TUDCN Addis Ababa FFD3 update #2 (14 July 2015)

FFD3 conference opening: CSO statement

The FFD3 conference kicked-off on Monday 13 July in Addis Ababa. A packed programme of plenary sessions, roundtables and side events gathers States’ representatives, private sector and civil society organisations.

Speaking for civil society organisations, Rama Salla Dieng, from the Women’s Working Group on Financing for Development, and Stefano Prato, from the Addis CSO Coordination Group, said that the outcome as it existed did not rise to expectations in many areas. The document should state clearly the principles of country leadership with the participation of civil society.

In addition, there was a lack of what she called deliverables in the text. Much stronger provisions on women’s empowerment were also needed, as were clear safeguards to ensure that the private sector was oriented to sustainable development. Equity must be promoted as an objective of all tax policies, and donors must not avoid their responsibilities by shifting them over to South-South cooperation.

A critical examination of trade agreements for sustainability and human rights was also needed, along with action on indebtedness. Transparency was not improved enough in the text and a time frame for structural transformation was missing altogether, they emphasized. Read their full address here.

You can find a list of Member States and UN bodies’ statements at the FFD3 Plenary here.

ILO-Sweden side event: Financing development through decent work

ITUC Deputy General Secretary Wellington Chibebe spoke at the side event “Financing development through decent work”, organised by the ILO and the Sweden Mission to the UN, and chaired by ILO Director-General Mr Guy Ryder.

The event was opened by Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. He said having a job gives personal freedom and provides for families, although many people work in precarious conditions and are exposed to terrible risks, not to say the persistence of child work.

Mr Löfven added that 2 million people die at work annually. That is why protecting labour rights and more widely promoting the decent work agenda, is a win-win opportunity that has to be prioritised for development.. He promoted a partnership for decent work as a way forward, what he calls a "New Global Deal", where various stakeholders can join forces while representing different interests.

He added that States should abide to ILO Conventions and guaranteeing the implementation of collective bargaing rights and social dialogue as core elements of the New Global Deal. A partnership requires that all parties are involved in shared responsibility, but the goals must be obvious for all parts. He added that, ¨more dialogue at global level is crucial to make things right at national level¨

ITUC Deputy General Secretary Wellington Chibebe said the pursuit of profits through the notorious race the bottom is the one of the push factors threatening workers’ rights, as companies pursue investments in places where workers rights are not respected, where wages are cheap and where workers can be exploited to maximize profits. National governments face challenges in enforcing labour rights either willingly or due to lack of capacity and at times as a result of imbalances in power between governments and those companies investing in countries.

Chibebe noted the erosion of the labour market institutions and threats to fundamental freedoms like the right to freedom of association and assembly, and the right to collective bargaining are real dangers to workers’ rights. “A democratic environment is crucial for actual developmental processes to happen and be sustainable”, he said.

He advocated refusing the narrative of no job vs job with poor conditions. Protecting workers rights is a legal obligation and as workers we expect the new deal to result in a firmer and more courageous rejection of this dichotomy. Globally, we need to see more governments reaffirm the obvious link between protecting workers rights and jobs, he added.

Chibebe noted that social dialogue has a number of preconditions for it to be effective. These include enforcement of freedom of association, independent unions and employer’s organizations, and capacity of governments to engage with the social partners. If these preconditions exist the social dialogue can be a very useful instrument to see through the post 2015 agenda, especially as relates to a number of the goals and targets. Apart from being a vehicle for ensuring the voice of workers and the respect of workers’ rights, Chibebe considers social dialogue a tool for improving policy, taking into account the perspectives and expertise of the social partners.

Mr Chibebe said that, as government look to ways to engage the labour movement and civil society more broadly on the implementation of these agendas, as well when it comes to ensuring accountability, they should refer to the social dialogue as a how to instrument for implementing and achieving the SDGs.

He concluded mentioning the fundamental role of the ILO to monitor and follow up implementation of SDGs, in particular GOAL 8 (Employment and Decent Work) but also in cross-cutting of other goals (e.g. poverty reduction, social protection, gender equality) and liaising with social partners at national level.

Public Services International side event "Mission Impossible: Development without Public Services"

This FFD3 side event was co-sponsored by TUDCN. Discussions revolved around the excessive promotion of public-private partnerships (PPPs) in development cooperation in general and in the FFD3 agenda in particular. According to most speakers, PPPs both in poor and rich countries prove inefficient and expensive. They propose alternative policy options that are compatible with sustainable development.

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