Dialogue on Financing for Development in Post 2015

Speakers emphasized the importance of financing for the Post 2015 Development agenda that is being put forward by the United Nations with its member states. As the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) ended in 2015, the United Nations undertakes to formulate a new development framework that will be adopted in September 2015 through its General Assembly.

A dialogue on Financing for Development in Post 2015 was held jointly by VOICE and  Beyond 2015 at the Weekly Ei Shomoy conference room on 13th May 2015. The dialogue was attended by the journalists and members of the civil society which was presided over by eminent economist Dr. Quazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad. Dr. Mahbub Ali, Former Secretary Ali Kabir, journalist Dip Azad, Chief Reporter Boishakhi Television, Kawsar Rahman, city editor of Daily Janakantha, Jamal Uddin of Daily Ittefaq, Alison Subrata Baroi, Director, Supro attended the dialogue among others.

Reading out the key note paper, Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, executive director of VOICE told that financing for development explicitly recognizes human rights as a basis to promote the interlinkages between the three pillars of sustainable development such as social, environmental and economic issues. He said that reform of the regulation of the financial sector is necessary to safeguard global financial stability and safeguard poor people against future economic shocks. Multilateral financial institution their policies with country policies so that the interest of the people should be kept uphold. All members must commit to greater representation of developing countries on the board and leadership of international institutions and to take the necessary actions to ensure that decision-making for these institutions is fair, equitable, transparent and gender balanced, he added. He also proposed to ensure coordination through Cross-ministerial commissions, and Integration of targets into national and local sustainable development plans, and also  Integration of targets into national and local budgetary processes.

Dr. Kazi Khaliquzzaman Ahmed said that developed countries must set binding timetables through national legislation to meet their outstanding 0.7% Gross National Income and ODA commitment, and meet their commitments to direct 0.15% – 0.20% of aid to Least Developed Countries within five years. These flows must support democratic ownership, transparency, accountability, inclusiveness and maximise poverty eradication impacts.

He also added that transparency of all resource flows for development – public and private, domestic and international – is essential. All development actors should commit to publishing timely, comprehensive and forward-looking information on their activities in a common, open, accessible, electronic format. He also mentioned that establishing a strong human rights and environmental accountability mechanisms is important to determine whether specific actors are appropriate for a partnership in pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals, to hold companies accountable for their impact on human rights, those most affected by poverty and injustice, and the environment and to prevent any negative impacts.

Kawsar Rahman satid that donors must commit that Public Private Partnership must support the development projects respecting the regulated framework of a country  to ensure the benefit of the domestic economy and the natural environment. Private sector should also provide technical guidance, based on recipient country demand, to ensure that the long-term impacts to the partner country economy and environment are recognised and risks mitigated within the project plans.

Ali Kabir told that people’s participation is a strategic means of implementation for the post-2015 agenda and a key element to make this a people-centered agenda. Member States must commit to implement the post-2015 agenda with the full participation of people, especially the most marginalized and vulnerable, and their organisations, through institutionalized multi-stakeholder engagement. He said Governments must make data ‘open by default’ and focus the “data revolution” on the needs of stakeholders in developing countries. Governments must prioritise data collection and strengthen national statistical systems in domestic budgeting and develop disaggregated monitoring systems

Prof. Dr. Mahbub Ali said that ensuring transparency and accountability, reduce military spending and reallocate public resources towards provision of social services for poverty alleviation, social protection, health care and the promotion of sustainable development is must in post 2015 development agenda.

Alison Subrata Baroi said that we should adopt equitable progressive taxation and redistribution measures to finance social protection floors for all, and to guarantee income security and access to basic services for all, including the poorest and marginalized groups. We need enough finance to implement strong tax reforms, based on demand from receiver countries and ensuring a strong involvement of the public, thus improving domestic resource mobilization, he added.

Dip Azad said that all member states must reduce military spending and reallocate public resources towards provision of social services for poverty alleviation, social protection, health care and the promotion of sustainable development. We must provide and promote universal access to financial services, emphasizing inclusive access across income, gender, disability, geography, age, ethnicity and other groupings. Specific barriers to women’s access to finance should be eliminated. Countries should expand financial literacy and establish strong consumer protection agencies. We need to establish and effectively implement an obligation for multinational corporations to publish, as part of their annual reports, public country-by-country reporting. Those reports should include key data on profits made, taxes paid; subsidies received; turnover; and number of employees, he mentioned.

Bidhan Reberu from NTV Online, Hasnat Shahin, Daily Sangbad, Saddam Imran from The Report, Tutul Rahman from Bhorer Kagoj, Nazmul Islam from Bangla Mail, Habibullah Fahad from Ei Somoy. Swakrito Noman, Associate Editor of Saptahik Ei Somoy welcomed the guests of the meeting.