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

Special high-level meeting of ECOSOC with the World Bank, IMF, WTO and UNCTAD – Thematic Debate on ‘Current challenges and emerging opportunities for the mobilization of financial resources and their effective use for sustainable development on the road to Addis Ababa’

Distinguished delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen.

The Conference presents a unique opportunity to adopt a strong financing framework for sustainable development and provide the means of implementation for the post-2015 development agenda.

Preparations for the Conference have moved a long way and reached a critical stage. Let me use this opportunity to commend the two co-facilitators of the preparatory process, Ambassador Talbot and Ambassador Pedersen, for their leadership of the intergovernmental preparations of the Conference.

I would also like to thank the President of the World Bank, the Managing Director of the IMF, the Director-General of WTO, the Secretary-General of UNCTAD and the Administrator of UNDP for their strong engagement and close collaboration to make the Addis Conference a real success. I look forward to the continued collaboration toward Addis.

Last week, Member States discussed the zero draft of the outcome document, and the joint session between the FfD and the post-2015 processes will start tomorrow. Addis Ababa was also a central focus of the Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and the IMF in Washington, D.C., just last weekend. The Secretary-General made the case for an ambitious outcome and the highest level of participation at the Conference. We could sense a strong momentum and feel ownership and positive spirit among all parties.

Over the past two months, the United Nations regional commissions have organised a series of regional consultations in Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and Western Asia. The last one will be held in Indonesia next week.

The consultations emphasized the importance of domestic resource mobilization and the need for reforms at national and international levels, for example to combat illicit financial flows and curtail tax avoidance and evasion, but also to ensure greater and more inclusive international cooperation in tax matters.

There were strong calls on donors to meet their ODA commitments of 0.7% of GNI. Some called for more ambitious ODA targets.

With regards to the private sector, there was some discussion of the impediments that stand in the way of all private finance and investment becoming sustainable.

The role of migrant communities was also discussed.  Their role in mobilizing domestic and international private resources involves much more than just remittances. Diaspora communities are a potential source of foreign direct investment and philanthropic finance. Moreover, they also have the potential to promote bilateral trade, and play an important role in technology transfer.

In Santiago and Addis, participants underscored the need for further reform of the international financial architecture, in particular the increase in the participation of developing countries in decision-making fora of global economic governance. The two meetings also discussed the potential of reforming and making greater use of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) to stabilize international financial markets and as an alternative to accumulating foreign currency reserves.

These few points are just a sample of the many important issues under consideration as part of the preparations for Addis.

The discussions at the Council today and tomorrow provide additional space to deliberate on financing for sustainable development, and on the role of ECOSOC in the follow-up to Addis Ababa.


As the Secretary-General of the Conference, I will continue to do my utmost to make Addis a success. The Secretary-General and myself are working closely with the Heads of the World Bank Group, IMF, WTO, UNCTAD and UNDP to mobilize high-level political support toward the Conference. I ask you to support us in this task, and urge you in particular to ensure your governments’ participation in Addis at the highest political level.

Thank you.