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AWID’s presentation at the Human Rights Caucus side-event on human rights and post-2015 process

Below are the talking points delivered by AWIDer Nerea Craviotto during the event "Human rights for all in sustainable development: Is the post-2015 process really delivering?", co-organized by Amnesty International, the Center for Economic and Social Rights and AWID on 11 September 2014.

The discussions on the post 2015 development agenda are reaching a new stage, with Member States starting negotiations in January 2015 until the Summit in September. Ahead, I would like to present some recommendations on financing that derive from the analysis of recent debates around Financing for Sustainable Development taking place at the past OWG sessions, and the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing (ICESDF).

Let me start thought by reminding all of us there’s a clear link connecting resources to people’s lives with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1966 and ratified by more than 160 countries. Article 2 of the Covenant states “each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to take steps…especially economic and technical, to the maximum of its available resources, with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of the rights recognized in the present Covenant …”

With that in mind, I would like to share with you few recommendations for discussion:

  • Development actors must ensure human rights-guided policy coherence, including on issues related to trade, investment, aid, tax, migration, intellectual property, debt, monetary policies and financial regulation. Furthermore, governments and international financial institutions must conduct independent and periodic public assessments of the human rights and sustainable development cross-border impacts of their policies and agreements.

  • Domestic resource mobilization is essential to strengthen universal social protection floors that support the most in need through income redistribution.

  • While donor governments must meet their obligations that ODA constitute 0.7% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a bare minimum, new innovative mechanisms for financing for development need to be put in place, replacing the problematic aid and debt system with one based on respect, solidarity, equity, inclusion, non-subordination and justice for all (for example with a International Financial Transactions Tax).

  • While recognizing the role the private sector can play in contributing to achieving sustainable development, the private sector financing, including Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) must come hand in hand with compulsory evaluations, accountability, transparency in compliance with human rights norms and standards ensuring return on people’s rights, not on profit. Also, I also would like to ask for caution against the outsourcing of development cooperation

  • Strengthening regulation of financial markets must be a top priority, including eliminating illicit financial flows, speculation with commodity prices and tax havens.

  • Well-designed, progressive fiscal policies are key policy levers to ensure non-regression in economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR).

  • Reform of the governance and practices of International Financial Institutions (IFIs) is imperative and urgent so that fiscal and monetary policies are in line with human rights standards, including particularly economic, social and cultural rights and women’s rights.

  • The enjoyment of women’s rights and advancement of gender equality in our societies should be a central and well-funded objective in the post-2015 agenda. It must include specific indicators to measure not only the improvement of individual women but shifts in entrenched power imbalances, patriarchal norms, social and cultural change, economic disparities, and multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination that perpetuate gender inequalities. And leaders must ensure that women’s rights organizations’, who have been at the centre of women’s rights advances throughout history are at the forefront in guiding and shaping funding strategies for long term change.

  • The design and implementation of an independent and fair sovereign debt workout mechanism is a critical area as well.