GATJ at the Civil Society Policy Forum 2023

GATJ

10 Oct 2023

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GATJ

10 Oct 2023

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In the context of the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Annual Meetings, the Global Alliance for Tax Justice (GATJ) is in Marrakech (Morocco) for the Civil Society Policy Forum (CSPF), which started this Tuesday (10 October). The CSPF is an opportunity for civil society organisations from around the world to critically engage with the WB and IMF.

“This year, as the global financial decision-making processes come under heavy scrutiny, it is an opportune moment to strengthen our joint efforts for a democratic, inclusive and transparent global tax reform. Notably, the WB and IMF return to Africa after nearly 50 years, a continent which to date remains a linchpin for the harmful policies of these institutions, especially the long-lasting negative impacts of the structural adjustment programmes on women, girls and communities of Africa,” said Riska Koopman, global policy advocacy and campaigns coordinator at GATJ, who is representing the Alliance in the forum. “We look forward to engaging with the WB, the IMF, as well as peers and other key stakeholders in making our case for a global tax reform as opposed to increased debt.”

See below sessions hosted by GATJ and member and partner organisations at the CSPF 2023:

 

DAY 1 – Tuesday, 10 October

10:00 to 11:30 Marrakech time

Progressive Fiscal Policies to End Austerity: Taxing Wealth to Fund the Care Economy

Organisers: Financial Transparency Coalition (FTC), Asian People’s Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD), Tax Justice Network Africa (TJNA), Christian Aid, CPD, LDC Watch, South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE), Rural Reconstruction Nepal

Location: SC03 Saghro

About the session: Recent research has highlighted the need for windfall taxes on corporations, as well as inheritance taxes and wealth taxes, to fill the gaps that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of financing the care economy during periods of austerity. The session will also examine the progressiveness of the IMF’s fiscal policy advice.

Panel:

  • Matti Kohonen, Financial Transparency Coalition
  • Eduardo Tadem, University of the Philippines Center for Integrative and Development Studies’ Program on Alternative Development
  • Towfiqul Islam Khan, CPD
  • Chenai Mukumba, Tax Justice Network Africa

 

15:00 to 16:30 Marrakech time

Transformative Policy Pathways: Lessons from Feminist Economics Programming for the IMF

Organisers: ActionAid, IPD, WEDO, FEAM, Global Alliance for Tax Justice (GATJ), Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR), Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI), Third World Network, Recourse, AMwA, Arab Watch Coalition (AWC), Gender Action, Bretton Woods Project (BWP)

Location: SC03 Saghro

About the session: As part of ongoing discussions on transformational recovery, the implementation of the IMF Strategy on mainstreaming gender, and staff guidance notes, this session will share expertise from civil society on research, strategies, and alternative policy pathways for a feminist just transition at the national, regional and global levels.

Panel

  • Wangari Kinoti, ActionAid International
  • Jessica Mandanda, Feminist Macroeconomic Alliance Malawi
  • Riska Koopman, Global Alliance for Tax Justice
  • Bhumika Muchhala, Third World Network 
  • Monique Newiak, IMF

 

DAY 2 – Wednesday, 11 October

10:30 to 12:00 Marrakech time

African Perspectives on the Reforms of the International Financial Architecture

Organisers: TJNA, Transparency International, Stop the Bleeding campaign, Tunisian Observatory of the Economy (OTE)

Location: SC06 Acacia

About the session: This session aims to bring together African governments, civil society organisations, and key stakeholders to share  and discuss African positions on reforming the international financial architecture. It will highlight the unique challenges faced by African nations as well as policy recommendations to address them from a pan-African perspective.

Panel:

  • Francis Kairu, Tax Justice Network Africa 
  • Robert Mwanyumba, Transparency International 
  • Luckystar Miyandazi, African Union Commission
  • Amine Elkamel, Tunisian Observatory of the Economy
  • WB/IMF representative (TBC)

 

13:30 to 15:00 Marrakech time

Development Finance for For-profit Private Healthcare—Implications for Universal Health Coverage, Human Rights and Gender Equality

Organisers: Wemos, Oxfam International, Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (GI-ESCR), Initiative for Socio-Economic Rights (ISER), Akina Mama wa Afrika (AMwA), PSI

Location: SC07 Oasis

About the session: The session will explore whether IFC and other development institutions’ support of investments in private healthcare providers is helping or hindering efforts to achieve universal health coverage (UHC), uphold human rights obligations and advance gender equality, with a focus on evidence and perspectives from Africa. This is especially relevant given the reforms proposed in the WB’s Evolution Roadmap, especially its renewed focus on the “private sector-first” approach. Evidence will be shared regarding the role and impact of commercial healthcare providers, and panellists will reflect on policy and practice solutions and potential areas of investment in the health sector that can help realise the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and support human rights.

Panel:

  • Marco Angelo, Wemos
  • Anna Mariott, Oxfam International
  • Rossella De Falco, Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
  • Allana Kembabazi, Initiative for Socio-Economic Rights Uganda
  • Faith Lumonya, Akina Mama wa Afrika

 

16:00 to 17:30 Marrakech time

An Evolution Roadmap Responsive to Development Crises? Towards an External Evaluation of the WB’s Cascade

Organisers: RoA, ActionAid International, Christian Aid, Coalition for Human Rights in Development (CHRD), European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad), Gender Action, Global Development Policy Center, IBON International, Bretton Woods Project (BWP), Third World Network (TWN)

Location: SC07 Oasis

About the session: As the WB charts an institutional course rooted in private financing in its Evolution Roadmap, the panel will explore evidence to counter the basis of proposed reforms, and argue that only with an external independent review of cascade impacts can the WB effectively respond to development crises.

Panel:

  • Luiz Vieira, Bretton Woods Project
  • Charles Abugre, IDEAS
  • Osvaldo Calvo-Gonzales, IEG
  • Maria Jose Romero, Eurodad
  • WB/IMF representative (TBC)

 

DAY 3 – Thursday, 12 October

9:00 to 10:30 Marrakech time

Financing Universal Social Protection Systems in the Arab Region—What Alternatives to Austerity and Debt?

Organisers: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI), Arab Watch Coalition (AWC), Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND), Arab Region Hub for Social Protection, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) MENA, Inclusive Social Security Policy Forum (ISSPF)-MENA, Malcolm H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center, EuroMed Rights, Human Rights Watch (HRW), Amnesty International

Location: SC03 Saghro

About the session: This session will examine financing mechanisms for universal social protection systems in the Arab region, presenting ARI and its partners’ research on the International Monetary Fund’s impact on reducing fiscal spaces and social spending. The Fund enforces austerity and debt, hindering alternatives such as fiscal reforms, solidarity financing instruments, and improvements to climate finance.

Panel:

  • Nadim Houry, Arab Reform Initiative
  • Farah Al Shami, Arab Reform Initiative
  • Osama Diab, FES MENA 
  • Shereen Talaat, MENA Feminist Movement
  • WB/IMF representative (TBC)

 

Financing a Just Transition for Africa: Strategies for Adequate, Affordable, and Sustainable Climate Finance

Organisers: Akina Mama wa Afrika (AMwA), African Forum and Network on Debt and Development (AFRODAD)

Location: SC06 Acacia

About the session: Africa is battling multiple crises, including climate change, debt, economic decline, conflicts, disease, and poverty. Yet the development financing gap, especially with respect to climate financing (US$1.3 trillion), is growing. Addressing this requires an adequate, affordable, and flexible quantum that centers the needs of Africans, as well as reformation of the global financial architecture. 

Panel:

  • Olabukunola Williams, Akina Mama wa Afrika
  • Adrian Chikowore, Afrodad
  • Sonia Phalatse, The African Women’s Development and Communications Network
  • Faith Lumonya, Akina Mama wa Afrika
  • WB/IMF representative (TBC)

 

14:00 to 15:30 Marrakech time

Assessing the IMF’s Climate Change Strategy: Experiences in Uganda, the Caribbean, and Argentina 

Organisers: Fundación Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (FARN), Recourse, Caribbean Policy Development Centre, Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI). Boston University Global Development Policy Center, E3G, Alternative Law Collective, Bretton Woods Project, ActionAid International, Centro para la Implementación de Políticas Públicas para el Socialismo (CEPPAS)

Location: SC03 Saghro

About the session: The launch of the International Monetary Fund’s climate strategy in 2021 included ambitious targets for climate change coverage in its economic surveillance activities. This panel aims to discuss how the International Monetary Fund is implementing its strategy, how the mainstreaming of climate should evolve, and why it is urgent for the institution to accelerate it.

Panel:

  • Dileimy Orozco, E3G
  • Jane Nalunga, Seatini Uganda
  • Jwala Rambarran, Caribbean Policy Development Centre
  • Julia Gerlo, Fundación Ambiente y Recursos Naturales
  • WB/IMF representative (TBC)

 

16:15 to 17:45 Marrakech time

A  Macroeconomic Perspective of Gender and the BWIs: Thinking Bigger in Times of Crisis

Organisers: Gender Action, Bretton Woods Project; Akina Mama wa Afrika (AMwA); CARE International; IBON International; ITUC; Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation; Oxfam International

Location: SC03 Saghro

About the session: The session will explore macroeconomic threats to realising gender equality. BWI gender strategies lack a macroeconomic framework conducive to reducing intersectional gender, class and race inequalities, unpaid care work and climate risks. MENA examples will demonstrate austerity, debt, privatisation and increasing female labour to raise GDP constitute a bankrupt model.

Panel:

  • Faith Lumonya, Akina Mama wa Africa
  • Bhumika Muchala, Third World Network
  • Anam Parvez, Oxfam International
  • Amal el Amri, L’Union Marocaine du Travail
  • Monique Newiak, IMF

 

DAY 4 – Friday, 13 October

9:00 to 10:30 Marrakech time

Mobilising Finance to End Inequalities, Address Multiple Crises and Build Sustainable Futures for LDCs

Organisers: LDC Watch, Asian People’s Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD), Rural Reconstruction Nepal (RRN), South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE)

Location: SC06 Acacia

About the session: This session explores pressing concerns in least developed countries (LDCs) due to crises such as climate emergencies and high inflation. Participants will discuss challenges and innovative finance strategies, aiming to propose inclusive solutions for LDCs to attain equitable progress despite interconnected adversities.

Panel

  • Amb Arjun Karki, LDC Watch
  • Lidy Nacpil, APMDD
  • Jane Nalunga, SEATINI Uganda
  • Netra Timsina, South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication

 

11:15 to 12:45 Marrakech time

The Implications of Private Finance De-risking for Economic Development in the Global South

Organisers:  Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI), Bretton Woods Project, AFRODAD

Location: SC06 Acacia

About the session: This session will explore how the WB’s Cascade framework and GRID approach, which focus on private development finance, impact nations in the Global South. It will raise concerns about blended finance and de-risking endorsed by the WB, and outline their risks for these countries. The session will also suggest ways to enhance development outcomes and reduce economic vulnerability for these states.

Panel:

  • Robert Bain, Bretton Woods Project 
  • Kate Bayliss, School of Oriental and African Studies 
  • Jane Nalunga, SEATINI Uganda
  • Ramathan Ggoobi, Ministry of Finance of Uganda
  • Yungong Theophilus, Afrodad

 

14:00 to 15:30 Marrakech time

Building a New Eco-social Contract and Advancing Social Security in Times of Debt and Austerity 

Organisers: Act church of Sweden, ActionAid international, Arab Watch Coalition (AWC), Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND), Amnesty International, Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR), End Austerity Campaign, FTC, Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors (GCSPF), Global Social Justice/Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD), Human Rights Watch (HRW), Inclusive Social Security Policy Forum (ISSPF), Initiative for Social and Economic Rights (ISER), International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation, Oxfam International, Bretton Woods Project (BWP), Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO), Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)

Location: SC03 Saghro

About the session: Recent research (for instance, by Oxfam, IPD, and HRW) analysing IMF programs show that, far from “mitigating” austerity measures, IMF policies and social spending floors fail to address negative social impacts. The panel will explore how the WB and IMF could build a human rights-based economy with better developmental outcomes.

Panel:

  • Shahir Ishak, Inclusive Social Security Policy Forum
  • Sarah Saadoun, Human Rights Watch
  • Allana Kembabazi, Initiative for Social and Economic Rights
  • Isabel Ortiz, Initiative for Policy Dialogue
  • Rodrigo Cerda, IMF 
  • WB representative (TBC)

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