12 outubro, 2008

Women´s Working Group Develops Recommendations on Financing for Development

News

Date: 15 July 2008

On 16–17 June 2008, the Women’s Working Group (WWG) on Financing for Development (FFD), with the support of UNIFEM, held a consultation in New York that concluded with the presentation of a set ofrecommendations to Ambassador Abdelaziz of Egypt and Ambassador Løvald of Norway, Co-Chairs of the FFD review process, as inputs to the outcome document of the upcoming Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development to Review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus in Doha, Qatar, 29 November – 2 December 2008.

Speakers and discussants stressed the importance of employing a gender perspective and analysis in addressing the national, international and systemic challenges of financing development, particularly in the context of the current financial, food and climate change crises. They called for a “holistic approach to engendering the FFD process, which looks at the interconnections among trade and finance in all forms — aid, investment, debt and domestic savings.”

The consultation included a strong focus on the promotion of participatory and gender-responsive budgets, the strengthening of commitments to decent work, and the utilization of progressive and redistributive taxation schemes. It also addressed issues of:

  • generating and operationalizing traditional and innovative sources of financing for development;
  • the “weakening” of the State and the increasing dominance of the financial sector;
  • the importance of additionality and the non-loan nature of development finance in addressing the current food and climate change crises;
  • conditionality and the positioning of gender as “good” conditionality;
  • the weakness of current development indicators in measuring progress towards intended goals and commitments; and
  • the effectiveness of the “cross-cutting issues” strategy.

Civil Society Hearings on Financing for Development
The WWG consultation was timed to take place immediately prior to the 18 June informal hearings of civil society on Financing for Development at UN headquarters, with presentations by eight civil society organizations and networks, including one by the Women’s Working Group on FFD. The panel was followed by an interactive dialogue with Member States, UN agencies, and representatives from civil society and the private sector.

Panellists addressed issues relating to each chapter of the Monterrey Consensus, as well as financing gender equality, and climate change adaptation and mitigation. They reiterated the primary importance of domestic resource mobilization, taxation and savings to financing for development; many spoke on the challenges faced by governments in expanding fiscal space for countercyclical policies within limits imposed by trade, and conditionalities linked to loans and debt relief. Speakers further highlighted the use of participatory gender-responsive budgeting as a key policy instrument at the national level to address gender inequalities and finance development.

The panellists also called for stronger mechanisms on international tax cooperation, the implementation of a currency transaction tax, greater cooperation from governments in ensuring access to information by civil society in order to enhance their ability to engage the public, and an intergovernmental meeting to address challenges faced by governments in effectively managing competition for foreign direct investment (FDI) and other flows.

Civil society has been working to develop benchmarks for measuring the success of the preparatory process on FFD. Women’s organizations and gender equality advocates have contributed to the process and output, which calls for the promotion of gender-responsive budgets, greater use of sex-disaggregated data, and the creation of decent work for all, and recognizes that “the greater allocation of domestic resources toward gender equality is critical to achieving MDG3.” Read the benchmarks document.

More information on the hearings, including links to panel presentations and statements by Member States, is available on the Financing for Development website. For more information on Financing for Gender Equality, please contact Ms. Barbara Adams, barbara.adams[at]unifem.org, +1 212 906-6639.

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