Labour MEPs: Money and action must follow warm words on women and girls' rights


Labour MEPs have welcomed the outcome of this week's conference on financing for development in Addis Ababa, but called for real investment and action to follow the warm words on women and girls' rights.

Agreement finally reached late last night after days of talks on how to finance the new sustainable development goals (SDGs) which will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which expire this year.

Linda McAvan MEP, chair of the European Parliament international development committee, said, who joined ministers, NGOs and women's organisations at the conference, said:

"The agreement reached last night sets a framework of further cooperation, but more work must be done to ensure the Sustainable Development Goals become reality.

"Aid is important, particularly for the world's poorest countries. And pledges on the table from most rich countries still fall short of the 0.7% target. But the Addis outcome text is right to emphasise domestic resources and responsible private sector investment as key to unlocking revenue for financing basic services like healthcare and education.

"We know what's wrong in the global tax system - too many loopholes, too much money leaking out of the poorest countries - money that could be spent on improving people's lives. Leaders must now focus on concrete progress to ensure developing countries can raise taxes to finance their development and companies pay their fair share of tax wherever they operate.

"Investing in women and girls must also be at the very centre of development efforts, and here the Addis statement makes all the right noises, but we need more than warm words. Money must follow the pledges, laws which discriminate against women and girls must be wiped away and impunity ended for those inflicting violence on women and girls.

"Eradicating extreme poverty whilst at the same time tackling climate change requires bold international cooperation. The Addis Ababa Action Agenda is a step forward, and must be followed up at the UN SDG Summit in September and at the Paris climate talks in December. Labour will continue to push for this process to be ambitious and lay the foundation for a fair and sustainable future for all."

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