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Paris Meeting in the Media

The Sixth Plenary Meeting of the Leading Group on Innovative Financing for Development, held in Paris on 28 and 29 May 2009, received considerable coverage in the French press and international media.

The Leading Group’s call for a “scaling up” when it comes to implementing innovative financing for development was an important topic in articles on the meeting. The creation of a group specifically tasked with studying the feasibility of voluntary and mandatory contributions levied on international financial transactions and French Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Bernard Kouchner’s speech drew special attention to this meeting in newspapers on Friday 29 May 2009. The remarks by Minister Kouchner on the feasibility of a currency transaction tax made headlines in several French daily newspapers including La Tribune and Le Figaro.

In addition to traditional press and media, the meeting made quite a stir in non-governmental organizations, with many blogs applauding its outcome. The English press, particularly The Observer of 24 May 2009, showcased the meeting of the High-Level Taskforce on Innovative International Financing for Health Systems co-chaired by Robert Zoellick and Gordon Brown held on the sidelines of the Leading Group’s meeting. This article published in the run-up to the event underscored that the Taskforce would choose 10 of the 100 innovative financing mechanisms to be the focus of concrete proposals for the G8 Summit in July 2009 and for the United Nations General Assembly in September 2009.

The Paris meeting also made a considerable impact in the debate on development assistance. The conclusions of the Interministerial Committee of International Cooperation and Development (CICID) meeting of 5 June reiterated the need to continue to seek innovative financing for development. French Prime Minister François Fillon recalled that “France will play its full part in the work of the Leading Group on Innovative Financing for Development in line with the conclusions of the meeting held in Paris on 28 and 29 May.” The meeting especially provided the opportunity to announce that France would earmark a portion of its proceeds from the auctions of CO2 emission allowances to climate-geared action in the poorest countries.

Innovative financing mechanisms have attracted particular attention internationally. First, they were addressed at the G8 Development Ministers’ Meeting on 11 and 12 June 2009, as Philippe Douste-Blazy pointed out in his interview in Le Figaro. Second, innovative financing mechanisms were put forward as a new “more global” approach than development assistance and on 11 June French Minister of State for Cooperation Alain Joyandet called for greater use of innovative financing for development to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

- Article published in Le Figaro, "Aide au développement : la France relance l’idée d’une taxe sur les transactions financières", 29.5.2009.

- Article published in Le Figaro Economie, "L’idée d’une ’taxe Tobin’ refait surface", 29.5.2009.

- Article published in La Tribune, "La France relance l’idée d’une taxe sur les changes", 29.5.2009

29 July 2009

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