Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Jul15/13)
20 July 2015
Third World Network
Friends and Colleagues
Please find below the joint civil society response to the outcome
of the recently concluded third International Conference on
Financing for Development held in Addis Ababa.
Third World Network
FfD FAILING to FINANCE DEVELOPMENT
Society Response to the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for
Addis Ababa, 16 July 2015
members of hundreds of civil society organizations and networks from
around the world engaged in the Third FfD Conference, would like to
express our deepest concerns and reservations on the Addis Ababa Action
Agenda, based on both our ongoing contributions to the process and
the deliberations of the CSO FfD Forum (Addis Ababa, 10-12 July 2015).
Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) lost the opportunity to tackle the
structural injustices in the current global economic system and ensure
that development finance is people-centred and protects the environment.
It does not rise to world’s current multiple challenges, nor does
it contain the necessary leadership, ambition and practical actions.
It undermines agreements in the Monterrey Consensus and the Doha Declaration
and it is almost entirely devoid of actionable deliverables. We regret
that the negotiations have diminished the FfD mandate to address international
systemic issues in macroeconomic, financial, trade, tax, and monetary
policies, while also failing to scale up existing resources and commit
new financial ones. The AAAA is also deeply inadequate to support
the operational Means of Implementation (MoI) for the Post-2015 Development
Agenda, exposing an unbridged gap between the rhetoric of the aspirations
and reality of the actions.
this background, we will continue to be as engaged as ever to uphold
the aspirations for economic, monetary and financial frameworks that
respond to the imperatives of human rights and the values of humanity
and solidarity. We will continue to promote the vision of an economy
at the service of the people and the planet, and advocate for the
democratization of economic governance and the reaffirmation of the
centrality of the United Nations against the governance clubs of the
powerful. We expect that the Addis Agenda’s establishment of an intergovernmental
and universal Forum on FfD will provide the political space to advance
the global normative agenda in this direction.
the Addis Ababa CSO FfD Forum Declaration addresses the full scope
of our concerns, we wish to highlight the following critical issues:
Equality as Smart Economics: The additional steps to address
gender equality and women’s empowerment seem to speak more to “Gender
Equality as Smart Economics" than to women and girls’ entitlement
to human rights and show a strong tendency towards the instrumentalization
of women by stating that women’s empowerment is vital to enhance
economic growth and productivity.
optimism towards private finance: We caution that the AAAA’s
optimism towards private finance to deliver a broad sustainable
development agenda is misplaced. The AAAA fails to endorse binding
commitments to ensure business accountability based on internationally
recognized human and labor rights as well as environmental standards.
There is a growing body of evidence that substantiates civil society’s
serious concern for the unconditional support for PPPs and blended
financing instruments. Without a parallel recognition of the developmental
role of the State and clear safeguards to its ability to regulate
in the public interest, there is a great risk that the private sector
undermines rather than supports sustainable development.
tax policy remains the domain of the powerful: The Action Agenda
fails to establish an intergovernmental, transparent, accountable,
adequately resourced tax body with universal membership that could
lead global deliberations on international tax cooperation, stop
illicit financial flows and tackle corporate tax dodging, reasserting
the current undemocratic and profoundly unfair status quo.
concrete commitments to ensure tax justice and equity: Regressive
tax policies such as indirect taxes disproportionately harm people
living in poverty, women, minorities, persons with disabilities,
children, and other marginalized groups. Concrete commitments to
implement integrated social protection systems, including floors,
remain vague and the AAAA fails to reaffirm the need for the implementation
of the relevant ILO Conventions and Recommendations.
by traditional donors to elude responsibilities and effectiveness
commitments: We note with great concern the tendency of traditional
donors to elude their responsibilities by putting emphasis on South–South
cooperation, Domestic Resource Mobilization or the Private Sector.
International Development Cooperation remain critical for development
financing and fulfilling the 0.7% commitment made more than four
decades ago remains pivotal. Furthermore, the Addis Agenda does
not unambiguously address the necessary additionality of climate
and biodiversity finance.
critical assessment of trade regimes: Instead of safeguarding
policy space, the Addis Agenda fails to critically assess
international trade policy in order to provide alternative paths
to commodity-dependence, eliminate investor-state dispute settlement
clauses, and undertake human rights impact and sustainability assessments
of all trade agreements to ensure their alignment with the national
and extraterritorial obligations of governments.
UN normative developments on debt ignored: The AAAA ignores
the important normative developments in the direction of improving
sovereign debt restructuring and establishing guidelines for responsible
borrowing and lending that have taken place in the UN over the last
few years. It also fails to stop debt sustainability calculations
as being the “purely technical” exercise that the Bretton Woods
Institutions claim it to be, and embed the moral and legal dimensions
that their impacts on human rights call for.
progress on technology: We welcome the establishment of a Technology
Facilitation Mechanism (TFM) under the UN and we recognize its potentials
to address the obstacles to technology transfer and to enable developing
countries to harness their innovation capacities to respond to development
challenges. It is however crucial to emphasize that technology development
is not a monopoly of the formal sector, nor is technology only transferred
and diffused by the private sector and industrialized countries.
of UN mandate to address systemic issues: The Addis Agenda fails
to provide sufficient political leadership to strengthen the role
of the United Nations to lead the necessary human rights-based,
pro-development reforms of global economic and financial systems
and institutionalize greater coherence. Instead of the profound
reflection on the IMF’s failures pre and post-crisis and its unwarranted
austerity advice as a response, the Addis Agenda calls for strengthening
it and validates the insufficient governance reform process going
on. There is no call for reform of the Special Drawing Rights regime
towards its full potential to serve as a development finance tool
and as the center of the international monetary system. Capital
controls are barely acknowledged.
strong commitment in terms of transparency and accountability:
We believe that references to the importance of transparency and
accountability in the follow-up of the Addis Agenda are not matched
by strong commitments from governments to publish timely, comprehensive,
accessible and forward-looking information about all development
activities and resource flows.