For many of us, the term “global finance” conjures up issues both unfamiliar and complex. We feel that discussions on such areas as trade agreements, taxes, sovereign debt workout mechanisms, public/private partnerships, and innovative sources of funding, all part of current Financing for Sustainable Development planning, should be left to the experts. The members of the NGO Committee on Financing for Development believe that civil society, i.e., all of us, are also finance experts because we understand firsthand how unwise financial policies can disastrously affect people and the planet, and how good choices can keep our planet and people healthy. In preparation for the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa next July, the Committee has prepared a one-page statement calling for moral and political courage to change economic and social systems:
“The many crises our world and peoples face are clear evidence that international budget decision-making and financial systems favor the few to the detriment of the masses, and favor unjust private profits over the health of the planet. Despite significant efforts by the global community to implement the Millennium Development Goals, vast numbers of people still live in poverty, ever-smaller numbers accumulate outrageous wealth, and indiscriminate growth and consumption destroy the earth.
Financing sustainable development requires political courage. The world has the money and expertise to solve problems, but we have to allocate them better. The problem is not having enough money; it is having enough political courage. Sustainable development is an economic and ethical issue. Pouring funds into weapons instead of medicines and schools is an ill-advised choice that must be challenged. There is no justifiable reason that annual global spending on war and violence should be 600 times greater than spending on peace and social progress, as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon calculates.”
Read and share: www.ngosonffd.org/documents/ (choose your language)