ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — A U.N. conference has agreed to reform global finance to spur development and to channel funds to fight worldwide poverty.
The agreement reached in Ethiopia late Wednesday by the third International Financing for Development Conference to finance development projects is to be adopted by world leaders in September.
The conference agreed on 17 development goals including ending hunger and poverty, gender equality, tackling climate change and improving education.
“This agreement is a critical step forward in building a sustainable future for all. It provides a global framework for financing sustainable development,” said U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. “The results here in Addis Ababa give us the foundation of a revitalized global partnership for sustainable development that will leave no one behind.”
But some aid groups say they are disappointed over the failure of the conference to create a U.N. global tax body.
ActionAid said that developing countries lose billions of dollars a year to tax dodging and are not being given an equal say in fixing unjust global tax rules. It said the lost money could be used by governments to provide basic services.
“The decision is an appalling failure and a great blow to the fight against poverty and injustice,” the group said.
The aid group Oxfam International said it regretted “unresolved rigged tax rules,” adding that developing countries’ call for true global tax reform and tax cooperation should not be ignored.
“Developing countries held firm in Addis on the need to set up an intergovernmental tax body that would give them an equal say in how the global rules on taxation are designed,” said Winnie Byanyima, head of Oxfam International. “Instead they are returning home with a weak compromise meaning rigged rules and tax avoidance will continue to rob the world’s poorest people.”