Council of the EU kicks off next steps for SDGs

The Council of the EU reiterated the EU’s strong commitment to the 2030 Agenda and to mainstream the SDGs into all policy areas. By mid-2018, the Commission should draft an SDG implementation strategy with timelines, objectives, and concrete measures. The strategy should identify policy, legislation, and governance structures for horizontal coherence and implementation gaps at the EU level. The Council urged the full range of actors across the EU – including governments at all levels, private sector, and civil society – to support SDG implementation.

Press Release - Council of the EU


Canada announces CAD86 million (US$67 million) for development projects in South Sudan

Canada will provide CAD86 million (US$67 million) to support vulnerable populations in South Sudan in light of escalating conflict in the country. The funding will go towards four projects to improve access to basic health services, increase access to food for vulnerable communities, and strengthen the capacity of organizations to operate. These projects include the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID)’s Health Pooled Fund for Saving the Lives of Women and Children, the World Food Programme’s 'Food for Work – Community Assets for Recovery and Resilience' program, DFID’s Conflict Sensitivity Resource Facility, and the Canadian Foodgrains Bank Food Assistance Fund’s Food Assistance.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Press release - Global Affairs Canada


Australian Treasury releases tax reform paper with implications for NGOs

The Australian Treasury has released a discussion paper on proposed reforms aimed at simplifying tax-deductibility arrangements for donations and gifts. Organizations hoping to raise funds currently apply for entry to one of four Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) registers administered by four different government departments, including the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. These enable Australian NGOs to issue tax-deductible receipts for donations for their activities abroad. The Treasury's paper proposes streamlining this process by, for instance, centralizing administration of DGR registry.

Comments on the discussion paper are due July 14, 2017.

News report – PS News (outlet for the Australian Public Service)


Germany hosts conference on deforestation-free supply chains and sustainable palm oil production

The German development (BMZ) and agriculture (BMEL) ministries co-hosted a conference on the link between consumption and deforestation: “Approaches for sustainable and deforestation-free supply chains – cross-learnings from palm oil, cocoa and soy”. Minister Schmidt (BMEL) emphasized that Germany will aim to reach 100% sustainable palm oil production. Similar achievements could be made in cocoa and soy production if public and private stakeholders exchange knowledge and cooperate on supply chain management.

This conference occurred in the context of Germany's leadership role in the Amsterdam Group. This group - comprised by Germany, France, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Denmark - was consituted in December 2015 with the signing of the Amsterdam Declaration, which included the commitment to purchase 100% sustainable palm oil by the year 2020.

Press release - BMZ (in German)

Germany Agriculture

Chancellor Merkel receives policy recommendations from the civil society at C20 in Hamburg

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has received a catalogue of policy recommendations from leading civil society organizations (CDOs). The organizations, which met for the C20 Summit in Hamburg, hope that many of these recommendations will be included in the G20’s final communique. At the Summit, more than 300 CSOs discussed their position on topics ranging from environment and climate change to health, gender, and agriculture. Next to a clear commitment of the G20 to fight climate change, the organizations call for strong policies to regulate financial markets, tackle inequality, reform trade agreements, and increase development finance.

News article - Norddeutscher Rundfunk (in German)



EU foreign ministers endorse new Africa-EU Partnership Strategy

EU foreign ministers have endorsed a new joint EU-Africa Strategy that seeks to strengthen mutual engagement, address security, and promote sustainable, inclusive economic African development. The Strategy Communication, launched in May 2017, identifies two strands for these objectives. First, the strategy aims at building more resilient states and societies, with a focus on 1) preventing conflicts, address crises and peace-building, 2) strengthening governance systems; and 3) managing migration and mobility. Second, it aims at creating more and better jobs, especially for youth, with a focus on 1) attracting investments, 2) promoting renewable energy, 3) transforming African agriculture and agro-businesses, and 4) improving knowledge and skills in the African continent. The European Council’s endorsement underscored the importance of human rights, gender equality, and sexual and reproductive health and rights in the work to be supported by the new strategy.

Press release - Council of the EU

Japan to organize TICAD VII 2019 in Yokohama

Japan has announced that it will organize the Tokyo International Conference of African Development (TICAD) VII 2019 in Yokohama, Japan. The dates of the conference will be fixed after consulting with African nations.

Held every three years, a key aim of TICAD is to mobilize support for Africa’s socio-economic development, peace and security, governance, and human rights agendas. The TICAD VI Summit was held in Nairobi, Kenya, in August 2016, under the theme of 'Advancing Africa’s Sustainable Development Agenda – TICAD Partnership for Prosperity.' 

Press release - Prime Minister of Japan


EDCTP and Mundo Sano Foundation agree to co-fund research on NIDs

The Mundo Sano Foundation and the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) have agreed to partner on research funding for neglected infectious diseases (NIDs). During the next two EDCTP calls for proposals, the private foundation will contribute up to €2 million on top of the EDCTP’s budgeted €30 million for clinical and product-focused implementation research. The two calls for proposals will be launched once the European Commission approves the EDCTP 2017 work plan.

News report - EDCTP

Australian Foreign Ministry launches partnership to provide rapid response to crises in Pacific

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has announced a new partnership with Australian NGOs aimed at mitigating the impact of natural disasters and humanitarian crisis, with a special focus on the Pacific region. The five-year, A$50 million (US$37.6 million) commitment will fund six NGOs – Care, Caritas, Oxfam, Plan International, Save the Children, and World Vision – to boost local capacity for disaster preparedness and response in partner countries.  

Press release – Minister for Foreign Affairs


European Medicines Agency prepares for Brexit

The Management Board of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has begun to prepare for the likelihood that the UK will become a “third country” under its protocols starting in March 2019. EMA, which is currently located in London, regulates the effectiveness, safety, and quality of medicines while maintaining a regulatory environment supporting innovation and development of new medicines. Due to the exit of the UK from the EU, the EMA must prepare for re-location to an EU member state, as well as  redistribution of workload and provision of guidance and information to pharmaceutical companies in this new landscape. 

Press release - EMA