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Showing posts with label sustainable development goals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sustainable development goals. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Global Goals serve as a Doorway to the Future

Making the Universal Agenda Truly Universal

Director of the Sustainable Development Goals Fund

NEW YORK, Nov 17 2016 (IPS) - One of the key features of the 2030 Agenda which the United Nations and member states identified in the lead up to the SDG agreement was the principle of universality.

After managing to get the pivotal agreement on the global framework for the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed upon last year, it is now critical to continue this momentum and understand the opportunities and challenges it creates for the private sector as partners in sustainable development efforts.

Building on our interest to tip the scales and generate greater private sector engagement, the UN Sustainable Development Goals Fund (SDG Fund) in collaboration with its Private Sector Advisory Group and the Global Compact examined these questions through a new report, Universality and the SDGs: A Business Perspective. The report, launched last week highlights varied perspectives from both large and small companies working to understand the commonality of the new development agenda.

Universality in this context is defined by the UN as “applicable to all countries, while taking into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development that respect national policies and principles.” Thus the notion of Universality also envisions that everyone has a role to play in development and poverty alleviation efforts framing the development agenda.

The business community has, and continues to be deemed an important partner for us, serving as a critical economic engine and multiplier to catalyze economic and social development programs in our 23 joint programs around the world. The task at hand is to now reinforce this commitment and ensure that companies of all sizes and sectors are properly aware of the new SDGs.

To this end, the outcomes of the report were based on a year-long series of workshops and dialogues and reflected input from over 100 firms across a variety of regions and industry sectors. These findings stemming from countless interviews and in-depth questions were not unexpected and mainly in-line with our experience at the SDG Fund. We found that companies were keen to address the new set of goals which they viewed as critical to their core business activities, but many firms still struggled to fully understand the depth of the goals.

The report also mirrored some of our unique experience working with the private sector. For example, while many firms are already working in areas linked to the SDGs, this work is not always associated with the same “UN” or development language. In fact, many companies articulate the “global goals” using other mechanisms, including using other metrics or reporting based on environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) indicators or other industry standards.

The new report offers some other useful findings. First, companies both small and large are increasingly aware of the concept of the SDGs, but many firms did not fully grasp the intricacies of the SDGs in context of their work or internal operations.

In addition, although many companies find a clear and added value to framing sustainability initiatives through the SDGs which provide a unified set of globally accepted principles–many companies are still accustomed to working within the confines of their philanthropic and CSR programs.

Despite a strong willingness to embrace the SDGs, many companies are exploring how to best integrate the SDGs into their work. But perhaps the most compelling case for the SDG Fund’s continued efforts to engage companies in a “co-design, co-invest and co-implement policy” is that the private sector remains eager to work on global challenges.

Companies continue to express their desire to be brought into the process to build innovative and robust multi-stakeholder partnerships at the local level and very often with UN partners.

Undoubtedly, with the one-year anniversary of the 2030 agenda approaching in January, this new report reminds us that the UN can and should play a more active role in educating and informing companies on the “universal” dimensions of the SDGs.

It is also important to continue to translate the new agenda into language and simplified reporting metrics that are palatable for businesses of all sizes – all of which means greater education on how companies can integrate the SDGs in their value chains, disseminate accessible resources and tools to promote learning, and support implementation and alignment across sectors.

In the end, the universality principle embedded in the SDGs provides a clear invitation for action and alignment to advance the new development agenda.

We hope to continue to raise public awareness and foster the much needed dialogue and advocacy required to encourage business to support the SDGs. In addition, our report highlights additional information on the ongoing work of the SDG Fund, including Private Sector Advisory Group case studies that continue to build the case for greater engagement in development, especially across sectors and with welcome actors like the private sector.

Source: -IPSNews

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Global Identity Principles (ID4D)

15 global organizations issue new principles for inclusive, secure identification in the developing world



In its ongoing effort to fight poverty, the World Bank has joined with a number of international partners, issuing a list of 10 key principles to ensure proper identification for citizens in the developing world, particularly with the aid of modern technology.

Entitled Principles on Identification for Sustainable Development: Towards a Digital Age, the new guidelines have been endorsed by a range of organizations from varying industries, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Nations Children’s Fund, and Mastercard.

The newly announced principles are part of a global effort to enable more inclusive and robust identification systems. The United Nations have targeted to provide legal identity for all, including birth registration, by 2030, and the guidelines look to help organizations do their part to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal.

“Given the size and complexity of the global identification gap, no single country, international organization, NGO, or private sector partner can surmount this challenge by working alone — coordination is needed at global, regional and national levels,” Vyjayanti Desai, ID4D program manager at World Bank Group, told One World Identity. “This effort is one step towards shaping a shared vision to advance progress globally.”


The list of 10 principles are broken in to three larger categories:
  • Inclusion, with the goal of universal coverage and accessibility
  • Design, aiming for robust, secure, responsive and sustainable methods of identity
  • Governance, building trust by protecting privacy and user rights
The principles were drawn up with the belief that every person has the right to participate fully in their society and economy. But full participation can be difficult without any verifiable proof of identity.
“No one should face the indignity of exclusion, nor be denied the opportunity to realize their full potential, exercise their rights, or share in progress,” the guidelines state. “No one should be left behind.”

Full details can be found in the full report, but the short list of 10 guiding principles are as follows:
  • Inclusion:
    • 1. Ensuring universal coverage for individuals from birth to death, free from discrimination.
    • 2. Removing barriers to access and usage and disparities in the availability of information and technology.
  • Design:
    • 3. Establishing a robust — unique, secure, and accurate — identity.
    • 4. Creating a platform that is inter-operable and responsive
      to the needs of various users.
    • 5. Using open standards and ensuring vendor and technology neutrality.
    • 6. Protecting user privacy and control through system design.
    • 7. Planning for financial and operational sustainability
      without compromising accessibility.
  • Governance:
    • 8. Safeguarding data privacy, security, and user rights through a comprehensive legal and regulatory framework.
    • 9. Establishing clear institutional mandates and accountability.
    • 10. Enforcing legal and trust frameworks though independent oversight and adjudication of grievances.
Republished from One World Identity (OWI) blog.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

New Partnership Financing for SDGs

UN leader announces launch of new partnership platform to support financing for the Sustainable Development Goals

At UN Headquarters, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the High-level meeting on Financial Solutions for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

10 October 2016 – Announcing the launch today of a new platform for scaling up innovative finance solutions to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the initiative can help in identifying and piloting innovative finance instruments that can drive investment and support well thought-out SDG interventions.


“Financial actors and institutions are already beginning to develop solutions for attracting private capital in support of the 2030 Agenda [for Sustainable Development],” Mr. Ban told a meeting with high-level officials from Ministries of finance and foreign affairs, together with leaders from major global financial institutions at UN Headquarters today.

Titled 'Financial solutions for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),' the gathering showcased the initiatives and examples from around the world on how best business and the financial services sector can engage in the SDG process and transform markets.

Mr. Ban said that the proposed multi-stakeholder Financial Innovation Platform would support the identification and piloting of innovative finance instruments, and would engage key development actors, including Governments, civil society, philanthropic organizations, entrepreneurs, institutional investors, banks, project developers and development finance institutions.


Mr. Ban, who will step down as the top UN official when his tenure ends on 31 December, expressed hope that the Platform will provide the best possible know-how to support the efforts by the incoming Secretary-General.

“Sustainability and stability of the financial system are mutually reinforcing,” he said, emphasizing the importance of reorienting existing financial flows to sustainable objectives so that investors will reap the benefits in the form of secure markets and thriving consumers.

That is why Governments, gathering in Addis Ababa in July 2015, adopted an an action agenda aimed at creating policy and regulatory environments that provide incentives for long-term and sustainable investments, he added.


According to Mr. Ban, the financial sector, spearheaded by companies such as Aviva, is promoting the creation of international benchmarks while the World Bank Treasury Office is issuing innovative financial instruments that are generating new investment opportunities.

Efforts are now needed to build on these initiatives, and the United Nations can play “a catalytic role” and intends to create a venue where leaders from all sectors, including government, can join forces, learn from each other and align their actions for greater collective effect, the Secretary-General said.

Many new ideas and solutions are already in play. International Housing Solutions, a global private equity investor, is using both catalytic and commercial capital investors to make green homes affordable to a wide population in Sub-Saharan Africa. CEO Michael Falcone said at the meeting that the creation of a UN platform will help to expand affordable green homes across the region.

“We are engaged in nothing less than the transformation of global capital markets,” said Mark Wilson, Group CEO of Aviva, an international insurance and investment company. “That demands major change. “If business isn't sustainable then society is at risk and if society isn't sustainable then business is at risk. So it's just enlightened self-interest for business to support the SDGs,” he said.


"While there are many pathways forward to achieve the SDGs, one thing is clear: business as usual is not an option to close the $2.5 trillion annual funding gap in developing countries alone," said Judith Rodin, President, The Rockefeller Foundation. "To realize the SDGs we need to foster a new era of collaboration and coordination, and the UN Secretary-General has unprecedented convening power to do this by bringing together leaders from different sectors,” she stressed.

The concept of a new multi-stakeholder forum to help finance progress on the Goals emerged following the 2015 Financing for Development Conference that took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. At that Conference, world leaders called for creative and innovative solutions by the private sector to scale-up investments in activities that contribute to the sustainable development.

It is now clear to many in the finance sector, that there are new demands of the marketplace as well as shareholders seeking sustainable investments. This is why a new framework for sustainable investing is needed. The know-how that is being made available within the finance sector will be shared and made accessible: the platform will accelerate solutions and encourage scale up.

For more information and to receive regular updates about the United Nations and the Sustainable Development Goals please subscribe to my personal Google News feed or you can subscribe to Globcal International's United Nations SDGs official syndicated feed. 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Human Empowerment through Cooperation

Making the Cooperative the Ideal Business Model

The ideal of the 'cooperative' was first developed in the 1820s, long before privately held corporations by individuals, based on the development of the free and fair exchange of legally held assets through common ownership of a business or distribution system designed to benefit its members who collectively own the institution as a society. The non-profit and for profit co-operative embodiment today has become a solid institutional part of the corporate laws of many countries while in other countries that depend on the concept of international cooperation from other nations have yet to allow the concept of an employee owned business or corporation to emerge in their legal systems. Cooperatives are tax-free and generally protected by governments as social orders within the area of human and civil rights in addition to being legal businesses.

Cooperatives empower communities.
Cooperatives are and remain to be the safest, most sustainable and lowest-risk type of an investment an individual can make because the foundation of the cooperative involve intangible assets, membership involves special rights, privileges and benefits that are available through belonging. In a cooperative members in essence belong to one another equally and are responsible for perpetuating the cooperatorship. Globcal International has developed the first international cooperatorship that is truly non-governmental because it is formed as a non-state actor and bases its jurisdiction in the offshore international realm of the high-seas under admiralty, maritime and international law.

What you choose to follow or be a part of in life is generally based solely in your personal character and personality, but we do know that, once people begin to realize the potential of cooperatives and the benefits that are possible they will always cherish their cooperative memberships with our global development and by being a part of cooperatives locally in their own communities, cooperatives are security. Cooperatives are known for being socially responsible, fair, fraternal, equal and democratic. They are also designed to distribute benefits and profits equally to members. Commentary by David J. Wright

For information regarding the reformation of your business for the international sector or remove your state of incorporation or to offshore your personal character and intellectual property to a tax-free jurisdiction, then join us at Globcal International as a non-state citizen, then see the membership link on our blog.

Scaling Up Cooperatives to Reach the Sustainable Development Goals

Article: Huffington-Post

Cooperatives are Naturally the Best Way to promote the SDGs

Cooperatives empower women.
Long before Uber or Airbnb, cooperatives capitalized on a sharing economy, but with an explicit mission to share benefits with everyone in society, especially the poor and vulnerable. Cooperatives have a storied history and carry distinct advantages in addressing the needs of low-income people. They rely on sharing information and trust in communities around a common purpose.

Over the decades, cooperatives have had success in areas like savings, agriculture, housing, or distribution of electricity. While there have been many improvements, they have faced challenges in areas such as tax policy, discriminatory regulation, achieving scale, and prevailing business attitudes toward their mission and business model.

To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — a set of 17 global goals which seek to end poverty by 2030, promote peace, and preserve the planet for future generations — we need to take advantage of the power of cooperatives. The SDGs fit nicely under the umbrella of the World Bank Group’s twin goals of ending poverty by 2030 and promoting shared prosperity.

The work is daunting, particularly in the area of financial inclusion. In 2014, only 62 percent of the world’s adult population had a financial account - leaving 2 billion adults without one.

Cooperative Financial Institutions (or CFI’s) include savings and credit cooperatives, credit unions, financial cooperatives, as well as savings and loan associations. They are key strategic partners in achieving both the goals of universal financial access, ending extreme poverty. They have low operating costs and are located in remote, rural areas with no financial institutions.

Yet for many of these member-owned institutions, scaling up savings services is impaired by challenges related to management and staff capacity, governance, and oversight and supervision. Some financial cooperatives and credit unions cannot safely lend funds received as deposits due to lack of credit capacity and systems.

We can help financial cooperatives scale-up by supporting them with technical advice and new technology to help them share data and information with their clients and with development practitioners. They can also benefit from active global partnerships with multilateral institutions, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector.

CFIs are one of the main providers of financial services to low-income people, with 700 million members and accountholders worldwide. CFIs have large constituencies in India, China, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, Kenya, Morocco, and over 35 smaller developing countries such as Togo and Haiti.

Last year, the World Bank Group’s private sector arm, the IFC, had an estimated $500 million of investments in CFIs around the world. The World Bank Group has been active for decades in this area. Some of the most notable programs include the Indian Dairy Cooperative, which has created an estimated 250,000 jobs, mostly in rural areas. Similarly, Mexico’s National Savings and Financial Services Bank has helped strengthen savings and credit institutions that serve millions of rural residents, who would otherwise have been relegated to the margins of the formal financial sector.

The World Bank Group’s policy teams have helped governments supervise and regulate cooperative financial institutions. For example, in 2009, the Bank Group worked with Rwanda to strengthen both the supervision and reach of Savings and Credit Cooperatives. By mid-2012 financial access in Rwanda increased from 47 percent to 72 percent. The newly created savings and credit cooperatives played an important role in this increase since they operated in 215 rural locations in which no financial institution existed previously. And the partnership with Rwanda also significantly increased the financial sustainability of the savings and credit cooperatives.

In a more mobile and urban world, cooperatives must adapt, while maintaining their basic values and approach. As seen in Sub-Saharan Africa, mobile money accounts can drive financial inclusion. While just 1 percent of adults globally say they use a mobile money account and nothing else, in Sub-Saharan Africa, 12 percent of adults (64 million adults) have mobile money accounts (compared to just 2 percent worldwide); 45 percent of them have only a mobile money account. Mobile money accounts can help narrow the gap in financial inclusion between men and women, which could have important effects on inequality and child welfare. CFIs will have to stay abreast of these developments and exploit these new technologies to maximize financial inclusion, particularly for the poor.

Capitalizing on cooperatives’ successes and learning from their mistakes can help us expand the menu of options as we search for more inclusive and sustainable models of development, and new ways of building and sharing knowledge. In this way we can significantly contribute to our common goal of ending extreme poverty in a single generation.

Republished from the Huffington Post, Scaling Up Cooperatives to Reach the Sustainable Development Goals by Mahmoud Mohieldin Senior Vice President for the 2030 Development Agenda, UN Relations and Partnerships

Friday, July 29, 2016

New Jobs being created by the SDGs

How the SDGs have Changed Global Development Jobs

In a recent blog, FHI 360 CEO Patrick Fine observed: “It is time to recognize that human development challenges will exist as long as there are humans … Building resilience is a long-term endeavor that requires ongoing commitment. It is not an end state.”


Girls skipping at a primary school participating in Plan's menstrual health management program. Photo by: Nyani Quarmyne

He was pushing back on that old adage in our international development industry that our organizations are (or should be) working themselves out of a job. As he concluded, there will always be a job for “strong, capable civil society actors.”

I agree with Patrick. There will always be a job. But is it the job we are currently configured to do?

The Sustainable Development Goals have changed that job in profound ways, and most development organizations have not recognized it and are not ready. Recall that the SDGs, in contrast to the Millennium Development Goals, are not just targets designed and agreed to by experts (mostly in the “developed” world) and handed to “poor” and “developing” countries. They are 17 sets of goals that apply universally to every country. And in large part they have come from, have been consulted with and agreed to, by a broad range of stakeholders in almost every country.

If the SDGs are not someone else’s agenda but an agenda vetted and embraced by local actors, the role of international civil society entities like Plan is not — or not just — to provide solutions, sage advice and expertise, but to strengthen the social accountability fabric.

Doing this well means we need to get out of the business of leading and doing and into the business of empowering, capacity building, informing, and connecting.

It means humility, because the voice and the brand that counts is not ours.

It means giving up control. Our job is to create safe and brave spaces for the voices of the vulnerable, the invisible, to ensure the marginalized are heard and to strengthen social accountability structures so their rights are served.

Let’s take Sustainable Development Goal 5, on gender equality, with which Plan International, the organization I represent, is deeply involved. Over the past five years Plan has been leading its Because I am a Girl campaign, focused on getting girls to go and stay in school. In the context of this campaign we did many things — from building infrastructure such as classrooms, wells and separate toilet facilities for girls to providing key products and services including menstrual hygiene management products, teacher training and technology.

In the course of the campaign we learned that the most impactful initiatives we could undertake to support this aim was to empower women and the girls themselves — building their awareness, developing their capacity and self-confidence, expanding their network of peers and mentors, so that they could effectively advocate for their own rights to go and stay in school. In other words, we learned that the most effective agents for energizing and mobilizing governments and communities to invest in girls are the girls themselves.

We are also learning that to be effective in empowering girls and youth we very much need to transform ourselves. We cannot be an organization that is seeking to empower the voice to children and girls if we were not first willing to give a voice to children and youth within our organization. And this has been challenging. Adults are not predisposed to listen to children and young people; we do not like giving up control. But empowering children and youth means being willing to give up control and being willing to open the space for children and youth to influence your own and your organization’s thinking about program design and execution.

At Plan we have changed our structures and staffing from top to bottom to make sure we are not crowding out the voice of children, youth and girls. We have made space in our board rooms for youth. We have invested in staff with expertise in youth engagement and we have trained our staff and board to work and engage with youth in non-tokenistic ways. We involve our youth in the design and evaluation of our programs. We have developed protocols and procedures to help ensure the safety of children and youth advocates when they speak out.

Bottom line: International civil society entities like Plan have an important role to play in in the SDG journey, here in the U.S. and elsewhere. But the SDGs changed the game for all of us.

Remaining relevant requires we give up control so that we may effectively empower others. Remaining relevant requires we transform ourselves so that we can support social transformation. The old paradigm was about external actors pushing harder to increase the short-term results. In the new paradigm, in order to yield more, we actually have to yield more control, responsibility and resources to local leadership.

Reposted from Devex Blog. Join the Devex community and access more in-depth analysis, breaking news and business advice — and a host of other services — on international development, humanitarian aid and global health.

By Tessie San-Martin, president and CEO of Plan International USA. She is a seasoned executive with more than 25 years’ experience helping to address gaps in education, economic growth, capacity-building, corporate governance, political reform and labor policy globally.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Cooperative Registry of Global Citizens

Certificate of State Ownership
(Personal Birth Certificate)
Our ideals of citizenship and who we should serve as individuals in a civil sense are getting an upgrade over the next five years. As I have confirmed there are speculators and social engineers at the heart of this meddling with human rights and changing how to better exploit human capitalism.

New Registry Collaborates the UN SDGs

The projects of the United Nations SDGs (Global Goals) have come center stage and become the new fuel for the global mainstream. The goals have immersed all our nations, religious institutions, corporations, and political systems to universally agree to make our priority the adoption and implementation of these 17 common goals on a global scale through international cooperation, corporate cooperation, and our independent national policy to become sustainable.

On September 25th at the UN Headquarters in New York City all of the world leaders (193 of them) agreed to the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). At the same time they discussed and made the ideal of global citizenship a reality for those who work and live internationally.

For as long as we have known, we have always been citizens of our states or nations making us distinctly different based on our place of origin more than race. Through globalization by international corporations (entrusted through their nations) the nation as an entity has become smaller and less powerful than its own corporate citizens. Now the playing field of our civil society model and reality 'opens up again' with the SDGs and the facilitation of the world meeting the 17 Global Goals.

So now today the ideal has become to allow the corporate bodies operated and or founded by the masses (people like you and me) control and operate the planet as corporate global citizens under a strict set of laws that govern the ecosystem and economy which are becoming one in the same. It's a good deal for the United States where 41% of the 200 greatest world economies including nations, are controlled by 82 US corporations. They need to be nice and diplomatic though because China is a major US stakeholder in everything, they always have been even before they loaned 14 trillion to the US in 2008 and 2009.

A Registry of Global Citizens

Based on learning how wrong some of these ideals could end up for us humans who are not corporations and dislike the ideals of global capitalism, we became inspired to become the meek who shall inherit earth through a cooperative development involving global citizenship and personal identification, it all begins with the first official registry for those digital citizens who are non-aligned politically with their countries that want to take on global citizenship.

We began the development of a neutral non-governmental civil registry in mid-2013 preparing for the next step in the evolution of our global civil society beyond the Millennium Development Goals which were thus-far successful in their scope, to further prepare for the new next steps (SDG)s in globalizing our homo-ecologically sustainable idealism (consciousness) among one another, which begins now on January 01, 2016.

We developed the registry as a way for people to duly declare that they are global citizens and that wish to be recognized with global citizenship not-withstanding their country or political state of origin based on their personal social, academic and digital identity. Global citizens must declare that they are politically neutral (non-aligned) and share in the philosophy of the the ideals of global, universal, and or world citizenship. Signing the registry does not require a person to renounce their civil, state, or national citizenship which is protected by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

On October 9th the registry began to inscribe names of those who wish to become known as global citizens in service to all of mankind and the planet, rather than only from within their country of residence. The application form is very simple and straight forward, all those who join will receive a certificate, a registry identification number, and will be invited to participate in the formation of a new international global citizenship cooperative as an offshore charitable international foundation.

The cooperative formation initiative promises transparency, integrity, and accountability in creating social responsibility and sustainability among its members and those who participate within the program. Equality in democratic consensus, equal investment, equal participation, and equal opportunity. One person, one share, one voice, one vote!

To better understand the ideal and benefits of our programs please follow our blog and see some of our previous articles. To sign the registry to become a global citizen now, click here.