New York – 15 June 2015
Co-Facilitators, H.E. George Talbot and H.E. Geir Padersen,
Under-Secretary-General Wu Hongbo,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to commend the Co-Facilitators, all delegations, stakeholders, and the Secretariat for the hard work done so far in the preparatory process for the upcoming Third International Conference on Financing for Development.
The negotiations have now reached a critical and decisive stage. During this last drafting session, we should ensure that we reach consensus on an ambitious outcome with concrete action-oriented deliverables, to support the implementation of a transformative post-2015 development agenda. This agenda will have an impact on development for the next 15 years and beyond.
The expectations are high not only from the wider international community but from ordinary citizens all over the world, especially from developing countries, who seek a better future, with improved livelihoods.
This is a significant week and I call upon all delegations to continue engaging with a constructive spirit and flexibility in order to conclude the negotiations on 19 June, here in New York. This will have a bearing on high-level participation and commitments in Addis Ababa in July.
The Co-Facilitators have informed me that there is convergence and emerging consensus in many areas.
But there are still divergent positions on several issues, and bridging proposals have been presented.
In this final phase, we have to discuss and focus on the key deliverables, policies, measures, and interventions that will have the greatest impact in terms of scaling-up the mobilization of financial and non-financial resources for implementation of the new development agenda.
One of the recurring questions has been: What will constitute an ambitious and successful Outcome from the Addis Ababa Conference?
Overall, we need a renewed and reinvigorated partnership for development. Increasing domestic resource mobilization remains critical, as it the most sustainable way to finance development needs. Policy measures at the national level for widening the revenue base, improving tax collection, combatting tax evasion and illicit financial flows, need to be supported through greater international cooperation on tax matters.
I understand that there is broad agreement on the need to enhance such cooperation, but there are still divergent views on the optimal mechanism for doing so. Some of the proposals include upgrading the current Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters to an intergovernmental body; or continuing to build on the work being done under OECD and the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. I encourage you to work towards reaching consensus on this important issue, taking into account the need for universal participation.
International Public Finance will remain important in the implementation of the new development agenda, especially for countries in special situations such as LDCs, SIDs and countries in conflict or emerging from conflict.
In this context, achieving the targets of 0.7% ODA/GNI and 0.15 – 0.20% for LDCs is critical. It is also essential to ensure that a significant portion of ODA is given to those countries in greatest need.
I commend the developed countries which have already achieved that target, as well as those that have reaffirmed their commitment to achieving it by 2030 or earlier if possible. I encourage all developed countries to join in this effort.
I also call on emerging economies to enhance their efforts and contribution in order to ensure that South-South Cooperation continues to grow as complementary source to support development.
Significant investments will be required in infrastructure especially energy, transport, water and sanitation, among other areas, in order to realize the ambitious and transformative agenda reflected in the proposed Sustainable Development Goals.
In this regard, policies and measures for mobilization of long-term finance at affordable and concessional rates for critical infrastructure, especially in developing countries, should be one of the key deliverables from Addis Ababa. Improving the responsiveness of international financial institutions and regional development banks to financing needs will be critical.
We need innovative ways and enabling environments to increase international private flows, including foreign direct investment (FDI), trade, and increasing participation of the private sector. This will also be important for supporting industrialization and value-addition in developing countries.
Some of the other priority areas including agriculture and food security, social protection, and SMEs will also require attention in terms of increased investments and financing.
On the issue of technology development and transfer, which is an important component of the means of implementation, I am encouraged that progress is being made. We can build on the recommendations of the structured dialogues as well as ongoing initiatives on technology and innovation to propose a facilitation mechanism.
It is essential to have an inclusive, robust and effective follow-up and review framework to track progress in implementation of the Outcome and commitments that will be agreed upon in Addis Ababa.
Finally, I call upon you all to redouble your efforts and engagement so that we reach consensus on an ambitious Outcome with concrete deliverables to support the implementation of the new development agenda.
Thank you for your attention.