CARE on the Financing for Development Conference: “Goals without proper funding are a hollow shell”
Geneva/Addis Ababa, 16 July, 2015 - As the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Ethiopia ends today, CARE International warns of the effect that insufficient funding will have on the ambitious development agenda the world has set itself in 2015:
The global community can set itself the finest goals for sustainable development, protecting the climate and ensuring human rights for everyone. But if we don’t succeed in backing those ambitions with the necessary funding, those goals will remain a hollow shell,
says Dr. Wolfgang Jamann, Secretary General and CEO of CARE International.
The Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa was scheduled ahead of the two most important international processes this year and meant to produce solid funding mechanisms for those two: One is the UN Summit to adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda, aiming to establish a new set of goals replacing the Millennium Development Goals, the second is the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in December where an ambitious, fair and legally binding agreement on climate change will be negotiated.
Global leaders of developed countries had agreed to commit to 0.7% of their national income to be invested in aid and development, but this figure has only been met by a few nations so far. In addition, climate change has since brought new challenges and the need to invest more money in building climate-resilient societies and support those countries bearing the brunt of the impacts.
“What we see now in the Addis final document lacks due consideration of structural injustices in the current global economic system and unequal relationships between aid donors and recipients that undermine our fight against poverty”, comments CARE’s Jamann. “It does not contain any binding timetables for developed countries to meet the 0.7% goal, nor any additional financing for addressing climate change. Whilst we welcome the desire to catalyse further investment from the private sector, this should not be used to avoid the obligations of developed nations to meet the 0.7% target.”
In addition to the overall lack of binding and transparent finance and accountability mechanisms, CARE draws the following analysis from the outcome of the conference:
Gender Equality: While CARE welcomes language that recognises the need to ensure gender equality and women’s empowerment, this commitment is not consistent throughout the document and further emphasis is needed to ensure that women’s participation in the economy is first and foremost as a matter of human rights and gender equality, beyond their contributions to financial growth.
Financial Inclusion: The document does not adequately recognise the opportunity to capture up to $100 billion in additional funding for developing countries by bringing the savings of the poorest into the formal financial sector, an opportunity implicit in the commitment to financial inclusion within the current text of the Sustainable Development Goals
Climate Change: CARE welcomes the commitment to “enhance support for climate change adaptation for the most vulnerable”, and the reaffirmation that 50% of the resources in the Green Climate Fund should support adaptation. The vague encouragement for exploring carbon pricing mechanisms should now be turned into concrete initiatives which could generate truly additional resources for poverty eradication and climate action.
Accountability: The document lacks strong commitments and mechanisms for transparency and accountability that enable all people, especially the poor and marginalised, to monitor development activities, how public and other sources of finance are spent and the fulfilment of obligations to protect human rights and the environment.
In the coming week, UN member states will reconvene in New York for a next round of negotiations of the Post-2015 development agenda to be adopted in September. The global community will have the challenge not only to come up with a framework that matches the ambition to “transform our world” and “leave no one behind” but also to overcome the gaps left in Addis to provide the sufficient means to make this change happen.
Laura Gilmour, News editor/Press officer (Programme and Policy): +442070916063, firstname.lastname@example.org