microeconomics

World Bank + IMF Annual Meetings

The 2021 Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund will take place from Monday, October 11, through Sunday, October 17. All public and by-invitation-only events—including the Program of Seminars and other public events, ministerial meetings, CSO engagements, and press conferences—will be virtual and accessible on World Bank digital platforms. To accommodate time-differences, events may take place outside of the principal week.

At the heart of the Annual Meetings are the Annual Meetings plenary speeches, the joint World Bank Group/IMF Development Committee, and the IMF International Monetary and Financial Committee. Other featured events include regional briefings, press conferences, and fora focused on the global economy, international development, and the world’s financial markets.

Registration will open in mid-August. Information about the schedule of the 2021 Annual Meetings will be posted soon – check back regularly for updates here: worldbank.org/en/meetings/splash/annual

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org.

Digital and Financial Inclusion: Pathways to promote an inclusive Post-COVID-19 socio-economic recovery

Virtual side event during the 2021 ECOSOC FfD Forum on Financing for Development

Date & time: April 12 from 1:15 pm – 2:45 pm EST

Register in advance for this meeting (by 5:00pm EST on April 11): https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwpcOGopj4tE9OFujGTOC3FTT_-z2aMJ0Sr

World Bank data (September 2020) indicates that 212 countries have planned, introduced, or put in place 1179 safety net payments and other social protection measures for the most vulnerable populations. But reports also show that digital exclusion and lack of access to a bank account, in the form of a transactional or savings account or a digital wallet, continues to pose immense challenges for those in marginalized communities, especially women youth, refugees, and migrant workers in the informal sector, to recoup benefits from government relief measures such as cash transfers and subsidies, the very measures intended to help tide them over, in a quick and timely manner. Women continue to face widespread barriers to financial inclusion. Globally, of the 1.7 billion people that remain unbanked, meaning they do not hold an account at a bank or a mobile bank provider, approximately 1 billion are women and in developing countries. The 9% gender gap that existed over the last decade continues to persist.

While businesses are increasingly offering consumers the option to transact through online and mobile platforms, two major barriers prevent consumers from adopting these digital options: lack of internet connectivity (digital exclusion) and or lack of a bank account to receive or make payments (financial exclusion). In addition, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) face considerable challenges in accessing digital financial services and credit, inclusive insurance schemes and online payment systems and retail platforms that will be keys for their survival in the post-COVID era.

Digital financial inclusion is ever more critical for marginalized communities, especially women, youth, refugees and informal migrant workers, to recover from the crisis and to ensure the survival and sustainability of MSMEs. Long-term risks and barriers of entry, including lack of access to Smartphone services due to marginalized populations’ inabilities to engage in contracts, complex lending practices, especially among women, poor digital literacy and financial literacy and numeracy skills, and lack of valid identification for refugees forced to leave all personal possessions behind, to name but a few, are significant obstacles that could cause more harm than good if not effectively managed. The Global community must act now to bridge the gaps and barriers restricting the world’s most vulnerable populations from meeting their financial needs.

Implementing appropriate regulatory measures in a timely manner is essential for consumer protection and to ensure the funds reach those whom it is intended for. In the July 1, 2020 Special Series Notes on COVID-19 of the International Monetary Fund, experts noted that while the need for social distancing has put a spotlight on digital financial services, scaling up too fast in times of crisis without appropriate regulatory mechanisms could pose a risk to stability and integrity.

The panel will explore the interlinkages between financial and digital inclusion, innovative advancement in fintech and digital infrastructure to advance last-mile connectivity and address the challenges to financial inclusion faced by marginalized communities and MSMEs, as well as propose measures to address regulatory challenges, and disparities in broadband connectivity.

Panelists:

  • Member State representative (TBC)
  • Ms. Lois, Bruu, Vice President, Humanitarian and Development, Master Card Speaking on innovative initiatives to advance digital financial inclusion for marginalized communities, especially women, and MSMEs and recommendations to address financial, economic, structural, and regulatory barriers to advancing financial inclusion for all
  • Ms. Purva Khera, Economist, International Monetary Fund Interlinkages between digital and financial inclusion, financing challenges and advancement in fintech to address the challenges faced by MSMEs and marginalized communities, including women
  • Mr. Jon Frost, Senior Economist, Innovation and the Digital Economy unit, MED, Bank for International Settlements Risks and emerging concerns around digital finance that could work contrary to goals to help marginalized communities
  • Representative from civil society speaking on an innovative initiative/s to ensure reliable broadband connectivity for advancing digital financial services, including last-mile connectivity (TBC)
  • Ms. Lydia Charles, Founder and Executive Director, Her Initiative, Tanzania Challenges to financial and digital inclusion at the grassroots level, especially for women, and steps to take to address these challenges.

Moderator: Anita Thomas, Representative to the UN, Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund (DBA Women First International Fund); Chair, NGO Committee on Financing for Development

Co-sponsors:

Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund, Sisters of Charity Federation, Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Loreto Generalate, Global Foundation for Democracy and Development, New Humanity for the Focolare Movement, Salesian Missions Inc, Change Management Solutions, Startnoo

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org

ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development

The 2021 session of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Forum on Financing for Development Follow-up, also known as the FfD Forum, is scheduled to convene from 12-15 April 2021.

The 2020 Forum was originally planned to take place from 20-23 April, in New York, US. Due to the COVID-19 situation, an informal event took place virtually on 23 April 2020.

The FfD Forum is an intergovernmental process with universal participation mandated to review the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (Addis Agenda) and other financing for development outcomes and the means of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The FfD Forum is an intergovernmental process with universal participation mandated to review the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (Addis Agenda) and other financing for development outcomes and the means of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 2021 session of the Forum is expected to include a special segment on “concrete steps towards a sustainable, inclusive and resilient recovery from the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” in relation to SDG and AAAA achievement efforts. The session may also seek to integrate the menu of policy options developed through an initiative of the Governments of Canada and Jamaica and the UN Secretary-General on financing the 2030 Agenda in the era of COVID-19 and beyond.

FFSD Office, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA): un.org/ecosoc/en/events/2021/forum-financing-development-follow

As information becomes available, it will be posted to the website.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. Fore more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development, please visit ngosocdev.org.

[Monthly Meeting] NGO Committee on Financing for Development

Dear Colleagues,

We hope all of you are doing well.  This is a reminder for the next NGO Committee on Financing for Development meeting that will take place by Zoom on March 3 from 1:00- 3:00 pm EST.

Registration for access to the Zoom link available here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0td-GspjsrHtfM9kwJmPggiJiHQMwHdCKc

Agenda includes:

  • Philipp Erfurth, Economic Affairs Officer, UN Financing for Sustainable Development Office will be providing a briefing on FfD matters
  • Briefing on the International Rescue Committee report “COVID-19 and Refugees’ Economic Opportunities, Financial Services and Digital Inclusion”
  • Anneleen Vos | Senior Policy Officer – Economic Programmes, International Rescue Committee and Prof Dr Hans-Martin Zademach , Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt in Germany

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Migration, please visit ngo-migration.org.

Launch of FACTI Panel Final Report

The FACTI Panel is the High Level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity for Achieving the 2030 Agenda. It aims to improve the world’s chances of achieving sustainable development by making recommendations that both strengthen current efforts to combat illicit financial flows, and close remaining gaps in the international system.

The FACTI Panel is set to launch its final report at 8:00-10:30 (EST) on Thursday, 25 February 2021. The event will be conducted virtually with simultaneous interpretation for all UN official languages.

All interested participants can register by clicking the registration link below and filling out the form. After registering the FACTI Panel Secretariat will directly send you connection details to attend the launch.

Register here.

Read the FACTI Panel interim report here.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-New York, please visit ngocsd-ny.org.

Africa Rise! Healthier and Stronger

Welcome to Africa Rise! Healthier and Stronger a virtual experience for a global audience, from across the Pan African Diaspora. As we celebrate our culture with music, dance, and other performances, you will be asked to donate money to make the needs for the Africa Health crisis to help serve the rural areas for the underserved communities with ongoing needs.

Africa Rise! Healthier and Stronger is brought to you by Earth Rights Institute, Inc., Give Them A Hand Foundation, Black Star News, the International Association of Applied Psychology, and The United African Congress which has been working together to improve the lives of Africans and Africans in the diaspora.

Explore channels to watch live, view the list of performers, and register here: africarise2020.com/index.html

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee for Rare Diseases, please visit ngocommitteerarediseases.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Mental Health, please visit ngomentalhealth.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit ngosocdev.org.

UNCTAD XV: Achieving prosperity for all after COVID-19

Co-organised by the Third World Network; the Civil Society Financing for Development (FfD) Group;
Our World Is Not for Sale; and the Third World Network – Africa

Join the Director of UNCTAD’s Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, Richard Kozul-Wright, to discuss the recent flagship Trade and Development Report 2020: From global pandemic to prosperity for all: avoiding another lost decade.

Thursday, January 21st, 23:00 Manila / 20:30 New Delhi / 18:00 Nairobi / 16:00 Geneva / 16:00 Lagos / noon Sao Paulo / 11:00 Bridgetown / 10am Washington, DC

Register here!

Covid-19 has served as a reminder that we live in a closely interdependent world that brings opportunities but also carries dangers. It has, just as importantly, shed light on a whole series of pre-existing conditions – from heightened inequality, to unsustainable debt and rampant environmental destruction – that were left unaddressed after the Global Financial Crisis.

The most recent Trade and Development Report argues that the global economic crisis caused by Covid-19 throws up a stark choice: continue misguided policy choices or collectively chart a new path that leads from recovery to a more resilient, more equal and more environmentally sustainable world in line with the ambition of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Neither path is preordained. Building a better world is a matter of conviction and collective action. The lives of future generations and of the planet itself will depend on the choices we all take over the coming months.

Kozul-Wright will share with civil society leaders from around the world some of the policy prescriptions recommended in the TDR, including:

· Increased government spending including a big public investment push into cleaner energy, environmental protection, sustainable transport systems and the care economy, including through industrial policies;

· Coordinated macroeconomic expansion focused on job creation and higher wages;

· Labour market regulation that supports employees’ compensation;

· Expanded use of Special Drawing Rights to boost global liquidity;

· Financial support for boosting the health emergency response to COVID-19 in developing countries through a Marshall Plan for Health Recovery;

· A Global Debt Authority to stop a repeat liquidity crises from turning into serial sovereign defaults;

This webinar is being held in the context of the XV Conference of UNCTAD which is scheduled for October 3-8, 2021 in Bridgetown, Barbados, which will set the mandate of UNCTAD for the next four years on the interrelated issues of trade, development, finance, technology, industrial policy, debt, investment, e-commerce, and more.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN.

What the World Wants: A Briefing on the UN75 Global Consultation

On Friday 15 January, from 1630 to 1745 GMT / 1130 to 1245 EST, the UN’s 75th anniversary team will partner with UN entities based in the UK to hold a policy briefing on the findings of the global consultation conducted to mark the Organisation’s milestone at this turbulent time for the world.

The event will be hosted by the United Nations Association – UK, a charity devoted to providing information and analysis of the UN.

Join the Zoom webinar here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83991850723

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, humanity was grappling with the paradox of diminishing global cooperation against a backdrop of ever more challenges requiring global cooperation: from the climate crisis to deepening inequalities. The pandemic has added to this suffering and exposed long-standing fragilities in our societies and economies.

In this context, the UN75 initiative was an opportunity to for the Organisation to listen to the people it serves. Over 1.5 million people took part, sharing their hopes, fears, priorities and solutions for the future.

This event will see Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser on UN75, Fabrizio Hochschild, present the results.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Human Rights, please email the co-chairs at bobbinassar@gmail.com or bknotts@uua.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org