IDA and IDDC have been working closely with the wider CSO group during the FfD process, learning a lot from other organizations and, at the same time, raising awareness about the importance of looking at finance also through the lens of disability.
On Saturday and Sunday a number of colleagues from the disability movement from Ethiopian DPOs, from CBM Ethiopia, from ADA and from Inclusion International attended the CSO Forum. At the end of two intense days of discussions, the Addis Ababa CSO Declaration was finalized and endorsed at the Closing Session of the CSO FfD Forum.
The Declaration is now available on the CSO FfD Group website, together with the statement that CSO reps delivered yesterday at the opening segment of the FfD Plenary.
The Declaration presents the main overarching concerns of the CSO community about the lastest draft Addis Ababa Action Agenda, including the almost complete absence of time-bound actionable commitments, the red carpet provided for the private sector, the need to take into account – if the conference is to contribute to the means of implementation for the SDGs – the Rio principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR).
Overall, the feeling is that the conference on financing seems scaled up in terms of rhetoric but so far it hasn’t scaled up existing and new financial resources.
In the area of gender, the Women’s Group pointed out the strong tendency in the text towards the instrumentalization of women whose empowerment is predominantly framed as vital “to enhance economic growth and productivity”.
The Declaration reiterates the need for the “establishment of an intergovernmental, transparent, accountable, adequately resourced tax body with universal membership that could lead global deliberations on international tax cooperation, stop illicit financial flows and tackle corporate tax dodging”.
It emphasizes that “Regressive tax policies such as indirect taxes disproportionately harm people living in poverty, women, minorities, people with disabilities, children, and other marginalized groups. Concrete commitments to integrated social protection systems, including floors, are completely missing and we strongly reaffirm the need for the implementation of the relevant ILO Conventions and Recommendations.”
In addition to the above reference to persons with disabilities, the Declaration emphasizes that “Inclusive development requires access for persons with disabilities to social and disability support services and micro finance. Investments should have safeguards to prevent the creation or perpetuation of legal, institutional, attitudinal, physical and ICT barriers to the inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities and other marginalized groups.”
On a positive note, the Declaration welcomes “the specific reference to ‘accessible technology for persons with disabilities’ and we also expect facilitation of access to technology for other marginalized sectors.”
It is not clear how the negotiations over the text are being conducted. Is it still possible for any of the concerns expressed by CSO to be taken on board?