New Addis Ababa Action Agenda to end world’s extreme poverty

By Tinishu Solomon
Posted on Thursday, 16 July 2015 15:52

The deal, named the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, was struck by the 193 UN Member States late Wednesday at the United Nations Financing For Development (FFD) conference held in Addis Ababa.

While the multinationals prosper, the poor and marginalised will suffer

The new deal will provide a foundation for implementing the global sustainable development agenda, which world leaders are expected to adopt at the UN meeting this September in New York.

“The action agenda provides a global framework for financing sustainable development and developing sustainable finance,” Wu Hongbo, United Nations Under Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, told the press on Thursday.

Experts estimate that new Sustainable Development Goals will cost $3 trillion annually to finance the 17 new development goals.

“This new framework aligns all financing flows and policies with economic, social and environmental priorities,” the Under-Secretary General said.

The UN, in a statement, says central to the agreement is a framework for countries to generate more domestic tax revenues, than be dependent on foreign aid, in order to finance their development agenda.

No UN body for Tax

The conference in Addis Ababa has disregarded the agenda for the creation of a UN global tax body from various angles, including civil societies.

ActionAid’s international tax power campaign manager, Martin Hojsik, called the decision “appalling failure and a great blow to the fight against poverty and injustice”.

Civil societies were campaigning for the developing countries, which they say are losing billions of dollars a year to tax dodging, to be given equal say in fixing unjust global tax rules.

“This lost money could have gone to the provision of education, healthcare and other poverty-reducing public services,” said Martin.

“While the multinationals prosper, the poor and marginalised will suffer.”

Developing countries lose an estimated US$212 billion every year to tax dodging by multinational companies.

Developing countries stood up

Activists blame “a small group of rich countries” for blocking the plan toward inclusiveness.

But developing countries say the spotlight will remain on tax and illicit financial flows.

“This text could have been agreed to on Monday morning,” said Pooja Rangaprasa policy coordinator for the Financial Transparency Coalition.

“But developing country governments stood up and said ‘no’ arguing that they must have more say in how global tax standards are drafted.”

“While we didn’t achieve the final win this week, the campaign is just getting started,” added Tove Maria Ryding, tax justice coordinator for the European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad).

“We’ve managed to deliver a message loud and clear: the days of the rich deciding for everyone must end.”

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