Mr. Wu Hongbo Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs

Introduction of the inaugural report of the Inter-agency Task Force at the ECOSOC
Forum on Financing for Development follow-up

Excellencies,
Distinguished delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Less than a year ago, we gathered in Addis Ababa to adopt the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.

We put in place a holistic and coherent framework for financing sustainable development. It contains hundreds of concrete actions to mobilize resources and align all financing flows and policies with sustainable development.

Today, we gather for the first time to assess progress in implementation. We do so with a sense of urgency – in the knowledge that realizing the Sustainable Development Goals will be possible only if the Addis commitments are translated into action in full and in a timely manner.

This is why I am very pleased to be able to present to you the inaugural report of the Inter-agency Task Force on Financing for Development. Credible monitoring provides the basis for follow-up and review. This first report aims to lay a strong foundation for follow-up on the Financing for Development outcomes and the means of implementation of the SDGs in the coming years.

Before I present its findings, I would be remiss if I did not thank the Members of the Inter-agency Task Force for preparing the first report in a very short time-frame.

Under the coordination of the Financing for Development Office of UN DESA and in close collaboration with the major institutional stakeholders of the Financing for Development process, the World Bank Group, the IMF, the WTO, UNCTAD and UNDP, more than 50 United Nations agencies, programmes and offices, regional commissions, and other relevant international institutions, such as the OECD and Financial Stability Board, have contributed to its production.

They have brought together a wide array of expertise, and I am confident that you will find this knowledge reflected in our report.

Excellencies,

The Task Force set itself two tasks for its inaugural report: first, to map out the commitments and actions in the Addis Agenda, including their relationship to the means of implementation of the SDGs; and second, to present the monitoring framework and data sources that will allow for annual assessments of progress.

A thematic clustering of all of the commitments and action items reveals the breadth and depth of the Addis Agenda. There are more than 100 such thematic clusters, each of which contains a number of specific action items.

Under each cluster, the Task Force presents the best currently available sources of data for monitoring, a discussion on the quality of the data, and other methods such as qualitative and contextual analysis and case studies.

The thematic clusters also highlight where the means of implementation targets of the SDGs – all of which are included in the Addis Agenda – are integrated in the broader financing framework.

Each of the SDGs draws on commitments and actions from across the Addis Agenda for implementation. The SDG means of implementation targets are part of these, and are further contextualized, supported and complemented by additional action items in the Addis Agenda’s financing framework. The introduction of the report spells out this relationship in more detail.

For its monitoring efforts, the Task Force can thus draw on the indicators for the SDGs, and will not add to the already significant reporting burden of countries. Where the Addis Agenda goes beyond the means of implementation targets, additional data and information will be drawn from existing sources.

Nonetheless, there are areas that would be best informed by country reporting. This leads me to three final observations and questions that I would like to share with you.

First, we have already seen in the last few months how a changing global environment can impact on the implementation of our global agenda. This calls for flexibility in the follow-up process and in the themes it addresses.

The Task Force, with its large membership from across the UN system and beyond, is well placed to provide analysis on a wide range of economic, financial and trade issues. Such topical analysis could be made available to the intergovernmental process if timely guidance is provided.

Second, the comprehensive nature of the Financing for Development outcomes makes it very challenging to provide full reporting within the confines of a report. This is particularly so because of the complexity of many of the issues, which require in-depth analysis.

Therefore, the Task Force proposes to include in its annual report a concise overview of each chapter, while covering the broader set of commitments in an online appendix. Future reports will also contain a brief discussion of the global context and its implications, and, if Member States so request, a discussion of specific thematic issues.

Third, commitments and actions related to national sustainable development strategies are best monitored through national reporting. Further guidance from Member States would be needed to assess options for country reporting in the FfD process, and its relation to related efforts for the SDGs.

Excellencies,

I trust that you will find this inaugural report a useful basis for your deliberations. I look forward to your reactions and comments. Your guidance will allow the Task Force to duly fulfil its mandate and provide relevant advice in future years.

Thank you.

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