Key global development summit to open in Ethiopia

2015-07-13 07:51

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Addis Ababa - World leaders are meeting in Ethiopia's capital from Monday for a development financing summit presented as crucial for the United Nations efforts to end global poverty and manage climate change by 2030.

The objective of the five days of talks, the third summit of its kind after talks in Monterrey in 2002 and Doha in 2008, is ambitious: laying out the ground rules for a fairer world of inclusive, low-carbon growth.

Concretely, that means deciding how to fill a colossal annual investment gap in key sustainable development sectors for developing nations - estimated at up to $2.5 trillion annually according to the UN's trade and development body UNCTAD.

This in turn will enable the world body to push ahead with its 2015-2030 Sustainable Development Goals, which are due to be formally adopted in New York in October. There are 17 in all, ranging from ending poverty to providing universal access to sustainable energy.

The choice of Ethiopia as summit host highlights the importance of the issue for Africa, a continent which counts 33 out of the world's 49 least developed countries.

Despite concerns over its record on democracy and human rights, the country - gripped by an appalling famine 30 years ago but now one of the world's fastest growing economies - is seen as something as a model for development, having brought millions out of poverty and having invested heavily in infrastructure and key public services.

Tax evasion

But preparatory talks in New York have so far failed to yield an agreement on a common summit outcome, with rich nations - many of which are embroiled in their own financing woes and reluctant to up their aid budgets - pushing for greater private sector involvement and for emerging economies like China, Brazil and India to share the burden.

"Many donors are questioning who should receive development aid. They tell middle income countries 'you're wealthy, you can raise your own money, let's focus on poor countries'," explained Gail Hurley, a policy specialist with the United Nations Development Programme.

With much left to resolve during the summit, Oxfam policy advisor Claire Godfrey said success was far from guaranteed.

"What we don't want to see is platitudes and promises," she said.

"Any agreement that favours rich governments and commercial interests isn't worth the paper it is printed on. The talks so far have seen governments 'sitting on their hands' and waiting for others to make the first move."

The summit should nevertheless reaffirm the objective for rich nations to allocate 0.7 percent of their wealth to development aid for the poorest countries, something that has been rarely respected.

One of the main sticking points is the creation of an international tax organisation within the United Nations to fight against tax evasion by multinationals.

International tax rules that allow large companies to avoid tax end up costing developing countries $100 billion every year, according to Oxfam.

Rich countries, however, want decisions about international taxation frameworks to remain in the hands of the OECD and G20, where they control the agenda.

"To take decision-making on taxation away from the OECD is not only a question of principle," said Lucie Watrinet of CCFD-Terre Solidaire, a French development NGO.

"The measures proposed by the OECD regarding tax evasion hardly ever take into account the concerns of developing countries, and even put them at a disadvantage."

Read more on:    un  |  oxfam  |  ethiopia  |  poverty  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.