Will Finance Ministers agree on a new Financing for Development?

Spanish version

The change in the current development paradigm that the leaders of the world are going to approve next September will require bold reforms and policy shifts. Can they be accomplished without involving Finance Ministers?

By Marina Ponti, Social Watch

As negotiations on the post-2015 development framework advance, it is becoming clear that the new development agenda will require bold reforms and policy shifts at the global, regional, national and sub-national levels.

As the Elements Paper for FfD3 points out, the ambitions of the Addis Ababa Conference will be met if agreements on critical macro-economic issues such as taxation (national and international), financial flows (including illicit flows), trade, debt and transparency/accountability are reached.

However, given that such policy decisions fall under the mandate of Finance and Trade Ministers, it becomes crucial (and rather urgent) to involve more actively these Ministries in the negotiations to ensure that decisions are owned and implemented at the various levels.

If we look back at the first Conference on Financing for Development, which took place in Monterrey in 2002, the key to the whole process and its success was the active participation of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund as well as Finance Ministers. In this manner, the negotiations became, “hard-core” and “real” and not merely perceived as a diplomatic exercise. Asked for her views on the success of the Monterrey Conference, H.E. Swedish Ambassador Ruth Jacoby, Co-Chair of the Monterrey Conference states: “the active participation of the Ministers of Finance throughout the process enabled their full ownership and encouraged a whole of Government approach which was unique at the time and which also proved that the term policy coherence, rarely used 15 years ago, had great relevance”.

With five months to go until the start of the Addis Ababa Conference, it is still worth calling for greater participation of Finance and Trade Ministers to allow for a “whole of Government” approach, which can generate the bold policy decisions needed to make the FfD process and the overall post 2015 framework a success.

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