About Last Week: Tracking the SDGs, Accelerating Climate Action, the Future of Civil Society

The global development news you need to start your week off smart.

The Latest  The United Nations and The Global Goals: 

How does the UN Security Council’s Straw Poll work? Your guide from UN Dispatch on the process and impact: Here’s How the Next UN Secretary General Candidate Will be Selected. “This is technically an informal vote, but the outcome may very well portend who will succeed Ban Ki Moon for a five year term at the helm of the United Nations.”

Tips for brands on how they can engage with the SDGs: How the Sustainable Development Goals Accelerate Your Brand Relevance, Growth and Impact. “Since their launch in September of 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals have excited both CSR and purpose-minded communities, while also serving as a matrix of narratives that can ensure brand relevance if delivered on correctly and honestly.”

Why international development banks need to include civil society: It’s Time for Development Banks to Start Listening. “The aid community often ignores the wishes of the very people it’s supposed to be helping. The world needs a more bottom-up approach to development…Without vibrant civil societies, the Sustainable Development Goals are dead in the water.”

Jeff Sachs on why the SDGs represent a new era in our global economy: Sustainable Development: A New Kind of Globalization. “Around the world, people are calling for a new kind of globalization. The current version, once called the Washington Consensus, has delivered economic growth but at enormous cost: rising inequalities of income, massive environmental destruction, and growing lawlessness. The search is on for a new approach, sometimes called sustainable development, to ensure that economic growth is also socially just and environmentally sustainable.”

The case for global progress: The SDGs Are Not Yet a Year Old and Already They Are Making a Difference. “The UN [High-Level Political Forum] is significant because ultimately, success or failure of the SDGs depends on the extent to which governments embrace the SDGs as an organizing principle around which to create policy. Though less than one year into the 2030 agenda, it seems that things are off to a good start.”

Global Trends – What Experts Are Reading and Writing About:

Civil society’s pivotal turning point in Turkey according to Brookings’ senior fellow Kemal Kirişci: Erdoğan’s Real Opportunity After the Failed Coup in Turkey. “Erdoğan needs to rise above a majoritarian understanding of democracy and do justice to the aspirations of a public that heeded his call by pouring into the streets and squares to defeat the coup attempt.”

Silicon Valley proposes another way to address poverty: What Will the Evidence say about a Universal Basic Income? “When individuals in eight out of 20 villages in Madhya Pradesh, India, were provided with monthly payments as part of a randomized control trial on universal basic income, the results defied what some top economists had expected.”

A stern reminder to world leaders to act on the Paris Agreement: The Elders Express Concern over Lack of Global Action on Climate Change.  “The Elders — who include former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, former US President Jimmy Carter, and former Norway Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, among others — warned that while they welcomed the adoption of the Paris Agreement at COP21 last year, climate action since then ‘does not convince us that leaders, especially of wealthy and large emitting countries, are acting in accordance with the vision they publicly embraced in Paris.’”

Looking Ahead – What We’re Paying Attention To:

New software and high-resolution satellite images powered by Google will help monitor the environment: Powered By Google, UN Flexes Tech Muscle to Fight Climate Change. “‘There’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding the total forest area in the world, how much forest is being lost and gained, how is the land use changing and what are the effects on carbon emissions. The more we use these tools the more we’re going to be sure of whether the situation is improving or getting worse.'”

The Arab League meets this week in Mauritania: Arab League Summit 2016 to Focus on Fight Against Terrorism. The Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sissi and king Salman of Saudi Arabia are expected in the Mauritanian capital for the summit. Despite the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court ,Sudanese President, Omar Al Bashir is also expected to participate in the two days meeting.”

The US’ Democratic Party convenes to nominate their presidential candidate and the future of global development hangs in the balance: The Better World Campaign hosts Global Oval at the DNC. “The Global Oval brings together US leaders, celebrities, digital influencers and convention-goers to participate in a series of conversations on the next president’s global development agenda. Key topics will include national security, economic growth, investing in girls & women, global health, energy access, and ending extreme poverty.”

Image: A demonstration supporting the government in Taksim Square in Istanbul. CreditMarius Becker/European Pressphoto Agency.

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