CSOs from all over the world criticized the limited ambition of the “Addis Ababa Action Agenda” adopted by the Third Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), with some calling it an “agenda for inaction.”
The conference “lost the opportunity to tackle the structural injustices in the current global economic system and ensure that development finance is people-centered and protects the environment,” CSOs said in a sharp statement issued after the adoption.
Speaking at the CSO press conference on July 16th, Center of Concern team member Aldo Caliari said “We have identified more than 20 areas in which this outcome retrogresses over the previous Financing for Development Conference Outcomes from Doha and Monterrey --from inequality to universal services, including debt, taxation and many others.”
“For months we have been hearing hyped –up rhetoric about ambition and the importance of this conference for supporting the post-2015 development vision. We are disappointed that this outcome does not provide the strong means of implementation required for such a vision to become reality.”
“I think we can be proud, however, of the role that we played as CSOs. The fact that it was our priority issues that became the stickiest ones in the discussion demonstrates that we have had an impact on the agenda. If there had been a fair and good faith process of negotiations, I’m confident we would have also had much more impact on the outcome.” He was referring to the hardest issue in the negotiations, namely, the call for an intergovernmental body to ensure universal participation in tax cooperation standard-setting, as well as the push for a stronger institutional follow up and the application of the Rio Principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities in financing sustainable development.
“The methodology of negotiations used this time sets a very bad precedent we really hope will not be used in a UN negotiation ever again,” he said. Learning the lessons from the negotiations process that led to this outcome will have immediate relevance for ongoing negotiations in the lead up to the Post-2015 development agenda Summit, which will be held in New York in September of this year.