3 June 2010
Press Release

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

At Headquarters Event Speakers Push for Innovative Finance to Contend with Effects


of Global Recession, Underwrite Efforts on Millennium Development Goals


NEW YORK, 3 June — A proposal to create a group of experts under the United Nations umbrella, which would assess existing mechanisms for innovative development finance, and husband new initiatives, was proposed at the United Nations today by Philippe Douste-Blazy, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Innovative Financing for Development.  This would enhance the United Nations role as a catalyst to new ideas and as an implementing agent in this area.

A series of panel discussions by leaders from think tanks, business, academia and development-oriented philanthropies, chaired by Mr. Douste-Blazy, found the need for new and more stable sources of funding to be heightened by the recent financial crisis and global recession.  They shared experiences on how such financing can be engineered.

The World Bank estimates that innovative fundraising generated $57.1 billion in official flows between 2000 and 2008.  Of this, alternative sources of concessional flows, including solidarity levies and contributions, accounted for $11.7 billion.

“Our challenge now is to build on this progress, and fill the funding gaps we have identified,” United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro said at the opening of the 3 June event in the Economic and Social Council Chamber.

Edward Ross, from the Amadeus IT Group, recounted the success of small levies applied to airline tickets in a handful of countries since 2006, raising billions of dollars to fulfil the Millennium Development Goal related to the fight against AIDS, TB and malaria.  This approach was recently updated in the form of a $2 “voluntary solidarity contribution” which travellers may donate when they purchase an air ticket.

Existing initiatives have tended to focus on the health-related Millennium Development Goals, Deputy Secretary-General Migiro said.  But innovative sources of development finance have great potential to address education, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and other challenges.  Some proposals currently under consideration include a tax on international financial transactions; carbon and other environmental taxes; and various forms of international tax cooperation.

Experts referred to the importance of channelling new resources into achievement of the world’s Millennium Development Goals.  A Chairman’s summary will be sent as input to the preparatory process of the High-level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on the Millennium Development Goals, taking place in New York, 20-22 September 2010.

For more information, contact Tim Wall of the UN Department of Public Information, tel.:  1 212 963 5851, e-mail:  wallt@un.org.

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For information media • not an official record