Briefing on logistical arrangements for the Third International Conference on Financing for Development

Your Excellency Ambassador Tekeda Alemu,
Dear Under-Secretary-General, Mr. Gettu,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for finding the time to attend this briefing on the logistical arrangements for the Third International Conference on Financing for Development. I know that this week most of you are very busy following the negotiations on the outcome document of the Conference.

I am happy to say that these negotiations are at an advanced stage. Member States have completed the second in-depth, para-by-para, reading of the revised draft outcome document under the leadership of the two co-facilitators, Ambassador Talbot of Guyana and Ambassador Pedersen of Norway. There are many areas of broad agreement but some contentious issues remain. Therefore it is very important to intensify efforts to move towards compromise and reaching agreements on all issues to achieve the shared objective of finalizing the document during the third and final drafting session on 15-19 June. This would help us to secure high-level participation in, and contribute to, the overall success of the Conference.

The purpose of this briefing is to provide information on logistical arrangements for the Conference. In order to present a full picture, I invited Ambassador Alemu, Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the United Nations, and Mr. Gettu, Under-Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management to join me today. Together we will address the main points of general interest.

On the road to Addis, in my capacity as the Secretary-General of the Conference, I convened a series of interdepartmental meetings on preparations for the Conference and led two planning missions to Ethiopia. As you know, the Conference will be held at the premises of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). I am happy to confirm that the Conference facilities available at ECA largely meet the requirements of the Conference, although at a smaller scale than usual for an all-States Conference.

In accordance with the two modalities resolutions, the rich programme of the Conference will include 8 plenary meetings and 6 roundtables. The roundtables will be held in parallel with the plenary meetings. Roundtables 1, 3 and 5 will be on the theme: “Global partnership and the three dimensions of sustainable development”; Roundtables 2, 4 and 6 will be on the theme: “Ensuring policy coherence and an enabling environment at all levels for sustainable development”.

All roundtables will be open to participation by representatives of all participating States, up to 15 representatives of observers, relevant entities of the United Nations system and other accredited intergovernmental organizations, up to 6 representatives of accredited civil society organizations, and up to 6 representatives of accredited business sector entities. In addition, there will be a Business Sector Forum (14 July) and an extensive programme of side events. The Conference will also be preceded by a 2-day Civil Society Forum (11-12 July).

The logistical requirements of carrying out the official programme of the Conference were determined by the interdepartmental team through consultations with the Ethiopian Government and ECA and are embodied in the Host Country Agreement. I am happy to announce that this agreement was signed earlier today thanks to great efforts and flexibility of both sides. However, many pending issues on the ground remain and the UN interdepartmental team continues to work with the Ethiopian Government and ECA colleagues.

As you know, we have established a dedicated website for the Conference. In addition to providing current information related to the preparatory process, it also serves as an information portal for the Conference itself.

The conference website provides guidance regarding registration and accreditation procedures for the full range of participants. Participating States, GA observer entities and organizations, specialized agencies and related organizations, IGOs accredited to FfD, as well as associate members of regional commissions are advised to contact UN Protocol Office. Civil Society and Business Sector organizations are provided with separate links to their respective coordinating mechanisms handling registration and accreditation. In addition, the website provides guidance on media accreditation and registration of representatives of UN funds and programmes.

Along with the UN Journal, the website also provides guidance on how to inscribe on the list of speakers for plenary meetings and, for non-State participants, on the roundtables.

Registration of side events was also available through the Conference website through a special link. It closed on 31 May. We received over 200 requests. My staff is currently reviewing them with the view to allocating time slots and rooms. Side events will take place largely outside of ECA premises due to space limitations. We expect to post a tentative programme of side events on the Conference website in mid-June.

In addition, the website also features the Delegate’s Handbook by the Host Country. I hope that Ambassador Alemu will present it in greater detail as it offers a wealth of relevant information for Conference participants.

We are also making progress in organizing the roundtables. In accordance with the second modalities resolution, each roundtable will be co-chaired by two Chairs to be appointed by the President of the Conference from among the Heads of State or Government and ministers attending the Conference, in consultation with the regional groups. High-level officials from the major institutional stakeholders will be invited to act as moderators. Each roundtable will feature up to four panellists. Accordingly, I have initiated consultations with the PGA’s office regarding the selection of co-chairs, moderators and panelists. We expect to post the programme of the roundtables on the Conference website by the second half of this month.

Lastly, let me reiterate an appeal to all potential donors to consider contributing to the FfD Trust Fund in order to support the travel and participation of representatives from developing countries, in particular the least developed countries (LDCs) in the Conference. Thanks to generous contributions from several donors, we were able to fund participation of 166 representatives from developing countries to the substantive and drafting sessions held as part of the preparatory process for the Conference. I am convinced that their presence made a big difference to the quality of the discussions.

We are planning to support the travel of up to two representatives from LDCs to the Conference. A letter inviting nominations for such travel support was circulated on 29 May, with the deadline of 12 June. If more financial resources become available, we are planning to support other participants including panellists in roundtables, as well as representatives of Civil Society and the Business Sector.

Now, I would like to give the floor to Ambassador Alemu. Ambassador, you have the floor.

File date: 
Thursday, June 4, 2015
Mr. Wu