Norwegian presidency

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Plenary meeting of the Leading Group in Oslo, Norway, 6 and 7 February 2007

Norway held the second plenary meeting of the Leading Group on 6 and 7 February 2007. It ensured its rotating presidency from 1 September to 1 March.

At the plenary meeting, participants took stock of progress made in introducing innovative financing mechanisms, particularly the air-ticket solidarity levy and the IFFIm.

In an opening session, Mr. Erik Solheim, Norway’s Cooperation Minister, underpinned the progress made over the past few years in fighting poverty and the need to mobilize more means for development, particularly innovative mechanisms contributing to efforts required by developed countries to devote 0.7% of their gross national product to development assistance by 2015. He insisted that the Leading Group should shore up existing initiatives such as the International Drug Purchase Facility UNITAID, funded essentially by air-ticket solidarity levies, the International Finance Facility for Immunization (IFFIm), Advance Market Commitments (AMCs) and develop other projects.

Jean-Pierre Landau, author of the report bearing his name on new international financial contributions stressed the original nature of UNITAID when he spoke. He also pointed out that in addition to health, education would also need predictable financing mechanisms.

Importance of the UNITAID discussions

At the plenary session, participants reviewed UNITAID developments and in turn reported on different countries’ undertakings. Several countries, including Italy, Luxembourg, Nicaragua, Morocco, Korea, Madagascar, Cyprus and Guinea, expressed their interest in this initiative or their willingness to introduce an air-ticket solidarity levy to fund UNITAID.

An important debate took place on the idea of taxing currency transactions put forward by NGOs following a technical meeting on this subject in December 2006 in Oslo.

At this meeting, the British NGO Stamp Out Poverty presented the findings of the study commissioned by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the subject.

With a record number of participants, the Leading Group meeting deepened reflection in the fields of the currency transaction tax, the air-ticket solidarity levy and migrant remittances.

Website of the Norwegian presidency of the Leading Group

27 February 2009

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