Negotiators from 193 countries began the process of shaping a global plan to deliver predictable financing for sustainable development over the next 15 years as the latest round of preparatory negotiations for Financing for Development wrapped up at the UN Headquarters in New York today.
The process is “moving towards a conclusion,” said Ambassador George Talbot of Guyana, one of the co-facilitators of the discussions. He called upon UN Member State representatives to “keep the level of ambition high” to ensure an “ambitious outcome” in Addis Ababa this July, when world leaders meet to reach an agreement on how to implement the finance, trade and technology solutions needed to eradicate extreme poverty, promote prosperity and protect the environment.
Every country will need to “go beyond their comfort zone” to ensure a Conference outcome that will support the sustainable development goals to be adopted this September, added Ambassador Geir Pedersen of Norway, the second co-facilitator overseeing the negotiations.
Today’s session marked the end of week-long discussions on the ‘zero draft’ of the Addis Ababa Accord, the document to be put before world leaders when they meet at the July conference.
At the heart of the document are strategies to help governments – developed and developing – unlock both domestic and international resources to improve the lives of their people and future generations. Also being considered as part of the negotiation process are opportunities to forge partnerships between governments, civil society and businesses to encourage strategic, green investment and align public and private spending for the greatest impact.
Most delegations welcomed the proposed document, and there was general agreement that it would serve as a strong basis for further discussion.
Switzerland, speaking on behalf of more than 30 Member States, spoke out about the importance of integrating the issue of gender equality throughout the agreement, highlighting that this was not only the right thing to do, but also “smart economics.”
Other topics still requiring clarification include developed countries’ Overseas Development Assistance commitments, the need to align the Financing for Development process with the sustainable development negotiations taking place in parallel, and the follow-up process that will monitor the eventual implementation of the Addis Ababa Accord.
Further consultations on the document will be held in May, ahead of the third and final drafting session which will take place in New York between 15 and 19 June.