Turning pledges into reality to finance sustainable development

“Let’s demonstrate our commitment to realizing the sustainable development goals through financing for development,” said Oh Joon, President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), ahead of the inaugural ECOSOC Financing for Development Forum, which will be held in New York on 18-20 April under the theme “Financing for sustainable development: follow-up to the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.”

The Forum is the first event to follow up on last year’s Third International Conference on Financing for Development and the promises made in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, which was adopted by the international community in the Ethiopian capital on 16 July 2015.

“It provides a strong foundation for our efforts to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by the year 2030,” Mr. Joon said, describing the comprehensive framework outlined in the Addis Agenda, which mobilizes all sources of finance and covers cooperation on a range of issues including technology, science, innovation, trade and capacity building. He also called for strong commitments and high-level participation at the upcoming event.

High-level officials to take the stage

During its opening segment on Monday 18 April, the Forum will feature the Special high-level meeting of ECOSOC with the Bretton Woods institutions, the World Trade Organization and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Heads of major institutions and their intergovernmental bodies are expected to take the stage, followed by ministers and other high-level officials. An interactive dialogue will be held between UN Ambassadors and Executive Directors of the World Bank and IMF.

The two remaining days of the Forum will comprise of its general segment which will include a series of interactive multi-stakeholder round tables with more focused, expert-level discussions, and a briefing for civil society and business sector.

Task Force releases inaugural report ahead of event

The deliberations by Member States and other stakeholders at the Forum will be informed by the report of the Inter-agency Task Force on Financing for Development (IATF), convened by the Secretary-General in late 2015.

The IATF inaugural report “Addis Ababa Action Agenda: Monitoring commitments and actions” has been published on the website of UN DESA’s Financing for Development Office, only a few weeks before the opening of the Forum. With over 50 agencies contributing, the report maps out the commitments and action items contained in the Addis Agenda and lays out how the Task Force will monitor their implementation in future years.

Unlocking potential to expand access to finance

Led by the two co-facilitators, Jean-Francis Regis Zinsou, Permanent Representative of Benin to the UN and Vladimir Drobnjak, Permanent Representative of Croatia to the UN, the Forum will result in inter-governmentally agreed conclusions and recommendations, which will be fed into the work of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development taking place in July this year.

As the first major follow up event to last year’s Financing for Development conference, the Forum will bring together Member States and institutional stakeholders to reaffirm their pledges on more than 100 concrete measures outlined in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, exchange experiences and provide recommendations for future actions.

It will also provide an opportunity for unprecedented cooperation between various stakeholders, offering a chance to expand access to finance and ensure that financing flows are aligned with economic, social and environmental policy priorities.

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