UN Development Finance Conference: Lack of Ambition and Weak Commitments put Private Sector in the Driving Seat

Brussels, 23 July 2015 (ITUC): The ITUC has expressed concern about the outcomes of this month’s 3rd Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, which focused on foreign investment and the role of the private sector rather than pathways for sustainable industrialisation and employment policies based on decent work and job creation.

ITUC Deputy General Secretary Wellington Chibebe, who led the delegation of the ITUC’s TUDCN to the event pointed to stagnating wages and living standards worldwide, resulting from erosion of labour market institutions and threats to freedom of association and assembly and to collective bargaining. “A democratic environment is crucial for actual developmental processes to happen and be sustainable”, he said.

Chibebe said that efforts for more inclusion should also include more accountability of the private sector, adding "Those who have the means need to be held accountable".

The Conference’s uncritical stand on innovative financing as “blending” and “public private partnerships” (PPPs), lack of attention to inequality within and between countries and the absence of concrete commitments in particular on trade issues were also criticised by the ITUC.

On the positive side, the area of "social protection and essential public services for all" was identified as one of seven core cross-cutting areas relevant both to the Post-2015 sustainable development agenda and FFD. “Full and productive employment and decent work for all” including the promotion of MSMEs is also one of the seven cross-cutting areas.

Chibebe also addressed a side event “Financing development through decent work”, organised by the ILO and the Swedish government, together with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and ILO Director-General Guy Ryder, and a Conference roundtable on policy coherence and enabling environment.

Read the Trade Union reaction to the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA).

Read the full report on the outcome of the Addis Ababa conference.

TUDCN Addis Ababa FFD3 updates: