The 2018 ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development Follow-up (FfD Forum) was held in New York from 23 to 26 April 2018. The four-day event featured a Special High-level Meeting with the Bretton Woods institutions, WTO and UNCTAD, ministerial round tables, general debate, thematic discussions on the implementation of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and other FfD outcomes, and a dialogue with stakeholders.
TJNA together its partners held a number of events on the sidelines of the forum:
i) Financial Crisis 10 Years On: Will history repeat itself?– This was convened to discuss development financing in the wake of a weak international financial system. Current debates on development financing are increasingly dominated by the notion that a new wave of “sustainable finance” will come at the rescue of struggling public finances, while at the same time much lower emphasis is being placed on addressing systemic issues, one of the foundational pillars of the FfD process. Rather than reforming finance and advancing de-financialisation, policy discussions seems to be re-routed to redirecting existing finance systems towards greater development impact. This generates a rhetorical smokescreen that may contribute to a decreased focus on tackling the root causes of financial instability and significantly underplays the implications.
(ii) Looking forward: How can the FfD Follow-up live up to its full potential?– This provided insights into the assessment of previous FfD Fora, their link with other international processes, and discuss with participants about opportunities and challenges, also with view to the upcoming High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development of the General Assembly in 2019.
(iii) Tackling Illicit Financial Flows Time to Drop false Solutions and Embrace Real Change– This side event brought together both CSOs and Member states to discuss the mainstreaming of a broad approach and definition of IFFs. It was held under the “Chatham House” rule but the key message was that there is need to embrace the political changing landscape when it comes to IFFs and to work on the “difficult” Member States in getting them on board on the broad definition. There were some good points made from the African Panelists on the strategy to get this agenda more firmly on the table. There was also mention of the SA’s proposal for the BRICS to set up an IFFs commission. http://www.brics2018.org.za/sites/default/files/Documents/Calendar.pdf.
Other important side- events included Financing for Gender Equality: Challenges and Opportunities 10 years After the Financial Crisis and Trade and Development in a New Era: Existential Questions and Alternative Options.
As a result of TJNA’s engagement in these and other discussions around the FfD Forum, the Network was able to make significant input into the final CSO Statement to the final plenary session of the 2018 ECOSOC FfD Follow-up Forum.
Other useful links: