Addis Ababa 2015: Has The Time Come?


As the preparations for the 3rd Conference on Financing for Development (FfD) in Addis Ababa progress, the nations of the South are on edge, holding their breath and wondering what financial policy framework will emerge for adoption in pursuance of  the Post 2015 Development agenda. It is not sufficient to have an ambitious agenda; there must be a corresponding robust financial framework to support it, otherwise Post 2015 becomes one of those UN empty rhetorics. The agenda presents a wonderful vision of paradigm shift for people and the earth[1] but what is still needed is the political will to carry out the agenda. The outcome of the FfD conference is indeed crucial not only for the developing nations’ quest to break yokes of poverty, but also for the peace and security of the developed nations.


The present migration crisis is the tip of an iceberg in view of what is likely to happen in the event of failure to adequately address the poverty issues behind the crisis. While the EU is tightening her immigration laws to stop migration to Europe, more people are risking their lives crossing the Mediterranean. It is yet to break into the consciousness of the policy makers that it is not that the migrants do not value their lives; it is the instinct for survival that propels them to embark on the ominous voyage across the sea. The alternative is less honourable and not in consonance with the human spirit: dying silently without a struggle. The task before the negotiators of FfD is a clarion call to address the real factors responsible for the migration crisis and enthrone structures for inclusive and sustainable development. UN Secretary General Ban KI-Moon put it succinctly when he declared that, “the post -2015 development offers a unique opportunity for global leaders and people to end poverty, transform the world to better meet human needs while protecting our environment’’[2].


The just released European Report on Development 2015 (ERD) underlines the simultaneous and radical combination of finance and policy as an indispensable element for effective realization of the post 2015 transformative agenda. The countries that have achieved significant success in the MDGs are those that relied more on their local public and private resources. This contrasts sharply with the projection at the 2002 Monterrey Consensus where the focus was on Official Development Assistance (ODA) for the financing of development. The implications of the ERD’s report for the Post 2015 development agenda and the FfD coming up in July in Ethiopia are manifold. The research decries the paternalistic model of development and reiterates that the nations of the South have the capacity if unhindered. Indeed, it is not an overall shortage of funds that will be the constraining factor in achieving a transformative development agenda.Rather, it is the way finance is mobilized and used that will determine success in achieving the goals that the agenda enshrines[3].


Unfortunately, the ERD report seems to run counter-current with the major economic policies of the global institutions like the IMF, WTO, WB and the G8. So, will it be business as usual at the July FfD Conference in Addis Ababa? Since inclusive development and an end to poverty are the overriding goals of the Post 2015 development agenda, we are made to think that a new line of action is required. Paraphrasing Albert Einstein, it is absurd to expect new results when the old policies are recycled in new codifications. The South waits with a mixture of hope and apprehension! Will it be new opportunities or the same old story? The timer ticks!


[1] European Report on Development 2015:  Combining Finance and Policies to implement a transformative Agenda (Executive Summary).

[2] Ibid

[3] Ibid

Go back