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Non Governmental Diplomacy: Subjects

Development Financing

PFN in charge: InterAction

In 2007, official overseas development assistance remains very insufficient. Despite the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by all United Nations member states in 2000, the international community has so far not been able to mobilize the necessary resources to attain these goals, among which are in particular halving extreme poverty, providing universal primary education and halting the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Since such goals appear unattainable by the deadline established by the United Nations (2015), due to the OECD member states’ failure to respect their commitment to giving 0,7% of their GNP to official overseas aid, some states, under the impulse of NGOs and civil movements, have reflected upon the implementation of innovative mechanisms for development. These mechanisms should help increase the funds allocated to the realization of the MDGs. Moreover, the volatility of traditional overseas aid, subjected to budgetary hazards of the donating countries, has not been able to produce sufficiently previsible funds to back social expenditures or national development strategies for beneficiary countries on the mid term. Innovative mechanisms, particularly international taxes, precisely allow to raise not only additional, but also stable and previsible funds. Finally, for NGOs, these mechanisms also create a precedent in terms of international taxation and hence contribute to the emergence of new world-scale regulation and redistribution mechanisms.

A group of countries, formed today by Algeria, Germany, Brazil, Chile, Spain, France and South Africa, has been working since 2004 on proposals of innovative mechanisms of financing development, particularly mechanisms of international taxation. These states had first gained support on principle from the international community for launching such mechanisms, through the signature by over 100 states of the « New York Declaration on the Action against Hunger and Poverty », in September 2004.

In a new declaration, the « Declaration on Innovative Sources of Financing for Development », published in September 2005, 79 states manifested their support to the launching of a first pilot mechanism in the form of a « solidarity contribution » on airplane tickets.

Brazil, Chile, France, Norway and the United Kingdom have thus created, in 2006, following the Paris (in February) and Brasilia (in July) Conferences, an international drug purchase facility called UNITAID. Today, more than 30 countries have committed themselves to implementing a solidarity contribution on airplane tickets (France has established the tax on airplane tickets on July 1st, 2006), to finance the purchase of drugs against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. These states have hence proved that it was possible to regulate some environmental and social imbalances created by globalization.

Since 2004 and along this process, a large collation of civil society organizations, representing thousands of NGOs and civil movements across the world, has been formed to call all the states to join this dynamic, while reminding the necessary conditions for establishing authentic international taxes. That is: support to governmental initiatives in favour of international taxation; implementation of true taxation mechanisms and an international tax regime.

ABONG, ACCION, Coordination SUD, VANI, with other civil society organizations, have participated to numerous discussions and negotiations with states representatives. These discussions have permitted, for instance, that NGO representatives sit together with representatives of founding countries and of some beneficiary countries at the UNITAID Administration Council, which manages the funds collected through the tax on airplane tickets.