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Revisiting Financing for Development

5 November 2021 @ 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM EDT


In preparing to mark the 20th  anniversary of the first United Nations International Conference on Financing for Development held in Monterrey, Mexico in March 2002, a process that promised so much, it is only prudent to reflect on the history of the Financing for Development (FfD) processes, especially considering the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on efforts to curb the widening of the gap between the rich and poor, both within and among countries. During these trying times, the poor and the most vulnerable are left at the mercy of ineffective regional and global policies. We are also witnessing the erosion of personal freedoms, even within the so-called bastions of democracy. Individual and corporate greed seems to be dictating the direction of these financial policies.

In light of the pandemic and a looming global recession, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sounded the alarm: “We must act quickly and decisively to protect people and strengthen societies in the face of this shock, which comes on top of a global climate emergency, soaring inequality and growing discontent with the economic and social order in general.”

The premise of the FfD process has been to eradicate poverty, achieve sustained economic growth and promote sustainable development in an inclusive and equitable global economic system. There needs to be a systemic transformation of the global financial architecture and global division of labor towards achieving a just, green, equitable and gender-sensitive recovery in the current and post-COVID-19 scenario.

Financial regulations that turn a blind eye toward tax-havens are indicators of the extent to which the privatization of wealth has generated today’s culture of shortsightedness. Morality is not arbitrary. The well-being of our planet and its 7.5 billion human inhabitants require a readjustment of perspective that justly distributes wealth, recognizing that shared prosperity sustains life.

As civil society organizations, we have the moral obligation, the responsibility and needed insights, and opportunities to join in advocating to change this narrative. This moment calls for a greater vision of the world that ought to be, than the empty promises of our current global social compact.  This is the time to join forces to remove the malignant growth of addiction to individual/private gain/profit and promote communal gains and wellbeing by advocating for financial structures that support collaboration, transparency, and accountability.

We, as civil society, have the ability and insight to change the narrative. Let us start by reviewing our individual and collective roles and the prospects of the FfD process to invigorate our plan of action to bring about the change for which we have been clamoring.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, an official Substantive Committee of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations, please visit Likewise, for more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit