ADDIS: 'historic' agreement reached on financing for new UN sustainable development agenda

In many rural economies, the forest enterprises of families and communities are major contributors to local livelihoods. Photo: FAO/Giuseppe Bizzarri

15 July 2015 – Countries agreed today on a series of bold measures to overhaul global finance practices and generate investments for tackling a range of economic, social and environmental challenges at the United Nations Third International Conference on Financing for Development, being held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“This agreement is a critical step forward in building a sustainable future for all. It provides a global framework for financing sustainable development,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said after negotiators reached the deal at the Conference, which has been running in the Ethiopian capital since Monday, 13 July, and officially wraps up its work tomorrow.

“It gives us the foundation of a revitalized global partnership for sustainable development that will leave no one behind,” said of the groundbreaking agreement, which will be known as the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.

The agreement provides a foundation for implementing the global sustainable development agenda that world leaders are expected to adopt in New York this September and for reaching a binding agreement at UN climate negotiations in Paris in December to reduce global carbon emissions.

It marks a milestone in forging an enhanced global partnership that aims to foster universal, inclusive economic prosperity and improve people's well-being while protecting the environment.

Financing is considered the linchpin for the success of the post-2015 sustainable development agenda, which will be driven by the implementation of 17 goals. In support of implementation of these goals, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda contains more than 100 concrete measures, addressing all sources of finance, and covering cooperation on a range of issues including technology, science, innovation, trade and capacity building.

“This historic agreement marks a turning point in international cooperation that will result in the necessary investments for the new and transformative sustainable development agenda that will improve the lives of people everywhere,” said Wu Hongbo, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and Secretary-General of the Conference.

Domestic resource mobilization is central to the agenda and countries agreed to an array of measures aimed at widening the revenue base, improving tax collection, and combatting tax evasion and illicit financial flows. They also reaffirmed their commitment to official development assistance, particularly for the least developed countries, and pledged to increase South-South cooperation.

The outcome document also underscores the importance of aligning private investment with sustainable development, along with public policies and regulatory frameworks to set the right incentives. A new mechanism that will facilitate financing for new technologies for developing countries was also agreed upon.

The Action Agenda includes important policy commitments and key deliverables in critical areas for sustainable development, including infrastructure, social protection and technology.

Agreements were reached on international cooperation for financing of specific areas where significant investments are needed, such as in infrastructure for energy, transport, water and sanitation, and other areas to help realize the proposed sustainable development goals.

Countries also stressed the importance of nationally owned sustainable development strategies, supported by integrated national financing frameworks.

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