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UNSIXTH HIGH-LEVEL DIALOGUE OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON FINANCING FOR DEVELOPMENT  on 7&8 October 2013.

  Round Table 3- Theme:- “The role of financial and technical development cooperation, including innovative sources of development finance, in leveraging the mobilization of domestic and international financial resources for sustainable development.”

Statement by Celine Paramundayil, representative of Society of Catholic Medical Missionaries, an Ngo in special consultative status with ECOSOC and a member of NGO Committee on  FFD

 Mr. President, distinguished delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 We all agree that Finance is the most essential component for the realization of Sustainable Development. We need to change the current paradigm of wealth being concentrated in the hands of a few while more people are pushed into poverty and marginalization. Studies shows that the wealthiest 20% account for 87 % of the global income, while the poorest 20% of  the world population enjoy less than 1%. Even in OECD countries the average income of the richest 10% is about 9 times that of the poorest 10%. This is not a good sign as we move towards a sustainable global society.

It is unacceptable to have 870 million hungry people in this 21st century. The ILO, World of Work Report 2013 states  that “ at the global level, the number of unemployed people will continue to increase unless policies change course. Global unemployment is expected to approach 208 million in 2015.” Excellencies, every child who dies due to malnutrition and hunger, every person who turns to violence either towards self or society is a loud cry that the society is not heading in the right direction.

A research by Leonce and  Boyce of the University of Massachusetts found that resource -rich African countries lost enormous assets over the past several decades. From 1970-2008 Nigeria lost US$ 296 bn to illegal capital flight; Angola lost about $71bn from 1985-2008.  The Washington based Global Financial Integrity (GFI) projects estimate that up to USD$1 trillion has been shifted out of Africa over the last 3 decades. Trade mispricing by Transnationalcorporations (TNCs) accounts for 60-65% of this. The Global Financial Integrity also investigated illegal financial out flows from 48 Least Developed Countries (LDC) from 1990-2008 as $197 bn. In 2009 Christian Aid calculated trade mispricing by TNCs cost the worlds 48 LDCs, $160 billion a year.

A 2012 report of the Tax Justice Network estimated that $21- 32 trillion of the financial wealth from 139 low-middle income countries has been channeled through offshore secrecy jurisdiction, resulting in global tax loss of $200 bn every year.

Indeed, Official Development Assistance (ODA) is a great  help for the poor countries buthow can we justify, giving $5 as ODA and take back $20 as illicit money by exploiting the natural resources which belongs rightfully to the people and Nations as Domestic resources?

We call upon all governments to reallocate a portion of their current Military expenditure to Social protection for the vulnerable persons in every society. The existence of extreme Poverty indeed is a moral and spiritual imperative to act urgently.

We urge the Member States to :

v     Develop policies to cancel the sovereign debt of the highly vulnerable countries so that they can use the finance to reinvest in social development.

v     Close all loopholes in taxation mainly Tax evasion by transnational companies including extractive industries.

v     Stop the  illegal capital flow from least developed and developing countries

v     Institute tax reforms to increase the national revenue for social development & other public services.

v     Promote Innovative sources of Financing such as Financial Transaction Tax- which can mobilize additional resources.

In conclusion,  the international community must address the growing inequalities and the issues of climate change to protect planet earth and its people.  The resources are there, it needs to be used for the right purposes with just policies and proper regulations.

Thank you for your attention.

8th Oct 2013

UN HQ New York,