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Third International Conference on Financing for Development, July 2015 The third International Conference on Financing for Development will be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 13-16 July 2015. It will gather high-level political representatives, including Heads of State and Government, and Ministers of Finance, Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation, as well as all relevant institutional stakeholders, non-governmental organizations and business sector entities. The Conference will result in an inter-governmentally negotiated and agreed outcome, which should constitute an important contribution to – and support the implementation of – the post-2015 development agenda.

In July 2015, the international community will have the chance to change the future of finance development. Governments, civil society, trade unions and other actors will meet for the third UN conference on Financing for Development (Ffd) in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) to take concrete decisions for the future of development and how to finance it. In the run-up to this crucial meeting, two major reports have been released which are intended to inform the upcoming debates. We have had a report from the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Finance (ICESDF) and one from the Open Working Group (OWG) – a 30-member group nominated by the UN General Assembly to decide on the Sustainable Development Goals. Both reports should feed into future action. Disappointingly, both lack ambition and fail to present specific recommendations, something that CSOs - many in developing countries - and other actors have been calling for some time.   

The UN General Assembly has passed a landmark resolution that mandates the UN to create a “multilateral legal framework for sovereign debt restructuring”. Promoted by the G77 countries and triggered by the aggressive vulture funds lawsuits against Argentina, this resolution could be a game changer for the way future debt crises are managed. First and foremost, it has shifted the forum for political debate away from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) towards the UN. However, shamefully the EU’s vote was split over this crucial decision. 

As the United Nations decides on the future course of international development Post 2015, women of all ages, identities, ethnicities, cultures and across sectors and regions, are mobilizing for gender, social, cultural, economic and ecological justice, sustainable development and inclusive peace. We seek fundamental structural and transformational changes to the current neoliberal, extractivist and exclusive development model that perpetuates inequalities of wealth, power and resources between countries, within countries and between men and women. We challenge the current security paradigm that increases investments in the military--‐industrial complex, which contributes to violent conflict between and within countries.

While the International Movement ATD Fourth World welcomes the latest set of sustainable development goals adopted by the United Nations Open Working Group, the goals could better emphasize reaching the most marginalized.

With regards to poverty, “While the  title of Goal 1, ‘End Poverty in all its forms everywhere,’ is ambitious,” said Isabelle Pypaert Perrin, director general of ATD Fourth World,  “target 1.2 - to reduce by at least half the proportion of men women and children of all ages living in poverty according to national definitions - falls short. With no clear reference to prioritising those living in the greatest poverty, it could lead governments to target only those easiest to reach. This would contradict the principle of leave no one behind.”

The Declaration of the G77 Summit, held in Santa Cruz on 14-15 June, has sections on three prominent issues that are presently the subject of negotiations at the United Nations - the  Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the UN's Post-2015 Development Agenda.

The Declaration should thus have significant influence on the UN negotiations since it reflects the positions of the G77 and China, at the highest political level, and these positions can be expected to be maintained by the Group during the negotiations on these three issues.

A resolution was adopted in the UN Human Rights Council on June 26 that will begin the process of elaborating an international legally binding instrument on business and human rights. Despite strong opposition from the EU and US, the resolution received affirmative votes from 20 member States on the Human Rights Council, while 13 States abstained. France, Germany, Italy and Ireland were also among the 14 opposing countries.

This victory in the promotion of human rights was welcomed by the Treaty Alliance, a group of networks and campaign organizations collectively working to organize advocacy in support of developing binding international regulation to address corporate human rights abuses. A statement calling for an international legally binding instrument has been signed by 610 civil society organizations and social movements and 400 individuals from 95 countries. Additionally, the Subcommittee on Human Rights of the European Parliament and the Vatican have made statements supporting the creation of such an instrument.

The Post-2015 Human Rights Caucus was born in 2013 as a cross-constituency coalition of development, environment, trade union, feminist and human rights organizations worldwide to lay out a roadmap for embedding human rights into the core of the post-2015 sustainable development agenda. As the Open Working Group’s (OWG) efforts near completion and the full-blown political negotiations begin, the Post-2015 Human Rights Caucus has developed this Litmus Test to be used to evaluate whether proposals for the post-2015 framework respect and reflect pre-existing human rights norms, standards and commitments, in line with the Rio+20 agreement that sustainable development goals be “consistent with international law”. This series of questions and criteria not only clearly articulate our bottom-line expectations for the outcomes of the post-2015 sustainable development process, but also provides a unique tool for all those involved to more objectively assess whether post-2015 proposals truly encapsulate what the UN Secretary General envisioned as “a far-reaching vision of the future firmly anchored in human rights.”

The International Council for Adult Education (ICAE) is glad to announce the launch of the call for applications of the eighth edition of the ICAE Academy of Lifelong Learning Advocacy (IALLA), that will be held in the Arab Region, from October 13 to 26, 2014 in Madaba, Jordan.

In 2000, the United Nations announced eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to reduce poverty worldwide.

As the goals “expire” next year, new goals are being defined in UN assemblies and corridors.

Some doors in the UN will be shut to public scrutiny but wide open to corporations.

“This issue will determine the future of the UN as such,” recently commented a member of the Brazilian delegation to the UN, Guilherme Patriota.

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