First global development finance summit disregards human rights: let’s make our voices heard

First global development finance summit disregards human rights: let’s make our voices heard

Please read the letter sent by 200+ organisations calling for the inclusion of human rights in the Finance in Common summit agenda here (English, Spanish, French and Arabic) to learn more about our demands.

Here’s a briefing with further information on Finance in Common summit:

The Finance in Common summit is ‘the first global meeting of all Public Development Banks’ (PDBs) and intends to reconcile short-term responses to the COVID-19 crisis with long-term sustainable recovery measures. The event also intends to build a coalition working on ‘global responses to global challenges’.

Organisers: Agence française de développement / French development Agency (AFD) with support from other organisations including PDBs and UN agencies (see full list here)

Dates: 9th-12th November 2020               

Location: Paris (mix of online and offline events)

9th – 10th November – Research conference

11th November – Pre-summit series of webinars/workshops/meetings (topics TBC)

12th November – Plenary session with heads of State and series of ‘high level events’. A joint declaration released.

Our concerns

Despite evidence that public development banks support activities which exacerbate poverty, inequality and human rights abuses such as reprisals against human rights defenders, human rights are not included on the agenda of this event. Similarly, the draft declaration does not yet include reference to human rights.

Public Development Banks have contributed billions of dollars to the pandemic response and recovery. Several grassroots organisations and NGOs have called on PDBs to ensure their covid-related investments/projects uphold human rights, yet the agenda and draft declaration do not reference the importance of integrating human rights considerations into pandemic recovery plans.

Despite commitment to public participation having long been recognised as essential to ensuring effective development, there is no mention of the inclusion of human rights defenders, grassroots organisations and community groups impacted by public development bank projects in the organising of the event, in the agenda or participating in the summit.

Human rights-based and community-led development can lead to important improvements in the implementation of PDB supported projects and yet discussion of these important principles are not included in the agenda.

Key asks

  1. Human rights and grassroots organizations, human rights defenders, and communities be involved in organizing, contributing to the agenda, and participating in the summit. 
  2. Reflection and discussion on the importance of respecting international human rights standards and addressing human rights abuses in investments/projects be included in the agenda and highlighted in conference outputs (papers, statements etc.)  
  3. The principles of human rights-based and community-led development be included in the agenda and highlighted in the conference outputs (papers, statements etc.)

Further information

Finance in common website: https://financeincommon.org/

Letter from 200+ organizations calling for the inclusion of human rights in the Finance in Common summit agenda: English, Spanish, French and Arabic

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