To what extent did the third edition of the Finance in Common Summit advance human rights-based and sustainable solutions for a just recovery?
ESCR-Net continued its advocacy of collective demands at the third edition of the Finance in Common Summit in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, on 18th-20th October 2022, hosted by the European Investment Bank and the Africa Development Bank and attended by over 500 Public Development Banks (PDBs). This year's theme was “Green and just transition for a sustainable recovery”. The Summit happened at a time when the world is facing deep economic, social, political, and environmental crises including soaring sovereign debts and worsening climate.
ESCR-Net was privileged to present the collective statement of civil society organizations (CSO) in one of the high-level events. Our members Accountability Counsel, International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), and Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (GI-ESCR) helped to draft the statement and coordinate advocacy interventions in Abidjan, galvanizing CSO and communities’ demands on the PDBs to invest in human rights and sustainable solutions for a just recovery. A promising outcome of this advocacy is the initial commitment by some banks to integrate a human rights-based approach in their plans and programs.
During the Summit, PDBs, in their own words, committed to supporting the transformation of economies and financial systems towards sustainability and addressing the most pressing needs of developing countries and vulnerable groups. However, that is still far from reality. Unfortunately, we continue to see many PDBs safeguarding the interest of the powerful, limiting the level of participation of impacted communities, and concealing crucial information about their plans and funding decisions that would otherwise help to turn good intentions and commitments into concrete actions.
In their joint statement, CSOs emphasized that a just transition must center the demands and human rights of Indigenous Peoples and impoverished, marginalized, and resisting communities in every region. They underscored the importance of making the summit inclusive and participatory by allowing affected communities to address the subsequent summits and share their experiences and struggles in confronting mega projects, financed by multilateral development banks and lacking human rights safeguards.
ESCR-Net and allies called on the banks to use the third edition of the Summit as an opportunity to reimagine the mandate of development finance and make informed decisions that reorient their role and ensure they prioritize: advancing the rights of Indigenous Peoples to self-determination; committing to climate justice, centering substantive equality to address long histories of patriarchy, colonialism, and racism, including reparations in the form of debt cancelation, grants and concessionary loans to address loss and damage, as well as mitigation and adaptation; prioritizing food sovereignty and facilitating the public provision of human rights, including to health, education, water, and sanitation.
Read our full statement HERE