CPDE Response to the Final Report of ICESDF


In August, the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing (ICESDF) released its final draft proposal for “an effective sustainable development financing strategy to facilitate the mobilization of resources and their effective use in achieving sustainable development objectives.”1

ICESDF’s policy recommendations are the result of a series of consultations that drew on the inputs of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development (OWG) and an expert panel of 30 individuals nominated by the UN’s five regional groups. Reports from both the OWG and ICESDF are meant to feed into discussions on the post-2015 Development Agenda.

To help inform those debates, the Civil Society Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) is releasing its own response to ICESDF’s report. While commending the report’s inclusion of progressive measures on accountability and the state’s role in social welfare, it highlights other key issues, including ICESDF’s emphasis on private sector finance, and its implications on democratic country ownership and sustainable development objectives:

  • Civil society is concerned about the increasing push for private sector engagement in development taking place without proper discussion on regulatory and accountability frameworks.
  • New sources of financing such as PPPs (blended finance) should be complementary at best and should not substitute traditional means of implementation, keeping public finance at the center of SDF. (§134-139)
  • Assessing the role of private development assistance (or migrant remittances) should take into account the economic and social impacts of facilitating economic migration (§131-132)
  • While there was mention of promoting lending mechanisms for SMEs in developing countries, regulations on initiatives that favour transnational corporations and big business remain on backburner. (§95-97)
  • The underlying assumption of “Aid for Trade” is that more trade brings greater national wealth but evidence to prove its effects on poverty reduction is limited. (§152)
  • Civil society insists on an SDF architecture rooted in human rights and sustainability obligations, with an explicit recognition of HRBA, stronger accountability mechanisms and a regulatory environment for the private sector. This ought to ensure development effectiveness and additionality for projects funded through either public or private channels, and ensure that financing goes toward addressing the structural causes of poverty, inequality, and environmental degradation.

    1See Par. 255, Resolution 66/288 endorsing the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, “The future we want”

    You can download the full response here.

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