The Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations
16 July 2015
Irish NGOs say the Addis Ababa summit asked the right questions but did not provide the answers
Summit on how to finance global development achieves consensus without much commitment to action
Dóchas, the umbrella group of Irish Non-Governmental Development Organisations, welcomes this historic agreement saying the Addis Ababa Action Agenda paves the way towards a process that will seek to eradicate extreme poverty by the year 2030. However, Dóchas Director Hans Zomer cautions that though a deal was made, it falls far short of the deal that civil society organisations had hoped for:
‘Though we welcome this show of solidarity and international co-operation on such a crucial issue, we feel that an opportunity has been missed here in Addis. We went to Addis Ababa with three major asks: that a global tax body would be established to tackle tax injustice; that binding agreements would be made by countries to meet their commitments to spend 0.7% of GNP on overseas aid; and that a means of monitoring private sector compliance would also be enacted. None of these three things occurred.’
The Financing for Development Conference gathered high-level political representatives, including Heads of State and Government, and Ministers of Finance, Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation, as well as all relevant institutional stakeholders, non-governmental organisations and business sector entities to see if a means of funding this new global agenda could be achieved. This was a real opportunity for cross sector engagement at a crucial time in the history of international development.
‘Instead, we are left still wondering how this process will be funded. The success of international development – humanitarian aid, investment in education, food and nutrition security, health and environmental protection - should not be dependent on the goodwill of a few powerful people in government to decide simply whether or not to do the right thing. We needed something binding, something concrete which made governments and politicians accountable for their decisions. Instead we achieved a consensus without much commitment to action,’ says Zomer.
‘In Doha in 2008 we saw an unprecedented increase in overseas aid which made a major impact to lives around the world. No such commitment has been made in Addis Ababa,’ says Zomer.
Ireland has been at the forefront of a very important international negotiation process at UN level in order to achieve a new framework for the world. This process is due to establish a set of 17 global goals which will determine how we tackle poverty and climate chaos over the next 15 years.
‘This is an historic global agenda and Ireland’s role has been crucial. However, if funding is not put in place for this to be enacted, it will all have been in vain. Once again we call on the Irish government to support this global process and recommit to aid. It is crucial that the Irish Government honours the commitment they signed up to – to spend 0.7% of GNP on overseas aid. We will continue to represent the huge majority of Irish people who believe that the government should choose to do the right thing and invest in the future of humanity and the protection of the planet,’ says Hans Zomer, Director of Dóchas.
Hans Zomer, Director of Dóchas, the umbrella group of Irish Non-Governmental Development Organisations is available for interview.
Media Contact To arrange interviews or for more information contact: Naomi Linehan, Media Officer for Dóchas and the European Year for Development: 01 405 3801/ 086 1077079
Notes to the Editor
· For more information on the Addis Ababa summit agreement: http://www.un.org/esa/ffd/ffd3/press-release/countries-reach-historic-agreement.html
· Read the outcome document of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda: http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/CONF.227/L.1
· The Financing for Development website: http://www.un.org/esa/ffd/ffd3/
· Irish Development NGOs were represented in Addis Ababa by Hans Zomer, Director of Dóchas, Sorley McCaughey of Christian Aid Ireland and Lorna Gold of Trócaire
· Ireland was also represented at the summit by Seán Sherlock, TD Minister of State at Department of Foreign Affairs with Special Responsibility for ODA, Trade Promotion and North South co-operation
· Dóchas is the Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations. It provides a forum for consultation and cooperation between its members, and a platform for them to speak with a single voice on development issues. For more information, visit: www.dochas.ie
· Dóchas membership is comprised of 61 overseas development and global justice organisations. A list of Dóchas members can be found at http://www.dochas.ie/membership/our-members/
· In 2000 Ireland committed itself to reaching the 0.7% ODA/GNI target by 2007. However that deadline was later deferred to 2012 and then to 2015. Last year, the Government indicated that also this third deadline would not be achieved, despite the target and the deadline being outlined in the Programme for Government.
· The Dóchas Budget submission can be found at: http://www.dochas.ie/shared/Files/4/Dochas_2015_Budget_Submission.pdf
· The Ipsos MRBI opinion poll key findings are available http://www.dochas.ie/Shared/Files/4/Ipsos_MRBI_2014_Overseas_Aid_Opinion_Poll_Key_Findings.pdf