Finance in common: Human rights should be at the centre of the global financial architecture


At the Finance in Common Summit, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and its partners called for a human rights based approach to development finance and projects which could fund effective responses to unprecedented crises.

7 September 2023. More than 1,300 representatives from Public Development Banks (PDBs), governments, civil society, the financial sector, and media gathered from 4 to 6 September in Cartagena (Colombia) for the 2023 Finance in Common Summit.

FIDH was in attendance to advocate for the implementation of a human rights based approach for a more inclusive and sustainable global financial architecture.

Public Development Banks (PDBs) have been promoting the idea of increased volumes of finance for development in the face of unprecedented crises, from climate breakdown to rising poverty.

FIDH President Alice Mogwe addressed the Summit plenary twice, stressing that development banks should respect and protect human rights at every stage of their project cycle and screening. Mogwe also called on development actors to ensure the participation of communities and people who could be affected by such projects - and whose voices and concerns must be heard and taken seriously.

FIDH also published a joint briefing with Bankwatch, calling for a wider consideration of human rights and environmental risks and potential impacts from the very outset in decision-making around development projects.

At the end of the gathering, FIDH was among the over 100 signatories of the final Civil Society Declaration, calling on PDBs and international financial institutions to undertake a full, equitable transformation of the financial architecture. Dignity and justice cannot be empty slogans, and profit cannot be prioritised over communities’ rights and the achievement of sustainable development.

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