With the goal of discussing key issues related to the ECOSOC Financing for Development Forum and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, the International Movement ATD 4th World, in collaboration with the Bahá’í International Community and Regions Refocus, organized a working breakfast with a diverse group of stakeholders on May 27th, 2017. The group focused on the next steps to be taken in order to arrive at the High Level Political Forum 2017 with a concrete plan for action to finance Agenda 2030. It was agreed between all parties present that well thought out strategies for financing for development are integral to the success of the Agenda 2030, as well as a matter of particular importance to developing states.
A large part of the discussion focused on how the international economy must be restructured to facilitate the goals of the 2030 Agenda, specifically on how to urge governments and the private sector to refocus their goals from making profit to working toward a sustainable world. Among the concerns addressed was the evident plateauing of international initiatives to implement living wages and strengthen labor rights, the need to challenge the concept that economies powered by competition are always good for poverty reduction in the long run, to convert the economic paradigm from one of competition to one of cooperation, and from an economy of scarcity to an economy of abundance, and the need to acknowledge that financing for gender equality and climate initiatives are indivisibly linked to financing for development.
By and large the working breakfast concluded that implementation of the 2030 Agenda is lacking in its first year, a precedent that will make for slow changes if not corrected soon. Plans for moving forward included advocating for social protection floors, an idea that has gained traction in recent years, as well as mobilizing all national resources and to come up with a national plan to allow finance to become a collective effort; the participation of all institutions is crucial to build this effort. As failure to act on the goals of the 2030 Agenda will have implications for all of us; how do we effectively challenge the dichotomy between “us” and “them” and inspire the will to change?