The Women’s Major Working Group, representing more than 600 women’s groups from over 100 countries that includes the active involvement of WIDE+, is deeply disappointed with the outcome of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, last week. What came out of the conference, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, is the world’s plan for implementing and financing global development. It fails to address profound inequalities in economic policies and institutions that undermine human rights and gender equality.
“The new global development agenda is being described as transformative, but we can’t expect change if it’s business as usual,” said Tessa Khan, international human rights lawyer with Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD, an ESCR-Net Member). “What’s needed is a more equitable global economic and development system—one that protects, respects, and fulfills human rights.”
One of the biggest disappointments was around international tax cooperation; developed countries rejected a proposal by developing countries for a global tax body that would have curbed illicit financial flows by multinational corporations and allowed poorer countries to increase their revenues. Under the current tax structure, developing countries lose up to 10 times as much money in illicit financial flows as they get in aid.
Further, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda fails to:
- Advance solutions to developing countries’ debt crises, continuing to jeopardise the human rights of women and girls worldwide who bear the burden of harsh austerity measures and debt repayments.
- Address systemic imbalances in the global financial system or advance a new paradigm for democratic economic governance. Women continue to act as shock absorbers and stabilisers during financial crises.
- Regulate the role of the private sector through binding frameworks that align their actions with human rights and sustainable development objectives and hold corporations accountable for violations of human rights and gender equality.
- Ensure that trade and investment agreements do not undermine policies intended to uphold human rights and provide decent work consistent with international labor standards.
Read the full reaction of the Women’s Major Working Group: Women Working Group Reaction to Addis Action Agenda – 16 July 2015-FINALFINAL
Read the CSO statement presented during the conference: Draft CSO Declaration – Final
Read the CPDE (coordination group of Civil Society) reflection on the final document: [FINAL] CPDE Commentary on theFFD_Jul31