World military spending is increasing

Total world military spending rose by 2.6 % since 2017, to an estimated US$1.82 trillion in 2018. The five biggest spenders were the United States, China, Saudi Arabia, India and France, which together accounted for 60% of global military spending. In particular, the United States and China have increased their spending, with the US increasing military spending for the first time since 2010. Germany spent US$49.5 billion in 2018 and is the eighth largest spender.

The German aid agency Bread for the World criticized the German government for increasing military spending and advocated for increased funds for development cooperation, in order to address the root causes of conflict.

Newspaper Article – sipri

Newspaper Article – Zeit Online (in German)

Newspaper Article – Zeit Online (in German)

Germany Global

CSOs release C20 policy pack ahead of G20 Osaka Summit

The Civil 20 (C20) Summit, a side event to the Group of 20 (G20) Osaka Summit convened by civil society organizations (CSOs), has released its 2019 policy pack. Papers include anti-corruption; education; environment, climate, and energy; gender; global health; infrastructure; international financial architecture; labor, business and human rights; 'Local2Global'; and trade and investment. 

C20 representatives handed over the policy pack to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on April 18, 2019. The G20 Osaka Summit will be held on June 28-29, 2019.

Policy Proposal - C20 Policy Pack 2019

Official website – C20 Summit 2019

Press release – MOFA (in Japanese)

UN launches new network of Global Investors for Sustainable Development

At the United Nations Economic and Social Council’s Forum on Financing for Development Follow-up, a new network of Global Investors for Sustainable Development (GISD) was launched. The design of GISD has been heavily inspired by the Swedish network for investors that has been managed by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) since 2016. Promoting and leveraging increased private sector investments for sustainable development is high on the list of the Swedish government's priorities. This was reflected in the presence of both the Swedish Minister for Development Cooperation, Mr. Peter Eriksson, and the Director General of SIDA, Ms. Carin Jämtin, at the launch event in New York.

The GISD has been developed by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) in close collaboration with SIDA. Similar to its Swedish counterpart, the GISD is a partnership which aims to promote engagement in corporate governance around the SDGs as well as being a platform for learning, sharing experiences, and founding voluntary projects. To reach UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) it is estimated that US$90 billion is needed globally. Throubh the Swedish Investors for Sustainable Development network members have started a number of new SDG funds and several investments have been made in green bonds, World Bank SDG bonds, and sustainable water bonds. In 2018 four members of the network (SEB, SHB, Swedish Church and Skandia) made a large joint investment, with a focus on sustainable cities, amounting to US$270 million (SEK 2,5 billion) in World Bank bonds.  There is significant potential to leverage new financing for the SDGs through the GISD. 

Information on the SISD can be found here 

Information on the GISD launch even

Source - Sida Press release 

Global Sweden

OECD DAC preliminary data release shows ODA down by 2.7% in 2018

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's Development Assistance Committee (OECD DAC) has published preliminary data for 2018, showing that official development assistance (ODA) fell by 2.7% in 2018. The data release is the first to use the OECD's  new 'grant equivalent' methodology. Applied for the first time in 2018, the method aims to ‘provide a more realistic comparison of the effort involved in providing grants and loans and encourage the provision of grants and highly concessional loans, especially to low-income countries’.

Net ODA from DAC members reached US$153 billion in 2018. The largest donors in absolute amounts were 1) the US (US34.3 billion), Germany (US$25 billion), 3) the UK (US19.4 billion), 4) Japan (US$14.2 billion), and 5) France (US$12.2 billion). In relative terms, the largest donors were Sweden at 1.04% of its gross national income (GNI), Luxembourg (0.98%), Norway (0.94%), Denmark (0.72%) and the UK(0.7%).

For more detailed information on the performance of bilateral donors, see the OECD DAC's detailed summary here.

OECD DAC – Press release “Development aid drops in 2018, especially to neediest countries”

ONE Campaign says fall in global development assistance is "alarming"

ONE Campaign—an international advocacy organization that fights extreme poverty—has highlighted the danger associated with a fall in global development assistance, following the release of preliminary 2018 data by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's Development Assistance Committee (OECD DAC).

The OECD DAC's data revealed that official development assistance (ODA) fell by 2.7% in 2018. In particular, the share of ODA going to the world's poorest countries fell by almost 3%, while assistance for Africa dropped by 4%. 

Accoring to Sara Harcourt, ONE's Director of Development Finance Policy, the fall in global development assistance, particularly towards countries with the greatest need, is "alarming". Harcourt called on donors to reverse this trend with the upcoming Global Fund replenishment and G7 summit. 

Press release - ONE Campaign


French and German development agencies strengthen partnership

The director of the French development Agency (AFD) and Joachim Nagel of KfW, the German state-owned development bank, signed a memorandum of understanding reinforcing the cooperation between the two development institutions. The agreement aims to double the level of co-funding and the number of staff exchanges by 2022-2023.

The partnership sealed between AFD and KfW also provides for closer collaboration on several levels, concerning strategy, operations, knowledge-sharing, and joint communication. Both organization will jointly work effectiveness of foreign assistance, the international climate agenda, the environment, and the reinforcement of the European cooperation system. The partnership also considers further cooperation on geographic priorities - Africa and the Sahel in particular - and near neighbours in the Caucasus and Balkans.

Press release - French Development Agency

France Germany Global

Key Dutch partners on child marriage discuss progress on issue at the Hague

On April 1 key partners working on the issue of child marriage in the Netherlands came together in the Hague to discuss progress on the last three years of implementation of the main Dutch-funded programs. The event marked three years since the partnership 'Girls not Brides Netherlands' was formed and happened under the auspices of Princess Mabel van Oranje and Mette Gonggrijp, director general of the Development Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They both received midterm evaluations of the programs that were the result of consulting thousands of girls across 17 countries. 

Twitter account - NL Women's Right's (Official Twitter account of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Women's Rights & Gender Equality Taskforce)

Global Netherlands

Swedish government website on sex education website proves successful in the Middle East

'', a website commissioned by the Swedish government to provide online sex education support and information for young people who are seeking asylum or have recently sought asylum in Sweden, has shown promising results in 2018. Run by the company Inera, it offers information about the body, sex, and relationships in several languages including Somali, Dari, and Arabic. An analysis of the website traffic for 2018 found that over 80% of the visitors to the website were outside Sweden. The highest number of visitors came from Iran, while the most visited page was the Arabic-language page on the vulva and the vagina. 

According to Swedish Minister for Gender Equality Åsa Lindhagen, these results show that Sweden has an important role to play in sexual and reproductive health and rights, and the site is a good complement to Sweden's project work in this area. 

Radio Interview - Swedish Radio (in Swedish)

UK's Overseas Development Institute publishes 'Principled Aid Index'

The Overseas Development Institute (ODI), a UK-based think tank, has published an index that ranks donors of the OECD's Development Assistance Committee according to how much their funding abroad focuses on poverty-alleviation and other factors over "short-sighted domestic return". The 'Principled Aid Index' assesses factors such as how much of a donor's assistance goes to the poorest countries, how much support goes to multilaterals to encourage global cooperation, and how much assistance is formally tied to trade. Luxembourg ranked first, followed by the United Kingdom and Sweden. 

Report - ODI

Data dashboard/infographic - ODI


Dutch minister of Education and civil servants reflect on last Commission on the Status of Women

Dutch Education Minister Ingrid van Engulshoven described in an article in the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant the outcome of the meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women, which concluded at the United Nations headquarters in New York on March 23. She said that the outcome document of the meeting was "Something better than we had initially hoped for" given opposition from a conservative coalition formed by the US, Russia, the Vatican, and Islamic countries.

Other views and relevant news for the Netherlands coming from CSW were also shared widely by other ministerial staff members on their Twitter accounts, including Mette Gonggrijp, director of social development, and Hinke Nauta, coordinator of the Taskforce for Women's Rights and Gender Equality.

News article - De Volkskrant (in Dutch)

Twitter Accounts - Mette Gonggrijp; Hinke Nauta

Global Netherlands