We, participating organizations, networks and movement of the CSO FfD Group, welcomed this inaugural UN FfD Follow-up Forum and anticipated it as an opportunity for the initiation of a strengthened follow-up process of the FfD Conferences in Monterrey, Doha and Addis Ababa.
The FfD process is supposed to play a pivotal role in advancing socio-economic transformation of developing countries, democratizing global economic governance, and advancing systemic reforms of global economic frameworks in order to realign them with the imperatives of human rights and sustainable development. The FfD process is supposed to unlock the means of implementation to realize the aspirations expressed in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
However, this inaugural Follow-up Forum did not live up to our expectations, and did not meet its potential usefulness. It is a missed opportunity to move the implementation of FfD agreements forward. Insufficient time was given to envisioning and organizing the follow-up process, including and with special emphasis on the necessary articulation of a medium term plan of work for the coming years.
The outcome document labelled “intergovernmentally agreed conclusions and recommendations” is deeply unsatisfying – it does not go into the substance of very urgent issues and does not draw from the richness of Forum discussions. It fails to articulate clear mechanisms and steps for ensuring that concrete and decisive actions are taken towards realizing agreed aspirations. While we note with appreciation, the first Inter Agency Task Force report, we ask that in future reports the IATF consult a variety of sources of information and implement mechanisms for civil society engagement.
Our intent here is not simply to criticize but to challenge Member States to exact more from this Follow-up process, to be more deeply involved, to act with greater urgency that is comparable to the gravity of the multiple crises our people face every day.
We hope that future steps of the FfD Follow-up process will be better articulated around “monitoring”, “normative political decisions” and good organisation. We hope that the political stalemate witnessed in the informal negotiations will not seal the fate of FfD’s future work, and that conflict points will be overcome.