Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2017

In the 2030 Agenda gov­ern­ments com­mit­ted to a re­vi­tal­ized Global Partnership be­tween States and de­clared that pub­lic fi­nance has to play a vi­tal role in achiev­ing the SDGs. But in re­cent decades, the com­bi­na­tion of ne­olib­er­al ide­ol­o­gy, cor­po­rate lob­by­ing, business-friendly fis­cal poli­cies, tax avoid­ance and tax eva­sion has led to a mas­sive weak­en­ing of the pub­lic sec­tor and its abil­i­ty to pro­vide es­sen­tial goods and ser­vices. 

Economic poli­cies ori­ent­ed to growth at all costs pro­vide the dri­ve to ex­ploit na­ture, re­ly on fos­sil fu­els and de­plete bio­di­ver­si­ty. 

The same cor­po­rate strate­gies and fis­cal and reg­u­la­to­ry poli­cies that led to this weak­en­ing have en­abled an un­prece­dent­ed ac­cu­mu­la­tion of in­di­vid­ual wealth and in­creas­ing mar­ket con­cen­tra­tion.

The pro­po­nents of pri­va­ti­za­tion and public-private part­ner­ships (PPPs) use these trends to present the pri­vate sec­tor as the most ef­fi­cient way to pro­vide the nec­es­sary means for im­ple­ment­ing the SDGs. But many stud­ies and ex­pe­ri­ences by af­fect­ed com­mu­ni­ties have shown that pri­va­ti­za­tion and PPPs in­volve dis­pro­por­tion­ate risks and costs for the pub­lic sec­tor. PPPs can even ex­ac­er­bate in­equal­i­ties, de­crease eq­ui­table ac­cess to es­sen­tial ser­vices and jeop­ar­dize the ful­fil­ment of hu­man rights.

Therefore, it is high time to counter these trends, re­claim pub­lic pol­i­cy space and take bold mea­sures to strength­en pub­lic fi­nance, reg­u­late or re­ject PPPs and weak­en the grip of cor­po­rate pow­er on people’s lives. These are in­dis­pens­able pre­req­ui­sites to achieve the SDGs and to turn the vi­sion of the trans­for­ma­tion of our world, as pro­claimed in the ti­tle of the 2030 Agenda, in­to re­al­i­ty.

Download the full re­port here (pdf, 3,5 MB).

For sin­gle chap­ters, see here.