Gender and Peace Analysis: 21-24 April 2015 Post-2015 Negotiations
on Means of Implementation and Global Partnership for Sustainable Development
The Joint Session between the financing for development (FfD) and Post-2015 processes took place at the United Nations Headquarters, 21-24 April 2015. Ahead of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD3) which will be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in July 2015, the four-day session saw discussions among Member States, Major Groups and CSOs on the topics of: The relationship between FfD and post-2015 outcomes; Technology facilitation mechanism, and other science, technology and innovation issues and; The follow-up and review process. The negotiations were co-facilitated by Ambassadors George Talbot of Guyana and Geir O. Pedersen of Norway, Co-facilitators of the FfD process and; Macharia Kamau, Permanent Representative of Kenya, and David Donoghue, Permanent Representative of Ireland, Co-facilitators for intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda.
Negotiations were largely gender blind and the links between finance, trade and investment and women’s human rights and gender equality were not thoroughly and meaningfully discussed. In addition, only one country - Chad - addressed conflict prevention as a critical element of an enabling environment for sustainable development and peace. As a result, innovative financing in terms of the redirection of military spending toward gender equality and social development was not mentioned throughout the four days of negotiations. Such is critically missing from all post-2015 and FfD discussions and must be included in the Addis outcome document and further discussions and articulation on the targets and indicators especially for Goal 16 of the SDGs.
Analysis: the FfD and Post-2015 processes
Discussions on the relationship between the FfD and post-2015 outcomes revolved around whether FfD3 should address the Means of Implementation (MoIs) for the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the post 2015 agenda. All Member states agreed on the complementarity of the Ffd and post-2015 processes. Those countries which aligned their statements with that of the Group of 77 and China supported the FfD process playing a complementary role in the implementation of the Post-2015 development agenda. However there was a strong agreement that the FfD is “a separate process and its scope goes beyond merely financing the SDGs” (Statement on behalf of the G77 and China by H.E. Ambassador Kingsley Mamabolo, Permanent Representative of the Republic of South Africa to the UN). The European Union (EU), Korea and Canada however explicitly supported the view that the Addis outcome should be framed as the comprehensive MoI for the SDGs and include a Ffd framework which addresses all the goals and targets in a balanced way. Such a position has countered that of civil society which continues to lobby for separate FfD and MoI processes since a merging of the two can result in a reduction of scope and opportunities for SDG implementation. Additionally, what seems to be the general consensus of promoting private sector finance is also problematic to civil society. Private sector priorities have not always led to equitable and sustainable development objectives. Therefore, given the human rights and labor violations and the lack of transparency and accountability perpetrated by the private-sector and large corporations, civil society has continued to call for a re-analysis of private-public partnerships.
While inequalities within and among countries were addressed, gender inequality was not thoroughly addressed. Of the Member States, the United States spoke to the need for inclusion and gender equality in the FfD and post-2015 processes. In addition, in discussions with financial institutions, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stated the need to target gender equity when working with states. However, the gendered impacts of financing for development were not discussed during the negotiations. Aside from very few mentions of gender equality and women, Member States did not address the implications of financing policy for women and in achieving gender equality. Such is critical for achieving the goals of peace and gender equality as well as sustainable development.
The concern for women and gender equality was however prominent during the Interactive dialogue with Major Groups and other Stakeholders which took place on Thursday April 23. Alejandra Scampini, speaking on behalf of the Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID) and the Women’s Major Group (WMG) and the Post2015 Women's Coalition stated: “The issue of financing is fundamental to the realization of women’s human rights.” In her statement, Scampini explained that “the means of implementation of sustainable development...and [the] terms on which they are provided fundamentally will affect women’s five dimensions of autonomy: economic, political, sexual and reproductive autonomy and women’s freedom from all forms of violence.” Tessa Khan, speaking on behalf of the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development, the WMG, and the Women’s Working Group on FfD, discussed how sustainable development, gender equality and States’ human rights obligations are eroded by trade agreements. She asked: “Is trade liberalisation meaningful when social inequalities like the gender pay gap and poor labour conditions are treated as a source of competitive advantage within global value chains?” The interactive dialogue with Major Groups and other Stakeholders thus proved to be pivotal in bringing to the fore the ways that financing for development impact gender equality, women’s unpaid care burden, access to social services and human rights.
In the discussion on Technology facilitation mechanism, and other science, technology and innovation issues, women and gender was again a missing component. In country statements on the need to establish a technology transfer mechanism as per Rio+20 and; for capacity building in developing countries so as to facilitate technology innovation, Bangladesh spoke specifically to women and technology. In her statement, Ms. Sadia Faizunnesa, the Deputy Permanent Representative of Bangladesh reminded that “technology is dominated by men. We definitely believe that there is a profound need to emphasize on the role of women in the area of technology.” This was reiterated by the Representative of the Netherlands. The Representative of Latvia also stated that information and communications technology (ICT) can foster gender equality.
No country spoke on disarmament and demilitarization nor the links between gender inequality and militarism. However, the Representative for Chad emphasized the need for conflict prevention and peace and security in achieving the SDGs.
Given the lack of discussion by Member States on the implications of financial mobilization on women and human rights and; the links between gender equality, peace and sustainable development, WILPF Peacewomen continues to mobilize action to demand development based on disarmament and women’s full and equal participation and rights. We continue to push for innovative financing through the redirection of military spending towards gender justice. WILPF Peacewomen also affirms a conflict prevention approach to development that strengthens gender equality and peace.