Mr. Liu Zhenmin
Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs,
Chair of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Financing for Development

Opening Remarks at meeting of IATF on FFD

Dear colleagues,

Welcome to the fifth meeting of the Inter-agency Task Force on Financing for Development.

This is my first meeting as chairman of the Task Force. I am very pleased to assume this role and to join you today to open this meeting and formally begin the preparations for the 2018 IATF Report.

I commend the dedication with which this group has worked over the last two years in producing two highly regarded reports. I look forward to continuing this collaboration with the same professionalism and dedication going forward.

This year, the work of the Task Force will be conducted in a new political and institutional environment. First, the Secretary General has begun outlining his proposals for UN system reform. The aim is to make the UN system far more integrated, more aligned, more able to work seamlessly across sectors and specializations – and to do so more effectively. This is about ensuring that the UN is positioned to better deliver for people.

The Secretary-General, has called for UN-DESA to be “the ‘docking station’ for financing for development at the global level, working closely with international financial institutions.” This is precisely the purpose of this Task Force, which has established itself as an efficient and effective means of coordination.

The Task Force has become an important exercise in the coherence of the UN system on financing issues, bringing together research and analysis from across the UN agencies and marrying this with work of other important non-UN institutions that are Task Force members. With the five major institutional stakeholders actively engaged in the analytical work — the IMF, World Bank, WTO, UNCTAD and UNDP — the FfD process has already served to sharpen the partnership between the UN and the IFIs and the WTO. Inter-agency analytical work at the global level will complement and reinforce national-level efforts to support countries as they develop national financing frameworks for the SDGs.

Secondly, the first substantive report of the Task Force earlier this year has created a high level of expectations from Member States. Member States incorporated many of the recommendations of the 2017 Task Force Report directly in the outcome of the FfD Forum.

In this outcome, they also mandated the Task Force to report on several new areas in 2018. They have tasked us to strengthen the analysis of new and emerging topics of relevance to the implementation of the Addis Agenda and to produce more case studies. Many Member States have also called on us to deepen the links between our work and the SDG review process.

The quality of this Task Force’s work will be a decisive factor in the continued success of the Financing for Development follow-up process. We should keep in mind that it is not the process itself that is important but the results, which are the implementation of the Addis Agenda and facilitation of Member States’ efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Finally, I would like to reiterate that we welcome your feedback and guidance for our work going forward. The Task Force has become a lively platform for inter-agency collaboration on financing for development issues. We also welcome all of you to take initiatives to organise meetings and substantive discussions under the aegis of this Task Force. Continued collaboration is essential if we are to help Member States. My staff are ready to work with you to take advantage of this infrastructure whenever the combined analytical capacity of the UN system on financing issues can be of service.

The director of the Financing for Development Office, Alex Trepelkov will share a brief update on the intergovernmental process on FfD, and Shari Spiegel, who has been leading the IATF at the working level, will then provide further details on the next steps for the Task Force for the 2018 cycle.

I look forward to our continued collaboration and thank you in advance for your contributions to the Task Force.

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