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Leave no one behind in the new development agenda

Jocelyne Sambira

Leave no one behind in the new development agenda

“Leave no one behind in the new development agenda” was the appeal made by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the opening of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on Monday. 

Heads of State and Government, ministers of finance, foreign affairs, development cooperation, as well as civil society members, business sector entities and non-governmental organizations from all the corners of the earth are in attendance. Expectations are high and negotiations are going full swing as participants try to forge partnerships in order to mobilize public and private investments for a people-centred sustainable development.

Ahead of the conference, during a twelve-hour Ethiopian Airlines flight from Dulles airport to Addis, the adrenaline was palpable as passengers around me were typing away on the their laptops, while others were going through documents and power points. Meanwhile, several seats in front of me, I got a glimpse of Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf pouring over some papers with her lamp on well into the night.

Addis Ababa itself personifies this transformation that the #FFD3 conference is trying to achieve. Buildings are sprouting up everywhere and the picture is one of a city in perpetual movement and change from the old to the new.

As the day comes to an end, the energy has not worn off. Mr Ban has been in and out of events, along with the representatives of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and African Development Bank.

A side event on the launch of a global financing facility for the Secretary-General’s Every Woman, Every Child partnership is being held with heads of four African states, including President Johnson Sirleaf. Mr Ban is also expected to address the last session along with Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the African Union chairperson.

The conference has been launched with a bang and the United Nations is putting all the stops to facilitate the adoption of an agreed outcome document also to be known as the “Addis Ababa Action Agenda” for the implementation of the new sustainable agenda.