Campaigners rally in India ahead of Finance Summit
New Delhi, July 14: Action/2015, one of the world's largest civil society campaigns, is leading several public actions in India and worldwide, calling on government leaders to use Financing for Development Summit to tackle tax injustice, fund fairly with a focus on the poor and marginalised, and honour their aid commitments.
A signature campaign has been launched across India, with citizens holding the government accountable to the slogan "Our Money, Our Future, Your Duty" and demanding a higher GDP share investment towards the citizens' Human Rights and Development.
Globally, action/2015 had called for 11th of July to be a Global Day of Action. While joining hands with thousands across 80 countries, our National Coalition Partners NACDOR/SETF organized at the historical Jantar Mantar of New Delhi, a colorful Cultural Event "SADDA HAQ ETHE RAKH", which brought together youth and children from excluded and marginalized communities.
Through dance, music and art the young artists expressed their concern on the importance of the SDGs and the necessity to increase the budgetary allocation to warranty a more inclusive world with equal opportunities, equal education, zero malnutrition and better social service for all. The spirit and hope of the hundreds of attendees was on full display leaving no empty seat despite the bad weather and incessant rainfall.
NACDOR/SETF will also be organising various public actions in over 11 states and 30 districts of India, to showcase our demand for a better future.
Action/2015 India has initiated a signature campaign across 15 Indian states, providing members of the grasroot community a platform to unite and collectively engage with the government and present their specific demands along with a united call to ‘Finance Our Future'.
Upon culmination of the campaign, the signed banners with an estimated 5L signatures, along with specific demands will be handed over to the state finance ministries, district collectors etc. A comprehensive national total of signatures and summary of demands will be handed over to the Finance Ministry in Delhi. Digitally, an estimate of 10L citizens will be mobilized on facebook and twitter through the #heatisON campaign.
The 3rd International Conference for Financing for Development being held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (13th July to 16th July) wherein global governments, leaders and agencies are mobilizing and committing resources towards the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals for the next 15 years.
India's demand is to ensure Tax Justice, to invest higher GDP percentage in basic services like education, health, sanitation etc. and to eliminate the flow of Black Money earned from corruption outside and within the country.
Malala Yousafzai, student, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and co-founder of the Malala Fund said: "Leaders of the 21st century must deliver on their promises to invest in the future and start investing in books, education and hope, rather than in weapons, war and conflicts." said Malala.
"Only education will unlock the potential of millions of my sisters and brothers. They are brilliant young minds who will become, if given the chance of 12 years of quality primary and secondary education, the next great scientists, engineers or teachers or anything they want. Getting millions of girls into school seems impossible.
But like my story, it is not. What we have seen is that when we choose to act, girls in the darkest corners of the world can be reached with the light of education."
Speaking for action/2015, Amitabh Behar, National Anchor, action/2015 India said: "This is one of the most critical moments before the UN General Assembly ratifies the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the next 15 years.
In what makes SDGs distinct from the preceding Millennium Goals is that this time around, world leaders, donors and UN agencies have decided to commit resources before signing off the SDGs. Since no means of implementation would mean no commitment towards development. If member countries, including India, fail to allocate substantial funds, then achieving the SDGs will remain a distant reality."
Globally, tens-of-thousands of campaigners backed by leaders such as Desmond Tutu, Malala Yousafzai and Haile Gebrselassie are taking to the streets for raising the crescendo on demands from the FFD Summit.
In Kenya, rallies are taking place, while in Pretoria, South Africa, young people from across the country will take part in a demonstration outside the Finance Ministry to highlight economic inequality. Events are also planned in New York and London, among other cities in industrialised countries, where activists will call for promises of aid made more than 40 years ago to be met; and for a crackdown on the tax dodging that robs developing countries of billions of dollars every year.