NGOs gather in Addis to scrutinise plans on global finance

12 july 2015

This weekend, on 11 and 12 July, civil society organisations from around the world gathered in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa - often also called the political capital of Africa - to take an in-depth look at what UN member countries are saying about the important issue of development finance.

And it is fair to say that participants at the event felt that mood music at the summit is not great.

The outcome document that world leaders are meant to agree at the Addis summit has gone through a number of drafts, and many NGOs feel that some of the crucial paragraphs have weakened in the more recent drafts.

Most NGOs agree that the issues on the table at the Addis summit are really important and deserve an ambitious approach by UN member states. And at first glance, the 31-page draft outcome document says a great number of positive things.

However, closer reading of the document shows that many key phrases uses words like "should" instead of "must" and that in many cases countries are merely "encouraged" to take certain actions or that any actions listed don't have a target date or a reporting mechanism.

And that means that the text looks like it was intended to smooth over important differences of opinion among countries about the role of public and private funding in bringing about a better world.


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