“India played a profoundly important role in the global negotiations on financing for development. India has an unparalleled opportunity in global negotiations, and can offer a model for the rest of the world,” said Mr. Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Finance, at a debriefing held in New Delhi on Sept 2, 2015 on the recent global summit on financing for development, held in Addis Ababa in July 2015.
Mr. Sinha, who led the Indian delegation to the Third International Conference of Financing for Development, said that India took a hard line position on the need for a global tax policy in development cooperation. “Global capital flows set up an inequitable situation. The nature of overseas development assistance and the leakage of tax revenues from developing countries were major discussion points in Addis”, he said.
The briefing, “Financing on development and the post 2015 agenda: the way forward from Addis”, was organized by the Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), the Forum for Indian Development Cooperation (FIDC) and the United Nations in India to share experiences, achievements and the way forward for India after the global summit on financing for development, at which world leaders met to agree on a template for development cooperation for the next 15 years.
At the briefing, the United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Mr. Yuri Afanasiev shared the stage with the Minister and members of the Indian delegation to the global summit, including senior government officials and civil society representatives.
“India took a strong position on two key issues: a global tax policy and access to technology for developing countries”, said Dr Sachin Chaturvedi, Director General of RIS.
The Indian delegation took the lead in negotiating on behalf of developing countries. After tough negotiations, a stronger position on global tax reform is included in the outcome document of the global conference, which is being considered a significant step forward.
The outcome document of the global summit, called the Addis Action Plan Agenda, will constitute the Sustainable Development Agenda, which would be adopted by nearly 150 countries at the Sustainable Development Summit in New York in September this year.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will succeed the MDGs that expire at the end of this year. The SDGs are the result of a three-year long process of consultations across UN member countries, including in India.
“MDGs appeared on the scene, the SDGs have been negotiated very carefully”, said Sujata Mehta, Secretary, (Economic Relations), Ministry of External Affairs. Ms. Mehta, who was part of the Indian delegation, said, “The new ambitious agenda calls for a revitalized global partnership to implement it. Financing for Development is the means for it.”
India is taking the lead at the global negotiating table in thinking globally, and not just locally, to find solutions to development challenges. Ambassador Shyam Saran, Chairman of RIS, highlighted the need to find ways to make technologies available as “global goods”, as technology transfer forms the basis for implementing the SDGs.
Even as the world faces financial turmoil, the Minister said, India has the capability to attract greater investment, which could offer solutions to fund development at home. The government is looking to increase funding for development through greater partnership with the private sector, and facilitate the ease of doing business in India. If India can finance development at home, it could offer viable solutions to other developing countries.