Common but Differentiated Responsibilities in Financing Sustainable Development

Rethinking Bretton Woods | Sat, Jan 24, 2015

Common but Differentiated Responsibilities in Financing Sustainable Development


On January 29, 2015, Center of Concern is proud to cosponsor, as a member of the transatlantic alliance of Catholic development agencies CIDSE, “Applying Common but Differentiated Responsibilities in a Financing Sustainable Development Context.” This side event is held in the occasion of the First Drafting Session in preparation for the Third Financing for Development Conference, at the UN Headquarters in New York. It is cosponsored with the Permanent mission of Brazil to the United Nations and Social Watch.

Countries have committed to synergy and coherence between the Third International Conference on Financing for Development and the Sustainable Development Goals whose expected adoption will take place at a Summit in September. A crucial challenge will be applying the principles from the sustainable development sphere such as Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and equity in a financing for sustainable development context. This side event will provide an opportunity for officials and civil society representatives to discuss different approaches to such challenge.

Center of Concern | Thu, Jan 22, 2015

CoC welcomes Vatican’s continued support for binding treaty on human rights and business companies


In a recent speech delivered at the UN in Geneva, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See Archbishop Silvano Tomasi renewed support towards the development of a binding instrument on business and human rights.

The process to elaborate a binding instrument on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights got effectively under way last June, as the Human Rights Council approved entrusting an open-ended intergovernmental working group with such project.

Addressing the Third UN Forum on Business and Human Rights, held early December 2014, Archbishop Tomasi said that “The financial crisis has demonstrated the difficulty of relying on business to voluntarily self-regulate.  In particular, weak and poor States suffer the consequences of an asymmetry in the international system where the business companies rights are backed up by hard laws and strong enforcement mechanisms while their obligations are backed up only by soft laws like voluntary guidelines.”

Center of Concern is member of the alliance of organizations promoting such binding obligations. “We have nothing against voluntary principles and voluntary mechanisms to settle disputes with companies over their human rights abuses. But one thing is to have them,” said Aldo Caliari, Director of the Center’s Rethinking Bretton Woods Project, “a different one is to say they are all that's necessary to hold companies accountable for those abuses. This, of course, we are morally bound to reject.”

Financial markets and infrastructure: CoC convenes advocates to discuss new trends

Rethinking Bretton Woods | Sat, Jan 17, 2015

Financial markets and infrastructure: CoC convenes advocates to discuss new trends


On January 19th and 20th 2015, Center of Concern will hold “New trends in infrastructure finance: A briefing and strategy workshop.” The meeting will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, at the Geneva International Conference Center, and is being cosponsored with the Heinrich Boell Foundation and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. It will convene financial regulation, human rights, debt, tax justice, anti-corruption, financial transparency, corporate accountability and environmental advocates.

Participants will assess ongoing policy discussions on how to finance infrastructure through investments by financial market actors, in particular institutional investors such as pension funds, mutual funds and private equity funds. What human rights and environmental standards, if any, will projects so funded include? What are the measures to ensure accountability to citizens in the design and implementation of the contracts needed for such projects?  Will these financing modalities be appropriate to address the infrastructure deficits faced by the poorest and marginalized?

RBW in human rights and inequality roundtable

Rethinking Bretton Woods | Mon, Dec 15, 2014

RBW in human rights and inequality roundtable


On December 17, 2014, RBW Project Director Aldo Caliari will be in New York to attend the Roundtable “Inequalities, Extreme Poverty, and Human Rights.” The meeting, convened by the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights and the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice of New York University,  will bring together a group of scholars and practitioners from a variety of disciplines to conceptualize and articulate how inequalities implicate multiple human rights simultaneously, assess how well-equipped the current human rights legal regime is to address such cross-cutting phenomena, which do not fit neatly on either side of the historical human rights dichotomy, and broaden accountability to powerful actors beyond the territorial State.

Rethinking Bretton Woods | Mon, Dec 8, 2014

CoC attends Financing for Development preparatory sessions


On December 9 through 12, 2014, CoC team member Aldo Caliari will attend meetings in preparation for the Third Financing for Development Conference. The conference will be held in Addis Ababa in July 2015, and at the current sessions member states and other stakeholders will address issues regarding the enabling environment, trade and investment, global governance and the features of the follow up process for Financing for Development. Mr. Caliari is scheduled to intervene as a civil society representative in the session on financial market regulation, international  tax cooperation and sovereign debt.

Read more

Read an article on financing in the new development agenda

“Strongly flawed” World Bank report slammed by trade unions and campaigners

Rethinking Bretton Woods | Tue, Dec 2, 2014

“Strongly flawed” World Bank report slammed by trade unions and campaigners


The World Bank recently launched a  new edition of its controversial Doing Business report and rankings. In a press release issued for the occasion, Center of Concern and several organizations regretted that the Bank has only made minor changes and continues to use flawed and controversial indicators as the basis of its rankings.

Read full press release.

Read more on issues regarding the Doing Business Report.

Read criticisms from a workers’ rights and farmers’ rights perspective on the Doing Business indicators.