Mr. Wu Hongbo Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Secretary-General for the Third International Conference on Financing for Development

Keynote Address
2015 Global Forum on Development : Post-2015 Financing for Sustainable Development

Distinguished Colleagues,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great honor to address this year’s Global Forum on Development. I would like to express my gratitude to the OECD for the invitation. The focus of the Forum on financing for sustainable development is most timely. The cause of development could not have advanced so far without the great work done by OECD and its member countries.

2015 presents a unique opportunity to chart a new era of sustainable development. The Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa in July is the first of three major milestones that will shape international cooperation for years to come. An ambitious outcome in Addis Ababa can lay the groundwork for a successful Summit on sustainable development at the United Nations in New York in September and agreement on climate at COP21 here in Paris in December.



As you know, the broad contours of the post-2015 development agenda have become clear. Poverty eradication will remain at the core of our global efforts. We must build on the progress we have achieved over the last 15 years and finish the unfinished business of the MDGs.

But in a globalized world, faced with truly global challenges, we have to go further. The post-2015 agenda will be universal, addressing the needs and seeking contributions of all people across the planet. It will aim for economic progress, social inclusion and environmental sustainability in a balanced manner, and will thus be relevant to all countries, developed and developing.  

At its heart will be the Sustainable Development Goals proposed by the Open Working Group of the General Assembly. The SDGs encapsulate a transformative sustainable development agenda.

To deliver this agenda, the global community has to be equally ambitious on financing and means of implementation. The financing needs for sustainable development are indeed enormous. Current investment patterns will not deliver sustainable development. The Addis Conference is a unique opportunity to put us on a more sustainable path. That is why expectations are so high. 

We have to complete three tasks between now and July to make Addis a success. First, we have to formulate a comprehensive financing framework for sustainable development. This framework must be relevant to the implementation of the SDGs in all regions and income groups, and should seek coherence and maximize synergies with other financing streams.

Second, we have to bring concrete deliverables to the Conference. The contributions of OECD members will be absolutely critical in this regard. To build trust and confidence of all partners, it will be indispensable to reaffirm ODA commitments, and to achieve tangible progress in other areas, such as international tax cooperation and the fight against illicit financial flows.

Third, if we are to retain the momentum and support implementation of the SDGs through 2030, the agreement must remain alive beyond 2015. Effective monitoring and mutual accountability are necessary at all levels, through a strengthened and meaningful follow-up process.

I would like to reiterate the call for high-level participation from OECD countries to this very important Conference.  What we can accomplish from Addis will certainly reinforce mutual trust and confidence and will result in a more ambitious outcome in September Summit in New York, and in the Paris meeting on climate change.

I believe that the zero draft of the outcome document now circulated for consultation provides a good basis for the upcoming negotiations.

The draft lays out a comprehensive financing framework that builds on the Monterrey Consensus. But it also goes beyond Monterrey by including the financial as well as the technical means to achieve sustainable development in its economic, social and environmental dimensions.

In this effort, it fully takes into account the report of the Open Working Group. Indeed, with very few exceptions, the means of implementation for the SDGs as proposed by the Open Working Group are contained in the draft and embedded in the broader framework.

Allow me at this point to highlight a few aspects of the draft outcome document that I consider of particular relevance to today’s meeting.

The draft calls for heightened ambition in mobilizing domestic revenue in support of national sustainable development strategies. This will require greater domestic efforts, but also enhanced international cooperation on tax matters and technical support for developing countries.

At the same time, there is a call for more inclusive deliberations to ensure that these efforts benefit all countries, including the least developed countries. This includes the upgrade of the United Nations Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters to an intergovernmental committee, to complement the ongoing work in the OECD and other fora.

Investments in sustainable infrastructure are recognized as a major cross-cutting driver that can contribute to achieving all the SDGs. The draft outcome calls for a global initiative on sustainable infrastructure, building on the work of the Group of 20 and involving all stakeholders, in particular the multilateral development banks.

I hope that members of the OECD in particular can heed this call and take the lead on this key priority.

Another issue I would like to raise is ODA. Many developing countries, in particular the least developed countries, continue to struggle to meet their development goals. ODA is also one of the important leverages for more public and private financing for development. I applaud members of the OECD DAC for delivering ODA at record levels in 2013, despite difficult fiscal circumstances. I commend in particular the five countries that have fulfilled or surpassed their promise to commit 0.7 per cent of their gross national income to development aid: Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom. I urge others to follow their good example by scaling up their support, reaffirming their existing commitments and taking concrete steps towards meeting them in full.

The draft also emphasizes the importance of greater coherence of monetary, financial, trade, migration and environmental policies at the international level. Additional action, national and international, is also required to enhance debt sustainability, and I look forward to your constructive engagement to advance this important part of the agenda, and debt crisis prevention in particular.  


As the Secretary-General of the Conference, I will continue to do my utmost to ensure a successful Conference. I will be more than happy to have your support in this task. If I may, I would like to urge you in particular to ensure your governments’ participation in Addis at the highest possible level. This will send a strong signal to the international community that we are not shying away from our responsibilities and that we are indeed serious about meeting our ambitious goals.

Together, we can make Addis a success.

Thank you.