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Representatives express disappointment with Monterrey Consensus

Por Laurence Pantin

NGOs representatives invited to evaluate the chapter on systemic issues of the Monterrey Consensus during the Global Forum this afternoon, expressed their concern about the documents lack of firm language on many issues NGOs consider important.

Even though for the first time ever NGOs were invited to make proposals during the preparation of the Monterrey Consensus, their proposals have hardly been taken into account in the final document, said Gemma Adaba, UN representative of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions.

The question is not so much what NGOs have to propose, but how they manage to push their proposals forward, she added. Among these proposals were the need for an effective tax system at the national level, because poor countries do not necessarily lack resources, but they lack a process of redistribution of these resources, said Adaba.

Another important recommendation pushed forward by NGOs that was almost dropped in the final document is the implementation of the commitment by industrialized countries to dedicate 0.7 percent of their GDP to assist the poorest countries, said Adaba. She also expressed her disappointment regarding the weakness of the language used in the consensus when referring to human rights and workers´ rights.

Martha Arias, political advisor at Oxfam, stressed that two other proposals left out of the consensus were: mentioning the need to analyze the impact on development of the liberalization of capitals, as well as the necessity to realize an external and independent evaluation of international financial institutions work.

Both speakers regretted that the only part of the document where strong language is used is in reference to fighting financing for terrorism, whereas, according to Adaba, the document reveals no such sense of urgency concerning issues such as the crisis in Argentina or the HIV-AIDS pandemic. Despite these limitations, both Adaba and Arias said they won’t reject the consensus, but rather accept it while making public their disappointment and stressing that they’re staying engaged.

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