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Hopes dashed, Addis outcome disappoints

Posted on 16 July 2015

IBON International Updates #3

Financing for Development

A Reportage on the Third International Conference on Financing for Development

Addis Ababa, 15 July 2015 – There is no one-size, fits-all solution for financing for development, remarked Mr. Wu Hong Bo, United Nations (UN) Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and Secretary-General of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD3), in the opening plenary of the CSO FfD Forum held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia ahead of the official conference. FfD3 thus aims to produce a comprehensive financing framework with a basket of financing options for sustainable development, Mr. Wu added.

CSOs participating in FfD3 gathered from 11-12 July 2015 to discuss various development financing areas and issues in preparation for the official conference. The CSO FfD Forum covered the themes of tax justice and domestic resource mobilization; financing gender equality; private finance; international public finance; debt, trade, systemic issues and technology; and data, follow-up and review.

According to Mr. Wu, concrete deliverables of the Addis conference will include policy commitments on financing for development; initiatives and projects launched before or during the conference; a technology facilitation mechanism; and a strong follow-up mechanism for the commitments and actions undertaken. CSOs play a big role, he said, especially in urging governments to do things in a new way, to change mindsets. Given the huge financing needed for the future, how resources are used efficiently and effectively is important, thus monitoring is a key role for CSOs.

At the conclusion of the CSO FfD Forum, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General, thanked CSOs for their strong advocacy, saying he hopes that world leaders will listen to civil society, being the voice of the people. FfD3 must have a successful outcome for sustainable development and climate, said Mr. Ban, and highlighted CSO’s role in generating international pressure and holding governments accountable.

The Declaration from the Addis Ababa Civil Society Forum on Financing for Development (CSO Declaration) adopted at the end of the two-day forum expressed a number of concerns about the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (Addis Agenda). The Addis Agenda undermines agreements in the 2002 Monterrey Consensus and the 2008 Doha Declaration. According to the CSO Declaration, it is regrettable that “negotiations, rather than gearing towards a meaningful outcome, have been bogged down by political disputes which have diminished the FFD mandate to progressively address international systemic issues in macroeconomic, financial, trade, tax, and monetary policies.”

CSOs are disappointed that the Addis Agenda is “almost entirely devoid of actionable deliverables.” While the Declaration deplored the fact that “a conference on financing has so far failed to scale up existing sources and commit new financial resources,” it offered views and suggestions to improve the different aspects of the Addis Agenda.

Official Sessions

The opening plenary session featured the launching of a new Global Financing Facility (GFF) funded by the World Bank with marked contributions from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Norway, Canada and the United States. As the GFF is being positioned as an emerging funding mechanism for the SDGs and the post-2015 agenda, civil society

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