Financing for Development Forum 2018 – Update from Day 2 – 24 April

On 24 April 2018 ITUC representatives attended a consultation organised by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and Heinrich Boell Stiftung. The specific objectives of this consultation were to analyse and discuss sections of a forthcoming joint publication by the two organisations, entitled "Infrastructure Investment : Closing the Sustainability and Human Rights Gaps". The sections discussed dealt with recent developments concerning the right and duty of States to regulate in the public interest, and human rights implications of the financialisation of infrastructure. ITUC brought the findings around its work summarised in its publication entitled Business accountability for development to the discussion.

The trade union delegation also participated in a discussion on the role of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) and private sector instruments more broadly (including blended finance) in development. It was noted that in the EU, use of PPPs is in decline, due to their high expense and inefficiency. Voters are becoming increasingly aware of these deficiencies and decision-makers are facing increasing backlash in applying the PPP model. However, we are observing that the EU, its Member States and other advanced economies backing PPPs in the implementation of the SDGs among Global South countries. Trade unions highlighted the role of Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), which are mostly public national banks that use Official Development Assistance (public funding) for the application of blended finance for development initiatives. Further information is available in the TUDCN publication The development effectiveness of supporting the private sector with ODA funds.

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