Monday November, 20 – Tuesday, November 21
The New School, New York
While the negotiation over the SDGs was a hotly contested political process, the selection of indicators and the generation of data is supposedly a technocratic process. Yet the choice of indicators, and the definition and methodologies of data collection can shape the way that the goals are interpreted. Indicators can in turn shape narratives that frame the policy discourse. Through these processes, SDGs – and global goals in general – can have unintended consequences that distort policy priorities and thinking.
In this context the aim of this workshop was to analyze the political economy of the formulation of the 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goals, with particular attention to the selection and use of indicators. Together with our partners, The New School, UNDP and the University of Oslo, FES New York was pleased to co-host this event and to support this independent research initiative involving 15 researchers from around the world.
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.
Past Event: “Assisting Victims and Remediating the Environment – Putting the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons into Action”intern1 : October 3, 2017 11:55 am : Events, Events 2017, Highlights from New York, Topics
Side Event for UNGA First Committee
12 October 2017 13:15 – 14:45
Conference Room A, UN Headquarters
In July 2017, when 122 states adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), they also agreed on a number of positive obligations for states parties. The positive obligations comprise victim assistance, environmental remediation and international cooperation. While such commitments are unprecedented in an international agreement on nuclear weapons, they were informed by provisions and practice in previous treaties prohibiting anti-personnel landmines and cluster munitions. This side event explored what the implementation of these provisions will mean for states that will be party to the TPNW, and steps that should be taken in the run up to and following its entry in to force. For further information contact Volker Lehmann, FES New York Senior Policy Analyst: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, October 10, 2017, 6:30pm – 8:00pm
Goethe-Institut New York, 30 Irving Place, New York
Like his contemporary John F. Kennedy, Willy Brandt was one of the great political icons of his time – and remains to many a representative of political modernity itself. As the first Social Democrat Chancellor of West Germany between 1969 and 1974, Brandt was at the forefront of some of Germany’s most definitive and controversial decisions. He famously fell to his knees in recognition of the atrocities committed by his countrymen in the Warsaw Ghetto, and received the Nobel Peace Prize for his policy of reconciliation toward Eastern Europe. As Chair of the “Brandt Commission” (Independent Commission on International Development Issues) in the early 80ties, Brandt drew much-needed attention to the growing need for international solidarity and a global perspective on the world’s most pressing issues.
Against this backdrop, the New York offices of the Goethe-Institut and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) were pleased to host a presentation and discussion on Hélène Miard-Delacroix’s newly translated biography “Willy Brandt – Life of a Statesman”. Together with the audience and our distinguished panelists we explored the life and times of Willy Brandt in the context of a broader discussion on his lasting influence on modern political culture, international solidarity, societal change, and the rise of civil rights movements.
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.
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.
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.
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
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).
Tuesday, April 11, 2017, New York
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.
Thursday, March 16, 2017
UNHQ, New York
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.
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).