A recap of traditional and innovative funding models and a look into the state of the microfinance sector. These, along with innovation, partnerships, sustainable development and the U.N. Millennium Development Goals, are among the top development issues to be tackled at a three-day, high-level conference kicking off Sept. 19 in Paris, France.
The 2012 edition of Convergences 2015 World Forum will bring together delegates from the international aid sector, social entrepreneurship community, microfinance sector and the solidarity economy.
On its agenda are some of the most burning development-related questions today: How can energy poverty be addressed while protecting the environment? What challenges do nongovernmental organizations face in a changing development landscape? What are some of the most effective traditional and innovative funding sources for development? How can European policies toward developing countries be improved?
Outcomes of recent development-focused conferences — particularly World Water Week and the U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development — will also be reviewed. Other themes to be taken up include food security and the private sector’s role in development.
Discussions during the forum’s various debates, round-table panels, workshops and conferences aim to achieve five overarching goals:
Analyze challenges in reducing global poverty.
Identify the role of each actor involved in poverty reduction efforts.
Build and strengthen partnerships.
Improve professional practices in public and private sectors.
Define economic models and funding opportunities for solidarity-based projects, which includes fair trade agreements, cooperatives and microfinance institutions.
More than 3,000 delegates are expected to attend the forum and participate in the scheduled debates, conferences, round-table discussions, workshops, networking exercises and trade exhibit. Among confirmed participants are Agence Française de Développement Executive Director Dov Zerah, Olivier Consolo of Concord, Oxfam International’s Jeremy Hobbs and French Minister for Social Affairs and Health Marisol Touraine.
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