The Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FFD3) was ushered in by the international community in Addis Ababa this morning, as the flags of the host country Ethiopia, the United Nations, the World Bank, the IMF and the WTO were raised over the city.
Mr. Wu Hongbo, UN DESA’s Under-Secretary-General and Secretary-General of the Conference, officiated the event together with Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome Wirtu and Mr. Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa.
“We are on the eve of an important moment for the future of the people and our planet,” Mr. Wu stated at the ceremony. “The international community is looking at Addis with high expectations and a great sense of ownership.”
Mr. Wu underscored the unique symbolic value of the flag raising ceremony, noting that it sends “a powerful signal for multilateral cooperation.”
“Addis should leave a strong legacy. It must be remembered as the Conference where world leaders set the means to achieve a universal sustainable development agenda that leaves no one behind”
“More than a symbol, it illustrates what is at stake in Addis – to demonstrate our capacity to deliver as one for the people and the planet,” he said.
Welcoming over 5000 high-level delegates from around the world – including heads of states and government, ministers of finance, foreign affairs and development, and representatives of non-governmental organizations, the public and the private sector – the conference will develop an ambitious financial framework to support the implementation of the sustainable development Goals (SDGs).
“The ambitious goal ahead for the world is to eradicate poverty and hunger in this generation, and to achieve sustainable development through promoting inclusive economic growth, protecting the environment, and promoting peaceful and inclusive societies,” Mr. Wu underscored in his statement.
“The Addis Ababa Conference must provide the means to achieve this ambition. The outcome of the Conference will be an important landmark for our future.”
Over the coming days, the financing needs of the international communities’ global development efforts will be addressed through a series of plenary meetings, side events and round tables. Among the issues being discussed are the role of private finance, domestic public resource mobilization, international trade regulations and debt sustainability.
As the conference will be the first of three milestone events focusing on sustainable development this year, a successful outcome of the conference will be crucial for the success of any post-2015 development efforts.
Mr. Wu concluded his remarks by urging governments, business leaders and civil society to “step up” during the coming days, and once again stressed the need to unite the world to create a sustainable path for the planet and its people.
“Addis should leave a strong legacy. It must be remembered as the Conference where world leaders set the means to achieve a universal sustainable development agenda that leaves no one behind.”