Mobilizing the finances to fund a sustainable and inclusive future for the world was at the center of the global dialogue, as the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FFD3) saw its official kick-off today. “This conference is the starting point in a new era of cooperation and global partnership,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, as he addressed the numerous heads of state and government, policymakers and representatives of non-governmental organizations, the public and the private sector, who had gathered in the Ethiopian capital for the 4-day event.
“You have recognized that in a world in which both the global population and resource constraints are growing, development finance needs a reboot,” Mr. Ban said.
FFD3 is one in a series of landmark events leading up to the implementation of an ambitious post-2015 development agenda, that aims to eradicate poverty and hunger in this generation, and achieve sustainable development through inclusive economic growth, protection of the environment and promoting peaceful and inclusive societies.
“It is the right agenda for a world that has the power, for the first time in history, to wipe poverty out entirely”
Prime Minister of Ethiopia
“The challenge is not insurmountable,” UN DESA’s Under-Secretary-General and Conference Secretary-General, Mr. Wu Hongbo, said in a press conference following the opening session. “Global public and private savings would be sufficient to address [the financing need of development] – but only if financial resources are aligned with economic, social and environmental priorities.”
The opening day of FFD3 saw statements from government leaders and experts in finance and development from across countries and organizations.
Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of host country Ethiopia expressed his hopes for the conference and the road to sustainable development the world is embarking on. “As the post-2015 development agenda has gathered pace over the recent years, it has become a central focus for all our hopes and ambitions about the kind of world we want to bequeath our children,” he said.
“There are some that say that the sustainable development agenda is too broad. I am not one of them,” the Prime Minister continued. “This is the right agenda for a world in transition. It is the right agenda for a world that has the power, for the first time in history, to wipe poverty out entirely.”
At the subsequent press conference, Mr. Wu reflected on the inspiration that delegations could draw from their surroundings: “It is of great significance that this conference is held on African soil and in Ethiopia,” he said.
“We gather here in Addis at a critical time for people and the planet. The year 2015 should mark history”
“A country that has made tremendous strides in the fight against poverty, and that has pledged to do so in an environmentally sustainable manner.”
Environmental sustainability plays a key role in the negotiations, as do gender equality, social protection, the elimination of illicit trade flows, human rights and numerous other economic and social drivers for development. Nearly 200 side events give delegates a chance to zero in on local, regional and global economic challenges and best practices.
Reiterating his commitment to a successful outcome of the conference, while looking ahead at three more days of negotiations, Mr. Wu said that it could ”set us on the path to realign financial flows with sustainable development.”
“We gather here in Addis at a critical time for people and the planet,” he said. “The year 2015 should mark history.”