Madrid, Spain, 27 February 2012 - Secretary-General's message to 10th Plenary Meeting of the Leading Group on Innovative Financing for Development
I am pleased to send greetings to the 10th Plenary Meeting of the Leading Group on Innovative Financing for Development.
The global recession has constrained government budgets in many countries. Climate change, natural disasters, and volatility in food and commodity prices have further widened the gap in funding for development needs. Your Group’s efforts, which now bring together 63 developed and developing countries in partnership with the United Nations and other international agencies, civil society and the private sector, are more important than ever.
Since 2006, innovative mechanisms such as the International Finance Facility for Immunization, the Solidarity Levy on Airline Tickets, Debt2Health swaps and the Advance Market Commitments have raised nearly $6 billion for the health sector. Other pressing development challenges, such as education and food security, could benefit from similar support. I urge you to explore what more you can do as part of the run-up to the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development and our efforts to articulate a post-2015 development agenda.
The international community has recognized the need to scale up existing innovative mechanisms and explore new initiatives. Your meeting provides a platform to take stock of progress, exchange experiences and coordinate efforts to raise additional resources.
I commend the Leading Group for exploring new avenues such as instituting a Financial Transaction Tax, curbing illicit financial flows and lowering the transfer cost of migrant remittances. Such initiatives show great promise, though they vary markedly in the degree of political support they can gather. There is also some concern that the funds raised through innovative mechanisms may be used to address the fiscal crisis of donor countries. It is therefore essential to ensure that revenues from innovative sources are additional to traditional Official Development Assistance. Your task is to identify the mechanisms with greatest benefit for development, and move quickly towards implementation.
I reiterate my strong support for your work and wish you a successful meeting.
Statements on 27 February 2012