Statement from Participating Civil Society Organisations in the Intergovernmental Commitee of Experts on Sustainable Develoment Financing Outreach Event on Co-Creating New Partnerships for Financing Sustainable Development, Espoo, 3-4 April 2014

Ambassador Pertti Majanen
Co-chair of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts
on Sustainable Development Financing
Cc: Sari Alander

Ref: Statement from Participating Civil Society Organisations in the Intergovernmental Commitee of Experts on Sustainable Develoment Financing Outreach Event on Co-Creating New Partnerships for Financing Sustainable Development, Espoo, 3-4 April 2014

Helsinki, April 10 2014
Dear Ambassador Pertti Majanen,

Thank you for the opportunity to participate in the multi-stakeholder consultation “Co-Creating new Partnerships for Financing Sustainable Development”, that took place in Espoo, April 3-4. After two days of interesting and challenging conversations, we, the civil society representatives who participated, want to share with you some of the key shared understandings among us.

A few people are wealthier than ever, while at the same time every eight of us go to bed hungry at night and too many, especially women and the most marginalized people, are left behind. Inequality is rising both between and within countries. Climate change and environmental degradation pose a threat to our whole existence. We need to act now. The costs of inaction are higher than the costs of action. Waiting costs money and human lives. These global issues will not be solved by charity or profit-seeking partnerships and finance do not exist in isolation of the
policy choices. To put the world on track for a sustainable future, all actors have to contribute to sustainable development. We need financing of good quality and quantity, sustainable use of our natural resources and crucial policy changes, which works in favor of those currently left behind.

The starting point is to create an enabling environment for the society as a whole: Finance for sustainable development should aim at protecting and fulfilling human rights, addressing inequalities both between and in countries and preserving global commons such as clean air and water, protecting global biodiversity and combating climate change as well as ensuring sustainable use of natural resources.

Understanding the different roles of different actors is crucial. Partnerships or private sector cannot replace the role of the public sector. States have a duty to protect human rights, to provide public goods, to preserve global commons and to ensure that the private sector takes the responsibility to respect human rights and environment. These duties cannot be outsourced to the private sector.

Instead of taking donor driven approach, we have to focus on democratic ownership and domestic resource mobilization. We have to change policies that hinder the domestic resource mobilization in low-income countries and the development of the local private sector.

Policies and rules are crucial: An enabling environment for sustainable development requires not only money, but international and domestic policies and rules that serve people rather than business. The critical policy areas include:

• Corporate accountability: agreeing on binding international corporate accountability norms, based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and promoting the harmonization and implementation of existing guidelines.
• Climate change: mitigation requires regulation and incentives, carbon pricing and cutting environmentally harmful subsidies like those for fossil fuels, and also allocating resources to climate change adaptation and disaster risk funding.
• Domestic resource mobilization and illicit outflows: re-directing existing funds by building up progressive tax systems and stopping illicit outflows through agreeing on international transparency regulation: enforcing country-by-country reporting for companies, developing further a system of multilateral automatic exchange of tax information, setting an international standard for public beneficial ownership registries and strengthening the UN Tax Committee. Stopping illicit flows also includes promoting a responsible lending and debt work out mechanisms.

• The financial sector: addressing transparency and volatility problems in the current financial system at the global and national level, by for example imposing the Financial Transaction Tax (FTT).
• Trade and investment policies: including sustainable development policies and clauses for human rights protection in multilateral and bilateral trade agreements.

Partnerships between public and private sectors and catalyzing private investment with public money can only be complementary to public finance. The focus should be on the quality and not only on the quantity of finance. Public-private partnerships are usually a costly way to finance public services and investments. There is also little evidence on the real additionally and development effects of using public finance to mobilize private investment.

Private sector can and has to contribute to sustainable development but there is also strong evidence that it has contributed to unsustainable development. Human rights violations of extractive industries, tax evasion and financial and climate crises represent one of biggest market failures ever. Strong accountability and regulatory frameworks are needed to ensure private sector´s contribution to sustainable development.

If public development or climate finance is allocated to the private sector or public finance is used to leverage private investments for development, countries need to ensure that; 1) there are clear criteria which are applied ex-ante, to determine whether a specific private sector actor is fit for partnership, 2) development effects are evaluated before and after, 3) sound risk assessments, including social and environmental considerations, are carried out, 4) democratic ownership, transparency and accountability, focus on results and other aid effectiveness principles are realized, 5) supporting the development of developing countries’ local private sector is considered a primary objective, 6) tax avoidance is prevented, 7) strong fiscal and debt safeguards are required 8) binding corporate accountability standards are used and 9) environmental sustainability is taken into account.

The importance of introducing new public financing sources that are predictable, additional and fair. The discussion on innovative financing should be focused on introducing new public financing sources like cutting environmentally harmful subsidies, adopting FTT, allocations of special drawing rights, carbon taxes and taxes for aviation and marine transport.

The focus of ODA to finance public services. ODA has a unique mandate to directly target development and it remains an important resource for countries with the highest levels of poverty and the lowest levels of domestic resources. Limited ODA resources should be channeled primarily to support public sector’s capability to provide public services ensuring fulfilment of human rights and democratic ownership. Donors should meet their 0,7/GNI target and continue to improve aid effectiveness by addressing bad practices that undermine effectiveness, such as tying aid as well as ignoring country-owned systems. The fragmentation of ODA needs to be stopped. Finally, new and additional funds for climate financing need to be ensured.

The task that has been given to the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing is crucial for our common future, and we as civil society representatives stand here to support you. We look forward to a continued consultative process, where we are invited to provide input and expertise in a fully participatory way.

Yours sincerely,

Jesse Griffiths, Director, Eurodad

Aldo Caliari, Director, Rethinking Bretton Woods Project, Center of Concern

Jean Saldanha, Senior Policy Advisor, CIDSE.

Timo Lappalainen, Executive Director, Kepa

Rilli Lappalainen, Secretary General, Kehys – The Finnish NGDO Platform to the EU

Hanna Hansson, Beyond 2015 Swedish Coordinator, Director, CONCORD
Sweden

Jennifer del Rosario-Malonzo, Manager, Development Finance Program, IBON International

Sally Nicholson,Manager, Development Policy & Finance, WWF

Javier Pereira, Europe Advocacy Coordinator, ActionAid International

Farooq Ullah, Executive Director, Stakeholder Forum for a sustainable future

Tobias Hauschild, Policy Advisor, Oxfam Germany

Grace Balawag, Project Assistant, Tebtebba (Indigenous Peoples International Centre for Policy Research and Education)

Akhteruzzaman Sano, Management Advisor, Save the Earth Cambodia

Klaus Schilder, Development Finance Officer, MISEREOR Germany

Jouni Nissinen, Head of environmental policy unit, The Finnish Association for Nature Conservation (FANC) and European Environmental Bureau.

Titilope Ngozi Akosa, Executive Director, Centre for 21st Century Issues

Michelle Beckett, Independent International Development Researcher & member of the European Task Force at Beyond 2015

Anja Malm, Programme Director, FIDIDA (Finnish Disability and development Partnership)

Ossi Heinänen, Secretary General, Plan Finland

Tiina Saukko, Executive Director, World Vision Finland

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COMMUNIQUÉ OF THE SOUTH WEST CIVIL SOCIETY CONSULTATIVE FORUM ON PRIORITY ISSUES FOR THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE HELD AT PLANET ONE HOTEL, MARYLAND, IKEJA ON TUESDAY 11TH MARCH 2014

                                               

The Lagos State Civil Society Partnership (LACSOP), a forum of civil society networks and coalitions working with the Lagos state government for the effective implementation of development issues, facilitated the South West Civil Society Consultative Forum on Priority Issues for the National Conference on Tuesday the 11th of March 2014, at Planet One Hotel, Ikeja Lagos.
 
The forum was attended by 51 participants comprising the broader civil society and its stakeholders including youth groups, representative of the Council of Obas, gender groups, faith based groups, professional groups and grassroots community groups from the six states of the South West Zone.
 
At the commencement of the deliberation the following diverse issues were presented by the different participants:
 
1.       The devolution of power should go to the federating units which could be regional governments units (with the regions in charge of their resources, eg: the ports etc.)
2.        Immunity clause should be removed from the constitution and any public office holder indicted in a criminal case should be made to face the wrath of the law.
3.       Special status for Lagos status,
4.        Independent candidacy
5.        Streamlining of our political parties into 2 or 3 maximum.
6.       There should be no limits imposed to what is discussed at the conference
7.       Regional policing will reduce tension and aid security intelligence gathering.
8.       Reducing the power of the central government as evident in the old Western Region which thrived because the regional governments were in charge of their resources.
9.       That the ideology of a “Nigerianism” should exist, to promote unity and (Nigerians should have wealth in proportion to what they have put in )
10.   Public officials should declare their assets which should be verified by agencies.
11.   Right to self determination would promote true federalism.
12.   Education should be made compulsory and all forms of child neglect, abuse and exploitation should be
13.    Punishable by law.
14.    Higher Education fees should not be more than the minimum wage, and the equivalent of at least one month salary so that the average family in the society would be able to afford it.
15.   Electoral offenders should be tried and jailed if found guilty then banned from contesting further elections for life.
16.    Anti corruption agencies should be strengthened to safeguard their independence for more effectiveness.
17.    The Whistleblowers Protection Act should be made a constitutional matter.
 
18.   State governments should have joint responsibility with the Federal Government on national security, electricity, railways and roads.
19.   The PRONACO proposed fiscal sharing formula should be adopted.
20.   There is a need for Civil Society to identify all the delegates from the South West and hold them accountable to present the issues agreed upon at the Forum.
21.     Civil Society also needs to engage the process at the conference and develop a clear strategy on monitoring the proceedings with regular feedback from the delegates and report from the civil society.
22.   That social inclusion groups should be mainstreamed in the deliberations and outcomes of the national conference.  For instance, less than 35% of the delegates’ list are women.
23.   Gender Policy should be specifically included in the Constitution, because it will formalize the 35% affirmation action that women have been clamoring for.
24.    The constitution should spell out that there is no office of the 1st lady because it collapses the work of the Ministry of Women Affairs in the States.
25.   There should be devolution of power to the local government.
26.   There should be two or more forums before the end of the conference, ie with SW delegates delivering their monthly reports on deliberation at the conference.
27.   Parliamentary system of government should be adopted
 
The Forum subsequently identified the following common priority issues to be presented by the delegates at the national conference:
 
1.       Resource control should be replaced with Resource ownership.
2.       Devolution of power to the federating units
3.       Decentralizing the Police force ( ie-State police)
4.       Defence – Armed forces should remain at the centre (National) but with equal representation from the federating units.
5.       Judiciary should be decentralized to the federating units
6.       Adoption of the Parliamentary system of government will reduce the high cost of governance to the barest minimum.
7.       In the alternative, to reduce the cost of governance the Presidential system of government could be adopted, but without the offices of Vice President, Deputy Governors, Ministers of State and other paraphernalia of office attached to the above positions.
8.       First line charge account from the national revenue to provide social economic services , including free education from primary to tertiary level, healthcare, food subsidy , basic shelter, living allowance for the aged, unemployed and persons with disabilities.
9.       35% affirmative action for women for all public, elective and appointive offices for 20 years (also to mainstream the issues of persons with disabilities )
10.   Fiscal arrangement of 50% to region of derivation
11.   Youth participation  at age 18 for voting and all elective offices
12.   Citizenship law should be amended that women whose husbands are foreigners be free to be given citizenship.
13.   Electoral process should be made inclusive for persons with disabilities.
14.   FoI Acts to be replicated in the states.
 
Conclusion:
 The participants thanked the Lagos Civil Society Partnership (LACSOP) and the State Accountability and Voice Initiative (SAVI) for facilitating the South West Civil Society Consultative Forum on the priority issues for the National Conference. The Forum committed to continue to engage the process of the National Conference both at the Zonal and Federal level in Abuja.
 
Signed by:
 
1. Oba Aderemi Adedapo – Secretary General Yoruba Council of Obas
2. Dr Tola Winjobi – CAFSO-WRAG for Development (Oyo State)
3. Florence Mojisola Akinsanya –Commonwealth Women’s Organization Nigeria (Ogun State)
4. Franklin Olonije –
Coalition of All CSOs in Ondo State (Ondo State)
5. Wale Ajani – President, Nigeria Youth Council (NYC)
6. Biodun Oyeleye – New Initiative for Social Development (Ekiti)
7. Azeez Tajudeen Olayemi –Joint Organization of Nigeria Grassroots Optimists (JONGO) (Osun State)
8. Ayo Adebusoye – Steering Committee, Lagos State Civil Society Partnership (LACSOP)(Lagos State)
9. Abimbola Junaid – Arise Nigeria Woman (Lagos State)