustice and demands for its reversal rather than as conflicts to be put down.
Past Event: “Inclusive sustainable growth: The transformative approach of the post-2015 agenda for sustainable development”intern1 : June 24, 2015 5:09 pm : Events, Events 2015, Global Economic Governance
Delegates Dining Room 1-3, United Nations Headquarters, New York
The New York Office of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) hosted a luncheon on the occasion of the visit of Ms. Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter, Parliamentary State Secretary in the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety to New York. Ms. Schwarzelühr-Sutter has come to New York to participate in the Ministerial Segment of the UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), the body with ultimate responsibility for coordinating a plan of action for sustainable development. With participants from the global, national and city-levels, the conversation was able to address rising concerns across the world that economic inequality and environmental degredation are mutually reinforcing and must be tacked together if we are to achieve sustainability.
New York City
May 31 – June 2, 2015
In September 2015 world leaders gather at UN Headquarters in New York to celebrate the institution’s 70th Anniversary, marking the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and inaugurating a new standard in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The politics of development have never been immune from accusations of imperialism. Organizations like the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the United Nations are all Western creations that strive to standardize world politics and markets by helping countries conform to international standards. However, the policies and programs of these international institutions often fail due to insufficient understanding of the cultures of the peoples they claim to serve. Conflicts which are presented as political or economic are often manifestations of deeply embedded cultural and religious factors.
Day 1 featured:
Jan Eliasson UN Deputy Secretary General gives the opening address; Yves Coppens (“Progress in 3 Million Years of Human History”) Agnes Heller (“Progress and Human Rights”), Marc Augé (“The Ambivalence of Progress”), Klaus Töpfer (“The Ambivalence of Progress”), Avital Ronell (“The Notion of Progress and Women”), Ervin László (“A Science-based Notion”), Michael Sandel (“The Limits of Homo Oeconomicus”).
Day 2 featured:
Wole Soyinka (“Development and Progress as a Political Reality in Africa”), John Mbiti (“Progress in the Cosmological and Religious Traditions of Africa”), Vladimir Kantor (“The History of Ideas: A Russian Perspective”), Karan Singh (“Progress and Development in India”), Ashis Nandy (“Two Hundred Years of Silence”), Tu Weiming (“Progress in Chinese Civilization”), Urs Schoettli (“Japan, China and India in Cross-Cultural Perspective with Western Traditions”).
Read about the conference on Twitter @fesnewyork or FES New York Facebook page.
May 11-13, 2015
Cornell Worker Institute, New York
There will be major agreements taken at the United Nations in the summer of 2015 in the Post-2015 and Financing for Development Processes to set priorities of the international development policy community for years to come. In order to ensure that these agreements take into account trade union priorities on decent work, social protection, global governance, and other elements on sustainable social, economic and environmental development, the Trade Union Development Cooperation Network and FES New York are now in the midst of a 3-day set of advocacy events facilitating discussion between trade union activists from around the world and governments negotiating the SDG and FfD outcomes on the means of implementation, monitoring and review and global governance and accountability.
Calls for real democracy are the greatest singular demand of protests around the world. Calls for economic justice—like good jobs, better labor conditions, progressive taxing and spending on social services, tackling inequality, and affordable food, water, housing, healthcare and education—represent a cluster of the most widely held grievances worldwide. As more people around the world express their grievances and aspirations in the streets, activists motivated by local struggles are scaling up local issues for global debates. This “fishbowl” dialog facilitated by Nermeen Shaikh, Producer and Weekly Co-Host of Democracy Now!, brought together activists from around the world to talk about how to better link struggles for social justice and what role the media can play.
February 3, 2015
UNHQ – New York
The importance of addressing social development alongside economic and environmental issues has been emphasized in international fora, summits and panels. Along these lines, the report of the 52nd session of the Commission on Social Development delineated the critical importance of empowerment in accelerating the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals and ensuring that the post-2015 development agenda will be people-centered.
In this context, and as part of a larger collaborative and participatory approach to stakeholder engagement and policy development, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung co-organized the 53rd session of the Commission on Social Development, with the theme of “Rethinking social development in the contemporary world”. The Forum provided an opportunity for civil society to focus on strategies that can enable effective participation of all members of society in decision-making processes that affect their lives, as well as providing a space to discuss and shape a comprehensive set of priorities for energizing the social development process.
January 26 2015
320 East 43rd Street, New York, NY 10017
In 2015 the world’s governments will define a global agenda for sustainable development, amidst global trends of rising inequality, declining economic growth rates, and mega public-private partnerships that accelerate the scramble for resources, assets, and markets.
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, New York Office is pleased to announce the launch of Regions Refocus 2015, a report based on nine regional workshops between policymakers and civil society held from June 2014 through January 2015. The report identifies and advances progressive policies, rooted in regional perspectives, to restructure economic, ecological and social relations towards justice.
Tuesday – Wednesday, November 18-19 | 11am – 4pm
Church Center for the UN, New York
On November 18 and 19 the FES Office New York hosted a two-day conference to address how Africa’s wealth of natural resources can be used for the continent’s sustainable development. Participants from African NGO’s, intergovernmental organizations, academics and UN diplomats highlighted the implications for security, development, human and labor rights, and the environment. Special attention was given to actionable policy recommendations, for instance regarding how to include natural resource governance strategies for Africa in the ongoing negotiations about a sustainable development agenda in 2015.
José Antonio Ocampo
FES International Policy Analysis, August 2014
A reform of the international monetary and financial architecture to protect against future financial crises is under way but with progress still to be made. Reforms focus on regulating financial markets, providing more room for crisis countermeasures by widening official lines of credit, intensifying the coordination of national economic policies, and establishing better structures of global economic governance. However, several shortcomings are still unresolved: these include cross-border capital flows, the absence of a process for sovereign debt restructuring, and an imbalanced global monetary system that puts one-sided obligations on struggling states that impedes their growth. Furthermore, institutional reforms like replacing the G20 with a representative Apex body for global economic coordination are critical steps in the eyes of the author.
Publication: “An Urgent Need for Clarity: On the Post-2015 Development Agenda and Financing for Development”intern1 : September 15, 2014 12:05 pm : Global Economic Governance, Publications on Global Economic Governance
FES Perspective, August 2014
In September 2015 at the UN, heads of state will lower the flag of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and raise the new standard of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They must also address by what means the post-2015 development agenda will be implemented. This publication examines both the opportunities that exist to advance international cooperation for development in the multiple intergovernmental negotiations taking place between August 2014 and September 2015 as well as the pitfalls that could lead to outcomes empty of commitments. In particular, the paper looks to the third International Conference on Financing for Development, to be held in Addis Ababa in July 2015, as a key forum for shaping a new development agenda that is both holistic and pragmatic.
Past Event for the Special high-level meeting of ECOSOC with the World Bank, IMF, WTO and UNCTAD: “Inequality: Jobs with Growth and Equity”intern1 : April 7, 2014 3:08 pm : Events, Events 2014, Global Economic Governance, Topics
Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Delegate’s Dining Room, UNHQ, New York
By Invitation Only
In the context of discussions about financing a new generation of development goals, authors contributing country studies on Brazil, China, India, and S. Korea to the upcoming FES paper on “Shared Prosperity in Emerging Economies” presented preliminary results to those gathered in New York for the yearly ECOSOC/BWI/WTO/UNCTAD meeting. To the presenting authors belonged Arup Mitra (Professor of Economics, Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi University, India), as well as Michael Dauderstädt (Former Director, Department Economic & Social Policies, Friedrich‐Ebert‐Stiftung, Germany), as leading author of the FES study.
Wednesday, April 9, 2014, 2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
World Bank, Main Complex MC building 2-210, Washington D.C.
Since the outbreak of the world recession in 2008 many countries have run into serious debt sustainability problems. The International Monetary Fund has acknowledged what academics have warned against for years: multilateral debt relief initiatives have not solved the global sovereign debt crisis “once and for all”. Part of the problem is the lack of a generally accepted definition of a sustainable debt level for sovereigns.
Against this sobering background FES, erlassjahr.de and Jubilee USA encourage discussion of the link between the technical definition of debt sustainability and its translation into meaningful debt restructuring. How can timely and sufficient debt relief be provided? What are the missing links in global sovereign debt management? The panel discussion provided input from policy makers as well as academic experts and civil society representatives with a long-standing record of advocating for fairness and transparency in sovereign debt workouts.
Monday 17th March 2014
Conference room C (CB), UN building, New York
Care work, referring to everyday activities like collecting water or cleaning the house but also caring for people who can’t take care on their own, is fundamental for sustaining the labor force as well as for absorbing the ‘invisible’ costs of poor infrastructure and service provision when governments do not provide them. But still, care work is divided unequally, not only among countries, but especially between genders, with the greater burden falling on women and girls.
Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN), Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung New York Office and the United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) organized a panel discussion with the co-sponsorship by the Governments of Uruguay and Germany, in order to discuss these problems and how they can be readdressed in the Post 2015 Development Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals. This panel brought the feminist advocates from the South to discuss the key priorities and strategies to integrate care work into the transformative sustainable development agenda and macro-economic policies. Government representatives from Uruguay and Germany gave valuable insights in terms of public policies on redistribution of care work as well their perspectives around the potential role of the recognition and redistribution of care work in shaping the Post 2015 Development Agenda. Interventions from governments were followed by a moderated discussion with all participants.
Tuesday, 18 February 2014
Conference Room 7, NLB, UN Headquarters, New York
Social protection is one of the foundations for inclusive, equitable and sustainable development and addresses simultaneously the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainability. Moreover, it has a transformative role in contributing to long-term inclusive and sustainable growth while also enhancing resilience against natural and manmade disasters, as well as economic and social crisis. A universal right based development goal for social protection should be part of the Post-2015 Development Agenda. A proposal for such an Development Goal was developed by the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors, a coalition of more than 70 civil society and trade union organizations from all over the world, and was presented in a side even at the occasion on the 52nd session of the Commission for Social Development. Organised by the Global Coalition, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and the International Labour Organisation the purpose of the side-event was to initiate a wide debate among governments, civil society and social partners on the objective and content of the proposal for a Social Protection Development Goal.
Among the panelists were Trevor Kaunda, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (Zambia) and Uwe Gehlen, Head of Section Social Protection, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and Member of the German UN Mission at CSocD.
Past Event: NGO Forum for Social Development “The Role of Civil Society: Empowerment for Inclusive and Transformative Development”intern1 : February 4, 2014 8:00 am : Events, Events 2014, Global Economic Governance
Monday, 10 February 2014
New York, UN Headquarters, NLB, Conference Room 4
On the occasion of the 52nd session of the Commission for Social Development, FES New York joined again with the NGO Committee for Social Development and UN-DESA Division for Social Policy and Development to provide for a day-long preparatory forum for civil society representatives. The Commission is in its second of a 2-year focus on the issue of “empowerment” in the context of inclusive and transformative efforts and post- 2015 development agenda. Beside many other speakers, former Spanish Prime Minister H.E. José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and H.E. Ms. Simona Miculescu, Ambassador of Romania to the United Nations, participated in the panel discussions.
December 11-12, 2013
Columbia University and United Nations Headquarters
FES New York, Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD) and UN-Non Governmental Liaison Service convened a 2-day conference with protest organizers from around the world to discuss the new FES/IPD working paper, “World Protests 2006-2013” and its findings that 1) numbers of protests are rising worldwide and 2) protests demanding “real democracy” and economic justice are coming from every kind of political system. Conference highlights included an activists’ roundtable discussion on day 1 led by Nermeen Shaikh, producer for alternative news show Democracy Now! and a face-to-face encounter between activists and UN Member State delegates on day 2.
Download full text “World Protests 2006-2013”
Download “World Protests 2006-2013–Executive Summary”
FES and IPD invite distribution through websites and blogs; the executive summary and paper may be distributed without alteration with an attribution statement about the authors and their institutions and a clickable link to the original.
Monday, 9 December 2013
New York, ECOSOC Chamber, UN Headquarters
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Vienna World Conference on Human Rights, the High Commissioner for Human Rights launched a book entitled “Realizing the right to development: Essays in Commemoration of 25 Years of the United Nations Declaration on the Right to Development.” The book comprises essays of 25 distinguished scholars who elaborate on the UN Declaration on the Right to Development and how its key demand, a people-centered vision transformative development, can be realized. Linked to this launch, FES New York co-hosted a discussion meeting with a select group of 10 co-authors on the publication and the importance of people-centered development in the post-2015 development agenda.
Barbara Adams and Lou Pingeot
FES Perspective, November 2013
With the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expiring in 2015, the United Nations is debating a new set of goals to guide future multilateral cooperation for development at a time when overlapping global risks – from the climate, poorly regulated finance and failed human security – present unprecedented challenges to international cooperation. To finance future development, the UN system is turning more and more to the private sector for answers without reflecting on the negative results that market-led development might bring. This Perspective offers an optimistic vision for reclaiming the UN’s traditionally values-based framework and suggests that accountability needs to be at the core of development.