Statement on private sector participation in the SDGs


18th June 2015 As negotiations for the Post 2015 Development Agenda draw to a close at the United Nations, Member States are discussing means of implementation and financing.


From July 13-16, at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FFD3) meeting heads of states, finance ministers and representatives from development banks will discuss how the Sustainable Development Goals will be financed.  Despite our repeated concerns regarding the human rights and social justice impacts of privatization, there is a great push for private financing and private sector participation within the agenda.


Statement on private sector participation in the implementation of Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda


Considering gaps in existing national and international legal regimes for holding transnational and other corporations accountable for their role in human rights abuses;


Having reviewed the evidence that certain categories of private sector actors and the development policies that promote them are responsible for a range of systemic human rights abuses that undermine efforts toward promoting sustainable development;


Recalling that the obligation to respect, protect and fulfill human rights lies with the State, and that States must protect against human rights abuses by third parties over whom they have jurisdiction including transnational corporations operating within and beyond their borders;


Recognizing that the proliferation of global trade deals and investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms undermine the sovereignty of States and restrict their policy space while protecting the interests of foreign investors above human rights, the public interest and the environment;


And noting the history of international financial institutions using loans to impose austerity measures and structural adjustment policies that have destroyed social safety nets and exacerbated poverty;


Civil society groups call for the following safeguards and conditions to be included in the SDG implementation and financing mechanisms:

  • Exclude essential public services including water and sanitation services, education and health care services that implicate States’ duties to guarantee the human rights to water and sanitation, education, and health for all from private sector partnerships and private financing within the FFD3 agenda.
  • Ensure that development aid or loans aimed at implementing the Post-2015 Development Agenda are not tied to conditionalities forcing privatization or liberalization
  • Ensure that the global partnership for development is between State actors and that States be accountable to human rights obligations (including extra-territorial human rights obligations)

Because we do not want the Post 2015 Development Agenda to become a new vehicle for privatization over the next decade and a half, we are inviting organizations to sign the petition below by June 18 by sending an email to: