TUDCN Addis Ababa FFD3 update #1 (13 July 2015)

Trade Unions at the 3rd Conference on Financing for Development

A TUDCN delegation is attending the 3rd Conference on Financing for Development (FFD3) in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), on 13-16 July 2015. Trade Unions have been very active in the Financing for Development process, ever since the first FfD conference in Monterrey in 2002.

The FFD3 Conference is more crucial than ever, since it has to define the means to finance the Post-2015 development framework, define by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs SDGs The Sustainable Development Goals were one of the outcomes of the Rio+20 Conference. The members States launched a new set of future international development goals, which will build upon the Millennium Development Goals and converge with the post-2015 development agenda. ). These are expected to be endorsed at the September 2015 Un General Assembly in New York.

A successful implementation of the SDGs SDGs The Sustainable Development Goals were one of the outcomes of the Rio+20 Conference. The members States launched a new set of future international development goals, which will build upon the Millennium Development Goals and converge with the post-2015 development agenda. depends on a successful outcome of the FFD3 Conference. Trade Unions remain concerned that the Addis Ababa Action Agenda falls short in ambition in setting concrete commitments for development finance or on implementing the SDGs SDGs The Sustainable Development Goals were one of the outcomes of the Rio+20 Conference. The members States launched a new set of future international development goals, which will build upon the Millennium Development Goals and converge with the post-2015 development agenda. agenda. Read the Trade Union priorities for the Addis Ababa Action Agenda here.

CSO Forum FFD3, Addis Ababa, 10-12 July 2015

The TUDCN delegation attended the FFD3 CSO Forum, taking place on 10-12, prior to the 3rd FfD Conference. The Forum gathers civil society from all sectors and constituencies, and from all continents. It was organised in plenary sessions and working tracks, with the objective of approving a CSO Declaration to present to the FFD3 Conference.

The opening reception included welcome addresses by the Addis Ababa CSO Coordinating Group Dereje Alemayehu, Dr Shiferaw Teklemariam, Minister of Federal Affairs of Ethiopia, Ms Phumzile Miambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, and the Women’s Working Group on FfD.

TUDCN Coordinator Paola Simonetti spoke at the roundtable “Private finance: how can the private sector have a positive impact on sustainable development?”. Simonetti presented the main findings of the study “Business Accountability FOR Development”, co-produced with Eurodad, with the support of the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness.

Simonetti said that, when it comes to accountability mechanisms of enterprises working in development, there should be a shift from voluntary to mandatory commitment, with adequate, binding and enforceable international agreements. Nowadays, existing accountability mechanisms are difficult to enforce, due to lack of commitment from businesses.

Legal frameworks exist and can work, she added. For instance, the ILO Conventions and standards, OECD guidelines, the UN Guiding Principles and the transnational framework agreements. Simonetti said due diligence, access to remedies and business accountability should be added to the FFD3 Action Agenda.

Georgios Altintzis, Policy Officer at ITUC, spoke at the CSO Forum roundtable “Trade, debt systemic issues and technology”. He brought up the issue of labour chapters in trade agreements and other trade instruments that help enforce labour and environmental standards along supply chains. The CSO declaration recognises immense decent work deficits in supply chains as well as power imbalances between big corporations and SMEs that have caused millions of workers to be trapped in poverty, he said.

Altintzis pointed out that the CSO Declaration also mentions that women are particularly affected by the current trade model. The ITUC stressed the need for policy space, especially for developing countries, to put in place industrial and other development policies that would help countries not only create value but also capture a fair share of it.

Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, thanked CSO for their advocacy efforts and said UN doors will remain open to CSOs. He added that CSO expertise is needed in the follow-up processes of Post-2015, to hold governments accountable for their commitments.

At the end of the CSO FFD3 Forum, a declaration was approved by acclamation. Trade unions key demands were included in the text: decent work and social dialogue, social protection, business accountability and FTT. See some of the trade union contributions here.

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