Will Ireland support a new global agreement on overseas aid?

06 february 2015

In July, UN member states will meet in Addis Ababa to find a global agreement on how to finance "sustainable development" over the next 15 years.

Since 2002, the Millennium Development Goals were underpinned by an agreement to provide "more and better aid", known as the Monterey consensus. Now that - in 2015 - the United Nations are working on a new set of priorities for the next 15 years, a new global agreement on Financing is necessary.  

Civil society groups from around the globe have been preparing for the Addis summit, and have pointed out that many of the promises made in Monterey in 2002 still have not been fulfilled. Most notably, despite repeated statements by rich countries of their “commitment” to the target, very few OECD member states have achieved the famous 0.7% ODA/GNI target. 

Ireland – which has set and missed three deadlines for the achievement of the target – spends 0.4% of national income on overseas aid; a good bit short of the 0.7% target. 

And Irish NGOs will argue that Ireland must urgently present a credible plan on how and when it intends to achieve its “solemn commitment” to reach the UN target, as current government policy only states that this will happen “when economic circumstances permit.” 

But it is not all bleak. Since Monterey, the amount of money being made available for global development has increased: ODA levels are up, and so are tax revenues of developing countries, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into developing countries and remittances by people originating in those countries. The challenge is now to ensure that all those moneys are used to achieve the “fully inclusive and equitable global economy” that Monterey set as the overall aim of international development cooperation.

For NGOs, this means that we will be looking for the Addis summit to result in:

More domestic resources for sustainable development through progressive taxation and effective international tax cooperation;

A reinforcement of the unique and specific role of public finance (including ODA);

Greater regulation and monitoring of the contribution of private sources of finance to sustainable development, and the explicit inclusion of established “Development Effectiveness” principles in discussions about support for the private sector;

A permanent and lasting solution to sovereign debt crises;

A regulatory framework to ensure that trade and investment is oriented to contributing to states' human rights obligations and international social, environmental and climate change commitments.

Dóchas is currently drawing up its priorities and policy papers for the July summit, and would welcome any input from civil society organisations in Ireland and further afield. 

So do get in touch!



Also read:

“EU is watching and waiting, instead of leading” say European NGOs (Concord, February 2015)

Nine Priority Commitments to be made at the UN's July 2015 Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Financing for Development: The agenda for Addis Ababa (October 2014)

The Road to Addis Ababa (Eurodad: September 2014)

An urgent need for clarity (FES: August 2014)

Dóchas submission to the Irish Government about Overseas Aid (September 2014)