Global Policy Watch Blog

Financing for Development is ‘Preserving’ the Status Quo

“We started from an optimistic viewpoint on FfD3 and now ending with so much disappointment over what seems like retrogression from old agreements. There is no mention at all of peace dividends generated from the elimination of weapons of mass destruction and nuclear weapons, and the reduction in defense spending. Debt relief and condonation are treated marginally. The emerging document suggests business as usual. It doesn’t explain the fundamental reasons for why there is lack of financing sustainable development,” lamented Isagani Serrano, co-convener of Social Watch Philippines.

Frozen in diplomacy

By Jens Martens, Global Policy Forum

The debt crisis in Greece dominates the news in Europe but a significant related event lacks public attention – the 3rd International Conference on Financing for Development (FFD3). This is being held in Ethiopia from 13 to 16 July and is designed to come up with proposals on how to shape international financial relations more equally and to finance efforts to advance sustainable development. FFD3 deals with vital issues such as the mobilization of domestic resources and reform of tax policies, the role of private finance, debt and debt sustainability, trade, and reforms in the international financial system. Read more…

Why is the “North” shying away from global collaboration on tax?

By Wolfgang Obenland, Global Policy Forum

One of the more contested issues at the 3rd International Conference on Financing for Development, currently underway in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is how to improve/ensure global cooperation in tax matters. During preparatory negotiations in New York, a proposal surfaced that would upgrade a UN expert committee on the issue into a full-fledged political, and more importantly universal, commission. The commission could deal with issues like fighting tax evasion and avoidance, could set standards for double taxation agreements and for how to deal with transnational corporations. This proposal, however was rejected with force by most OECD governments. Read more…

An Action Plan Without Much Action

By Barbara Adams and Gretchen Luchsinger

With pens still hovering over the Addis Ababa Action Plan, the outcome agreement for the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD3), there is already a sense that for all the recent talk at the UN about ambition and transformation, it is falling short. For a financing document, the Action Plan includes an impressive number of references to issues at the core of sustainable and inclusive development, like social protection, essential services, decent work for all and sustainable industrialization. Read more…

Goals, targets, indicators: Diplomacy by numbers?

Bill Orme*

In the third week of June, diplomats reconvened in New York to redact and refine the draft text of the declaration to be announced next September to frame a new development strategy and officially launch the already informally agreed 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) . Sincere efforts to strengthen stated commitments to human-rights principles and official transparency and accountability will be met with counterproposals for more caveats and ambiguity in its few compliance requirements. Read more…

Should countries cooperate on taxes at the United Nations?

Marta Batalla, Social Watch

Globalization has changed the rules of the game regarding tax systems. Seeking ways to increase their profits, multinational corporations take advantage of regulatory gaps and the public sector is always one step behind, trying to close loopholes. Read more…

Partnership criteria

Roberto Bissio, Social Watch

The EU has announced its intention to sign “framework partnership agreements” with some global “non-state actors” of its choice. Read more…

10 Reasons Why an Intergovernmental UN Tax Body Will Benefit Everyone

During the 3rd drafting session to formulate an outcome document for the 3rd International Conference on Financing for Development, a coalition of 30 NGOs from around the globe is urging governments to pave the way for setting up an intergovernmental body on tax cooperation with universal membership under the roof of the United Nations. To ‘sweeten the deal’ for delegates, and to strengthen their resolve, negotiators received a little gift of chocolate, which came right in time just after lunch. Of course, arguments were also provided for why the world needs a new institution for a truly global tax governance. Read more…