Public Consultations underway on releasing funds for SDG agenda

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The High-level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity for Achieving the 2030 Agenda (FACTI) is holding global public consultations on ways to release more resources to finance the SDGs.

The 15-member FACTI Panel was announced in January 2020 and launched on 2 March 2020 by the Presidents of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) and UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

The Panel is organizing its work into three clusters, according to the summary of the Panel’s initial video conference on 31 March.

  • Improve cooperation in tax matters: fostering universal participation in international legal instruments on tax matters; further work on tax avoidance and evasion; preparing consistent and reliable global data on taxation;
  • Accountability, public reporting and anti-corruption measures: promoting accountability in contexts where it is currently lacking such as beneficial ownership; anti-corruption measures; improving tracking of asset ownership and use of this information including through the establishment of a global asset registry; and
  • Cooperation and settling disputes: improving cooperation and standardization on bribery investigation and prosecution; examining options to strengthen peer review processes; exploring options to improve capacity; improving international cooperation on asset recovery and return.

Global governance and political economy of reforms are expected to be incorporated into all three clusters.

Aiming to identify proposals that are technically feasible, political viable, and have direct bearing on closing the SDG financing gap, the Panel is holding a series of consultations. On 24 April, the Panel consulted with UN Member States, in a meeting of 160 participants including country delegations, the African Group, and the EU. They noted priorities in each cluster (see meeting summary). The Panel then held a civil society-focused “global town hall,” on 28 April, with over 150 people (see meeting summary).

The FACTI secretariat reports that common priorities emerged from both meetings, including: a call for universal participation in robust, effective systems of international cooperation, particularly with respect to tax cooperation and anti-corruption measures; and a call for the Panel to focus on ways to strengthen existing mechanisms, while ensuring that developing countries are afforded equal opportunity to shape the global architecture, in accordance with the principles of the 2030 Agenda.

Public online consultations are underway on three topics for experts, academics and practitioners. The consultation on accountability, public reporting, and anti-corruption measures took place on 30 April, followed by the consultation on improving cooperation in tax matters on 5 May.

The consultation on cooperation and settling disputes will take place on 8 May. The Panel is also calling for public comments via email on any of its clusters by 24 May 2020.

The Panel planned originally to produce an interim report in July 2020, for presentation during ECOSOC’s High-level Segment that month, and a final report with recommendations February 2021. However, in light of the COVID-19 crisis, the interim report is now scheduled to be completed by September.

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