13.07.2015 | Blog

Financing for Development Conference: Our Demands

Governments should make binding commitments.

From 13th to 16th July, the Financing for Development Conference (FFD3) will take place in Addis Ababa. At the United Nations summit, the future financing of development aid will be agreed, as well as measures for climate protection and for the implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, the FFD-conference in Ethiopia could still be very important for the fortunes of developing countries – there are fears that the donor countries will evade their responsibilities.

#FFD3 Summit: talks about money, transparency, commitments and new sources of financing

Development aid requires more money, the need for funds has risen significantly in the last few years, and will continue to do so in future. The global financial and economic crisis, the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and climate financing have all contributed to this.

At the Financing for Development Conference, the participants now need to discuss how they can open up new sources of financing. And naturally, these funds must be utilized in the best possible manner.

Our demands on the conference: binding commitments

However, at this conference, outcomes alone are not enough. There must also be agreement about how they will be implemented and achieved. Instead of – as so often – signing mere declarations of intent, governments must commit to the following, binding obligations:

Developing countries must mobilize their own resources

Alongside the initiative of the donor countries, there are also obligations demanded of the developing countries: They must mobilize their own public resources, such as tax collection. In addition, flight of tax and capital in those countries must be more effectively combated. The rich countries could provide support here, by building national tax systems or fighting illegal capital outflows in international negotiations.

It is to be hoped that the participants in Addis Ababa will arrive at positive negotiation outcomes in terms of future-proof development financing. Each agreement that makes it clear that the financial sector must also be measured in its achievement of the SDGs would be a success. In addition, the reform of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – even against the will of the USA – should be continued. In this way, developing countries would have the chance to better participate in the decisions of international financial institutions.

A glance at the draft text for the final document of Financing for Development conference does not bode well. It reads as though donors wanted to avoid their responsibility. National interests stand at the centre of the conference. There seems to be little room in Addis Ababa for terms like justice, eradication of inequality or introduction of green energy.

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