HLPF 2017 (High Level Political Forum) has concluded

Yesterday, July 19th the HLPF ended with the adoption of the Ministerial Declaration but not without some challenges.  A vote was requested on paragraphs 4 and 21. Both paragraphs were retained the controversial issues being ‘self determination of people living under foreign occupation and language on multilateral trading systems.  A full account of the session can be READ HERE

The review of SDGs 1, 2, 3, 5, 9 and 14 is contained in paragraphs 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19 of the Ministerial Declaration  The various paragraphs state the reality, and indicate commitment to close the gaps.   Paragraphs 1 – 13 are a reiteration of promises already made through use of the following verbs  – reaffirm (2), recognize (4), commit (3), foster (1), stress (1), note (1) reiterate (1)  (the number after the verb indicates the number of times the verb is used.)

Paragraphs 20 recognizes that despite some positive development more is needed – coherent policies and an enabling environment for sustainable development at all levels by all actors. The following listing is provided:  difficult macroeconomic conditions, low commodity prices, subdued trade growth and volatile capital flows, but  also natural disasters, climate change, environmental degradation, humanitarian crisis and conflicts.  Having said that yet there is conflict over paragraph 21.

The retention of the whole document is a step forward and much advocacy took place to ensure that there was a ministerial declaration.


I signed on this Statement by the Women’s Major Group calling for a strong declaration with full commitment to gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls with the Means of Implementation SEE

During the negotiations on the Ministerial Declaration June 15 and 16  I delivered the following statement on behalf of the Women’s Major Group  Statement

During the negotiations I had the following Advocacy Points   Reviewing the ministerial declaration you will see that they were not included.  The most disconcerting one is the continued mention of ‘targeted measures’ in paragraph 14 in the context of a declaration to eradicate poverty, accelerate the pace of implementation, and decisive action is imperative and in response the best we can do is ‘targeted’ measures!  While children and youth are recognized within the Major Group system and there are stakeholders on aging and people with disabilities and a strong emphasis on a life cycle approach I continue to hold that girls are most vulnerable to being left behind and being the ones furthest behind.


Good Shepherd International Justice Peace Office position on ‘Financing for Development’ – Addis Ababa July 13 – 16, 2015

3618_people_iThe Third International Conference Financing for Development will take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – July 13 – 16, 2015.  What position will the Good Shepherd International Justice for Peace Office take?  In our position paper on Economic Justice we state ‘Create and/or Participate in networks and campaigns that call for Economic Justice and inclusion for all.’ The Third International Conference on Financing for Development is one such moment. As a member of the following groups – NGO Committee on Financing for Development, the Global Coalition on Social Protection Floors and the Women’s Major Group I will be advocating for Economic Justice and inclusion for all.  Here is the position paper of the NGO Committee on Financing for Development Click here decrying the fact that ‘international budget decisions and financial systems favor the few to the detriment of masses, and favor unjust private profits over the health of the planet.’  This point has been underscored in ‘Laudato Si’ and in the work of Noami Klein in ‘This Changes Everything: Capitalism Vs. the Climate.’

Budgeting priorities demands strong political will.  Klein writes “our problem has a lot less to do with the mechanics of solar power than the politics of human power – specifically who wields it, a shift away from corporations and towards communities…” (page 25)  How we finance determines what we finance.  Privatization of profits but socialization of losses cannot be tolerated.

Laudato Si Paragraph 189 states ‘Politics must not be subject to the economy, nor should the economy be subject to the dictates of an efficiency-driven paradigm of technocracy.  Today, in view of the common good, there is urgent need for politics and economics to enter into a frank dialogue in the service of life, especially human life.  Saving banks at any cost, making the public pay the price, foregoing a firm commitment to reviewing and reforming the entire system, only reaffirms the absolute power of a financial system, a power which has no future and will only give rise to new crises after a slow, costly and only apparent recovery.  The financial crisis of 2007-08 provided an opportunity to develop a new economy, more attentive to ethical principles, and new ways of regulating speculative financial practices and virtual wealth.  But the response to the crisis did not include rethinking the outdated criteria which continue to rule the world.”  The negotiations leading up to the Financing for Development Conference have not been change driven but slowly reneging on the commitment of the first paragraph of the Addis Ababa Accord.

“Our goal is to eradicate poverty and hunger in this generation, and to achieve sustainable development through promoting inclusive economic growth, protecting the environment, and promoting peaceful and inclusive societies. We commit to ensure gender equality and women’s and girls’ empowerment, to promote and protect all human rights, including the right to development, and to build an inclusive and equitable global economic system where no country or person is left behind, enabling decent work and productive livelihoods for all, while preserving the planet for our children and future generations.”

The signature campaign launched by the Asia Pacific Forum on Women – Law and Development APWLD points to the harsh reality of corporate greed … do consider signing the petition … every signature counts   Stop Corporate Lawsuits Against Human Rights:


Third International Conference – Financing for Development – Addis Ababa


The third International Conference on Financing for Development will take place in Addis Ababa July 13 to 16, 2015  It will be preceded by a two day Civil Society Forum on the same topic.  In the You-Tube see and hear what world leaders are saying.  Will the member states make it happen?  Can they be ambitions for the people and the planet?  Will this conference pave the way for transformative sustainable development ‘leaving no one behind?’  The Synthesis Report of the Secretary General called for 6 Essential Element: People, Dignity, Prosperity, Justice, Partnership and Planet.  The Sustainable Development Agenda proposes 17 Goals … this document will be negotiated during July and August prior to the High Level Summit in September 2015

Currently the proposed document for Financing for Development is being negotiated in New York.  NGO’s are following closely the negotiations.  A zero draft was produced on March 17th and it was followed by a text dated May 6th   Documents    The next session is scheduled June 15 – 19th.  An sample of what happens in negotiations is below.  Paragraph 6 is on gender equality …. the bold print indicates changes – working, stronger concepts etc

  1. We reaffirm that achieving gender equality and [delete and] empowering all women and girls [are basic human rights, fundamental values and issues of social justice and are] [and the full realization of the human rights of women and girls] [delete empowering all women and girls and replace with ‘women’s human rights and empowerment’] is essential to achieve equitable [and inclusive] sustainable growth and development [delete sustainable growth and development, replace by ‘sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth’]. We reiterate the need for gender mainstreaming [and targeted actions] in the formulation and implementation of all financial, economic, [environmental] and social policies and [delete and, add ‘. Gender equality is also a means for financing sustainable development and we therefore’] agree to take concrete [transformative] [replace to take concrete with ‘implement transformative’] policy actions to ensure women’s equal rights, access and [equal] opportunities for participation and leadership in the economy. [Public and private allocations and spending must be responsive to women’s and girl’s conditions and priorities. We are concerned by evidence of under-investment in gender equality in key sectors, particularly the economic and productive sectors. We will all track allocations for gender equality and take actions to address areas of under-investment in order to close gender gaps.] [and their role as drivers and agents of development.]

6bis. We recognize that investing in children is critical to achieving inclusive, equitable and sustainable human development for present and future generations, and delivers benefits to society and the economy at large. We reaffirm that the general principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child provide the framework for all actions concerning children.

6bis. We emphasize the unparalleled development challenge posed by fragility and conflict, which not only impedes but can reverse decades of development gains and lock countries in a conflict and poverty trap. We recognize that if we are to meet our commitment to eliminate extreme poverty by 2030 and to achieve our broader post-2015 development agenda, we will need to enhance our efforts to address the specific financing needs of fragile and conflict affected states, including by prioritizing peacebuilding and state-building goals in the aftermath of conflict, developing and sharing best-practices in operationalizing sustainable development strategies in these situations. We affirm our commitment to approach these situations in a more coordinated and deliberate manner, consistent with the broad scope and urgency of this development challenge.

Paragraph 11 references social protection floors …