1963-2018 - 55 years of Research for Social Change

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Business World Online: Taxes, public services, and the Addis Ababa conference

8 Sep 2015

The Third Financing for Development (FFD) Conference at Addis Ababa ended last July with a chiaroscuro of relief, strain, and disappointment. Even as the summit’s organizers hailed the outcomes to onerous negotiations as “ground-breaking,” others lamented a quagmire of “lost opportunities” -- if not a “retrogression” from earlier development financing obligations.

Yet amidst such polarization, one rare point of convergence in the new Addis Ababa Action Agenda has been its commitment to financing a new “social compact” of minimum living standards for all the world’s people.

In the agenda’s most widely-lauded feature, all 193 United Nations (UN) member states pledged to deliver nationally-appropriate universal welfare systems, involving universal public services in health, education, energy, water and sanitation, and social protection floors for the poor and vulnerable.

© BusinessWorld Online, 2015

Author Jerik Cruz worked in UNRISD’s “Politics of Domestic Resource Mobilization” project in Geneva, Switzerland. He was previously a communications officer of Action for Economic Reforms.