UN-NGO Committee on Financing for Development: The Road to Doha 2008


Sunera Taikaram
Matt Simonds
Hanako Shiratori
Erin Hopkins
MaryAnne Hoekstra
Hitomi Akiyama

NGO Committee on Financing for Development

A New School/GPIA team worked during the fall 2007 semester on the “chapters” on trade, debt and on some of the aid and systemic issues. The New School Practicum in International Affairs is invited to form a second student team to help the NGO community prepare a “shadow report” that includes the following components:

I. Analyze and summarize a selection of issues from that were not addressed by the first GPIA team from the following points of view:

A. How were the promised commitments in this chapter of the Monterrey Consensus implemented?
a.) What has already been achieved? b.) Which Monterrey achievements most need international political protection and support to further implementation or prevent rollback? c.) Which Monterrey-based initiatives whose implementation has lagged are most worth pushing for in 2008? d.) Which initiatives, if any, merit less attention now?

B. What is the current climate around this topic?
a) The view of governments (North and South)? b.) What is the World Bank and IMF’s view on this topic (include WTO if trade-related)?
c.) What are the views of NGO partners in the South and North and people on the ground? [Inequality is part of this question and might be the outcome and problem area raised]
d.) What are the views of academic specialists? e.) What are the views of the private sector, as communicated in UN High-Level reviews of FfD held in previous years? f.) What do the views from these various sources have in common and where do they diverge?

C. What should the Doha 2008 conference realistically aim to achieve in this area?
a.) Priorities for advocacy in light of A and B above (including what Monterrey initiatives that have lagged in implementation are most realizable with a political push?)
b.) Which commitments can we segment into a series of smaller steps to facilitate incremental progress? c.) What measurements would we propose to monitor progress towards achieving the goals of the Consensus? d.) Which new issues of concern are coming up and most deserve active lobby work toward specific solutions? e.) What role could the UN play to resolve this problem area and promote financing for development topics? (Going beyond G8, systemic issues, global governance).

II. Recommend a lobby strategy that includes the following components:

A. Based on your research of the issue and working with the FfD NGO Committee, propose possible specific positions NGOs might advocate regarding your Monterrey “chapters”.
a.) Prepare one or more background and position papers to propose possible specific positions NGOs might advocate regarding your Monterrey “chapters”. Prioritize and recommend one or two promising positions for lobby work.
b.) Create with the FfD NGO Committee a one-page NGO statement for each proposal that the Committee might present at one of the UN preparatory meetings or other appropriate events and disseminate to the UN Missions and in the capitals of member governments (the fall 2007 team prepared a PowerPoint presentation in lieu of this).
c.) Recommend delegations to lobby based on criteria such as their ability to help the Committee reach its target audience, their interest in a proposal or position, their degree of influence, their receptivity, their opposition, their lack of resources to do the research themselves, or other criteria based on information gathered from statements by their delegations or home offices (this was too ambitious in fall 2007, but is a possible activity).

B. Draft a comprehensive lobby strategy on your topic a) Suggest side events to the FfD NGO Committee that could be held before and at DOHA 2008 with support from interested NGOs to advance consideration of the specific proposals. Side events are those organized outside the Official Sessions during lunch break or late evening sessions. (Opportunities for side events came too early in the fall semester, but April 2008 and later opportunities may make this a potential activity.)
b) Suggest a strategy to encourage other NGOs working on the specific proposal to work together towards a joint comprehensive lobby initiative.