Topic B- Money makes the world go round: harnessing finance’s powers for inclusion and development
Historical background/ past UN action
Financial inclusion plays a vital role in reducing poverty and inequality, assess to mobile phones is increasing financial inclusion but many people living in rural areas, especially in developing countries, are still financially excluded, however if they were not, communities would prosper as a result of growing success of businesses, and being able to pay for better education. Recognising this, the UN have officially worked on harnessing the finances powers of development since 2002, with the Monterrey Consensus. This noted that trade is a “critical engine for growth” as well as recognising that aid for developing countries needed to increase to meet the goals of the UN Millennium Declaration. Following on from this was the 2008 Doha conference which highlighted the importance the private sector had in helping reach the sustainable development goals. After this the Addis Ababa Action Agenda was produced, agreeing on new initiatives to help sustainable development through finance, for example technology, infrastructure, health, and climate change. As well as this, the UN has a capital development fund which helps less developed countries with capital and technical support through “finance models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local economic development.” The Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme, was set up in 2014 and since then has helped 1.78 million people living in the Pacific assess financial services and financial education, is an example of one of the programs that the UNDP run in order to improve financial inclusion.
Switzerland has “a well-developed financial sector” is actively working to improve financial inclusion and sustainable development in developing and emerging countries. For example, the Swiss agency for development and cooperation are working alongside the UNDP, UNCDF, and UN women program in the Inclusive and Equitable local development program which aims to improve gender equality by giving women the tools they need to access economic opportunities. Furthermore, the Swiss agency for development and cooperation works in developing countries to provide “technical cooperation and financial assistance” to improve conditions for people by providing them with training so that they can get better jobs, and maintains the importance of gender equality and sustainability in the programs. Switzerland also contributes to and promotes sustainable economic development and economic and social equality in Europe, especially in new EU countries and countries of the former Soviet Union.
Firstly, it is important for people to have the skills for different work sectors in order to create an income, so educational programmes such as the inclusive and equitable local development program are important, but so is giving people assess to financial services and education, because then they can make their own financial decisions so programmes such as the Pacific Financial Inclusion program are also vital for financial inclusion to improve worldwide. It should also be important that everyone should have equal assess these tools regardless of gender, because not only would it be unfair otherwise, but it would also stunt social and economic development if some of the population were at a disadvantage. As well as being educational and assessable to all, programs to improve economic inclusion should also help meet the UN sustainable development goals in order to be truly successful.