PARIS, Jun 23 (IPS) – As the Global New Deal Finance Summit unfolds in Paris on June 22-23, For usa global network representing over 22,000 civil society organizations across Africa, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Pacific, calls for respect for human rights and the meaningful inclusion of civil society in the development of financial systems and structures.
The summit, co-hosted by India, could help find common ground on finance that drives progress at key events later in 2023 and 2024 – the G20 summit in New Delhi, talks on the COP28 climate in Dubai and the joint finance summit with public development banks in Cartagena.
As part of the summit, Sarah Strack, Director of Forus, amplifies the voices of civil society at the Finance in Common high-level event attended by French President Emmanuel Macron and other leaders, to discuss and build on the role of public development banks in financing the SDGs, developing sustainable finance and supporting inclusion. Forus has been engaged in the Finance in Common initiative since its inception in 2020 with the aim of ensuring the pursuit of a people-based approach to development.
“If we are to have a chance of addressing the most pressing challenges and multiple crises of our time in a way that truly puts people’s interests and needs first, then a change of mindset and a new financial framework are absolutely necessary. It is essential that civil society plays a central role in shaping this new paradigm at every stage. Let us not forget the wealth of knowledge and leadership present at the local level. and by actively engaging with communities, we can truly measure our progress and honor the commitments we have made to those who need it most,” says Sarah Strack.
Harsh Jaitli, CEO of Voluntary Action Network India (VANI), represents Forus as an official respondent at the summit roundtable “Power Our Planet: Take Action Today.” Save Tomorrow,” co-hosted by Global Citizen and CISCO. The event aims to mobilize for immediate action on economic, social and climate justice, engaging the public and private sectors to catalyze renewable energy investments in climate-vulnerable countries to reduce energy poverty and accelerate the transition to low carbon emissions.
VANI’s Harsh Jaitli says the new global financial compact will require improved partnerships and building trust.
“The double standard has negatively impacted our collective ability to implement effective development and climate-related programs. In some countries, multinationals respect human rights, tax and climate regulations, but in other countries, decisions are made to violate them. Not only does this send the wrong message that some countries and populations are more important than others, but it also undermines our collective efforts to change things. Multinational companies must commit to respecting human rights, tax and climate regulations in all countries and consistently. When there are no strong regulations, it is an opportunity for multinationals to be proactive and apply strong rules, consistent with their policies,” says Harsh Jaitli.
Julien Comlan Agbessi, Coordinator of the Regional Coalition for West Africa (REPAOC) insists on the importance of multi-actor cooperation. Agbessi explains that cooperation between the private sector and civil society organizations is possible, since the private sector could rely heavily on the experience and reach of civil society. “Many heavily funded poverty reduction programs and projects implemented over the past decades have failed communities. Transformative investments in low-income and climate-affected countries require putting the needs of people first,” says Julien Comlan Agbessi.
Lina Paola Lara Negrette, coordinator of the Confederación Colombiana de ONG (Ccong), says the new global financial pact must incorporate stronger and more meaningful engagement with civil society.
“Civil society has an important role to play in ensuring accountability and transparency of government actors and the private sector. Civil society can work closely with governments and the private sector to ensure that social and environmental needs are met in all investments, which includes respect for human rights”.
Olivier Bruyeron, president of the French platform of CSO Coordination SUD, also underlines the importance of partnerships with the public and private sector, “CSOs have valuable knowledge and expertise on international solidarity necessary to build global solutions that are sustainable and link them to local development” adds Olivier Bruyeron.
Marianne Buenaventura is project coordinator at Forus.
IPS United Nations Office
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