The Third International Conference on Financing for Development is expected to prepare the framework for financing the post-2015 sustainable development agenda, benefitting people and the planet. With only a few months left until this milestone conference will take place in Addis Ababa in July, the first drafting session of the outcome document kicked off at UN Headquarters in New York.
“You have embarked on the second stage of your journey to Addis Ababa,” said Mr. Wu Hongbo, UN DESA’s Under-Secretary-General and the Conference Secretary-General, as he addressed the session, which took place on 28-30 January, gathering high-level participation from UN Member State capitals.
“In this first drafting session, you have started discussing the deliverables of the Conference and seeking agreement on an ambitious outcome document. It is a difficult task. Expectations are very high,” he continued, referencing this great assignment before the General Assembly.
The meeting discussed in detail an “elements paper” submitted by the co-facilitators of the preparatory process, Ambassador Pedersen (Norway) and Ambassador Talbot (Guyana). Prepared with the assistance of DESA, the document was welcomed by delegations, who agreed that it served as a good basis for discussion in preparation of the zero draft of the outcome document.
“This framework must address the three dimensions of sustainable development in a balanced manner, with poverty eradication at its core”
UN DESA’s Under-Secretary-General
and Conference Secretary-General
Many speakers commended the depth of analysis provided and appreciated the compilation of a range of proposals addressing the identified challenges. The deliberations elicited concrete suggestions under each of the chapters. Participants agreed that the outcome document of the conference should build on the Monterrey Consensus and Doha Declaration on Financing for Development and address the full remit of the Financing for Development agenda, including all financing sources and enabling environments.
There was also agreement that the outcome document must be relevant to, and coherent with, the post-2015 agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also taking into account the reports of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing, as well as the Secretary-General’s synthesis report.
The major institutional stakeholders of the Financing for Development process – including the World Bank, IMF, UNCTAD and UNDP – continue to be fully engaged in the preparatory process of the conference, along with many parts of the UN system, as well as international organizations, civil society and business sector representatives. State Minister of Finance and Economic Development of Ethiopia, Abraham Tekeste, also expressed strong commitment of the host Government to ensuring a successful conference.
“You are tasked with formulating a comprehensive financing framework for sustainable development,” said Mr. Wu as he outlined some of the challenges ahead. “This framework must address the three dimensions of sustainable development in a balanced manner, with poverty eradication at its core. It must also be relevant to the implementation of the SDGs, and should seek coherence and maximize synergies with other financing streams, including climate finance,” he said.