2022 marks twenty years since the first International Conference on FfD was held in Monterrey, Mexico in March 2002. It was the first United Nations summit-level meeting and a landmark international consensus to address key financial and related issues pertaining to global development, which took place just as the world was reeling from economic recession. Such an international conference on FfD has never been more urgent, given the financing needs in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate emergency. Future summits including the UN Social Summit in 2025 will only succeed if urgent reforms of the global financial system are advanced.
A new FfD conference should ensure democratization of global economic governance, recognizing the right of every country to be at the decision-making table, not only those with concentrated power or resources. Such multilateral reforms include the need for a UN multilateral legal framework to address unsustainable and illegitimate debt including through extensive debt cancellation, establishing a universal, intergovernmental UN tax body, negotiating a UN tax convention and a global technology assessment mechanism at the UN. Delivering on climate justice and sustainable development requires bold reforms to realign the financial system with the imperatives of human rights, gender justice, people and planet centeredness.
The UN should be central to the development of global policy guidelines and safeguards to build coherence and advance the goals in all the FfD outcome documents and action areas, ensuring there is no retrogression on past commitments. It is time for UN member states to convene the 4th FfD conference to agree a new global consensus on an economic system that works for people and the planet!
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