Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2017

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The Civil Society Reflection Group on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, initially founded in 2010 presenting thoughts and ideas towards the Rio+20 Conference (2012), published its last Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2017, titled “Reclaiming policies for the public - Privatization, partnerships, corporate capture and their impact on sustainability and inequality - assessments and alternatives”. Focused on the “independent monitoring and review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its structural obstacles and challenges”, it is jointly published by many of Global Alliance for Tax Justice’s partners: Social Watch, Third World Network (TWN), Global Policy Forum (GPF), Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND), Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN), Society for International Development (SID), Public Services International (PSI) and the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR).

“The report puts a spotlight on the fulfilment of the 17 goals, with a particular focus on inequalities, responsibility of the rich and powerful, means of implementation and systemic issues”. The report answers the following questions:

  • What are currently the main obstacles to achieving the SDGs?
  • Are there transnational spill over effects that influence or even undermine the implementation of the goals?
  • Are the current policy approaches, as they are reflected, inter alia, in the 2030 Agenda, an adequate response to the challenges and obstacles (or are they part of the problem)?
  • What has to be done?
  • Which specific policy changes (at international level) are necessary?

Tax Justice holds an important place in the report, and CESR’s Kate Donald wrote a full section about it, titled “Squeezing the State: corporate influence over tax policy and the repercussions for national and global inequality”, which you can also find separately on this website.

"Reducing inequality is one of the central pledges of the SDGs, appearing as a stand-alone goal (SDG 10) and as a cross-cutting commitment to “leave no one behind”, Donald introduces. Reducing inequality requires resources; both (re)distributing currently available resources more fairly, and raising more resources to invest in goods and services which tackle inequality. Taxation is an essential tool for governments to achieve both of these objectives; hence the inclusion of fiscal policy in target 10.4 (“Adopt policies, especially fiscal, wage and social protection policies, and progressively achieve greater equality”). But so far, corporate tax abuse closes off both these essential channels for reducing inequality”.

You can also find very useful insights in national reports, available for the following countries:

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