ADDIS ABABA, 15 July – Ministers of countries that had made strides in the complex task of sustaining social cohesion and growing their economies, nevertheless urged the adoption at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, in Ethiopia, of an effective framework for assistance that would help build the resilience of all States to the multiple crises the world currently faced.
“Let us leave this milestone event with a clear plan as to how to make financing for development fully operational so that all our countries become less vulnerable, more resilient and able to provide a decent living for all our people,” the Minister representing Barbados said early in today’s session, noting that his country, though it had made enough progress to be deemed “middle-income”, was threatened by natural disasters, climate change impacts, financial shocks and market variability.
The four-day Conference was mandated by the General Assembly to assess progress in development financing in the framework of the 2002 Monterrey Consensus, to reinvigorate follow-up, and, most importantly, to create a blueprint for international development cooperation that would support the post-2015 agenda, whose adoption is expected at a summit in New York in September. The outcome of the Conference, not yet adopted, is being called the Addis action agenda.
In today’s session, speakers from nations with a range of challenges reaffirmed the importance of official development assistance (ODA), especially for the least developed countries, and an enabling environment for enduring economic growth, domestic resource mobilization and private-sector investment, aided both by international, triangular and South-South cooperation. In that collective responsibility, recipient countries sought assistance based on their needs, while donor countries urged the enhanced effectiveness of all forms of financing.
Also offering policy prescriptions were representatives of middle-income developing countries and others who said that building resilience should be complemented by institutional and human capacity-building in order to create the conditions for sustainable growth. Jamaica’s Minister of Finance and Planning said accepting differences in capacity while recognizing communality of goals was the core of the partnership required to fuel completion of work on the action plan.
He was among several speakers who urged action to mitigate heavy debt burdens that had been exacerbated by the recent market volatility and other crises constraining progress. He also sought a review of the criteria for ranking countries as middle-income. The Minister of Maghreb Affairs, African Union and League of Arab States of Algeria advocated full respect for debt relief, productive investment and global governance reform. Mali’s Foreign Affairs Minister called on donors, especially the international financial institutions, to consider the country’s ability to pay.
Several representatives of countries whose structural conditions were not yet sufficiently robust to rely on financial markets for all their funding proposed the use of “resilience building” as a policy condition for lending by the international financial institutions. Many sought equality of opportunity in the policymaking of those institutions overall, as well as in forums on tax policy, in their effort to better mobilize domestic funds and level the playing field.
In that light, some speakers urged more multilateralism in establishing global standards on financial matters. They welcomed elements of the draft text, such as the affirmation of the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and the establishment of a technology facilitation mechanism. India’s representative expressed deep disappointment over the lack of a decision to establish an intergovernmental body at the United Nations for tax matters, calling that “an historic missed opportunity”. Greater information exchange was good, but did not replace equitable representation in the creation of standards.
Also speaking today were ministers and diplomatic officials representing Cabo Verde, Saint Lucia, Burkina Faso, Bhutan, Bahrain, Madagascar, India, Iceland, Central African Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, Philippines, Burundi, Cameroon, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Mexico, South Sudan, Timor-Leste, Egypt, Venezuela, Qatar, Switzerland, Spain, Iraq, Netherlands, Rwanda, Chad, Congo, Malta, Russian Federation, Hungary, Bangladesh, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Estonia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Viet Nam, Ireland, Thailand, Montenegro, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nepal, Chile, Cuba, Israel, Malaysia, Austria, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Tunisia and Angola.
The Observer for the Holy See also made a statement, as did representatives of the International Trade Centre, Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), International Organization for Migration, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and the International Civil Aviation Organization.
The Third International Conference on Financing for Development will continue at 10 a.m. Thursday, 16 July, in Addis Ababa.
PETER PHILLIPS, Minister of Finance and Planning of Jamaica, associating with the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, and the Latin American and Caribbean countries, said it was important at the Conference to demonstrate that lessons had been learned from previous experiences and that the financing framework must match the “visionary” aspirations of the proposed sustainable development goals. That requires protecting those whose situations are most precarious, particularly in small island and other vulnerable developing States. Facing gaps in financing, many such States were also facing heavy debt burdens and adjustment programmes that required fiscal consolidation and structural reforms, lest they remain even more vulnerable to financial and other shocks. Often, the middle-income designation precludes international relief. He, therefore, urged the Conference to address debt burdens and review the criteria for ranking countries as middle-income. Accepting differences in capacity while recognizing communality of goals was the core of the partnership required to fuel completion of work on the Addis action agenda.
CRISTINA DUARTE, Minister of Finance and Planning of Cabo Verde, said natural resource management must be improved, as its current inadequacy explained the paradox of development in Africa, a continent which, despite its resources, was the poorest. Doing better required solving the problems of mispricing, rent seeking and ineffective mineral property rights. African policymakers must enhance institutions to capture and manage fiscal resources, aiming to end tax avoidance and evasion. Africa lost $50 billion annually to illicit flows and required $24 billion annually to implement universal access to reliable energy and clean power. What Africa did not lose in illicit funds was “officially” kept off the continent in the form of international reserves and pension funds. It was time to deploy resources for development and not wait five years for a loan, which often carried negative conditions. In the coming decades, a key challenge would be to ensure the emergence of a genuine capitalist class. It would not be possible to develop or transform the continent without it, she asserted.
JAMES FLETCHER, Minister for Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology of Saint Lucia, called for the agenda to ensure the mobilization of adequate resources in order to address all facets of sustainable development, while recognizing the integrated nature of challenges faced. He highlighted the importance of development that helped people escape from the vicious cycles of poverty, hunger, disease and depletion of natural resources. That required separate global funds, established for water, sanitation, sustainable energy, health and education. Financing the key concerns of vulnerable small-island States must be priority. Caribbean small islands, in addition, were hobbled in receiving financing by classification as middle-income States, while they coped with serious debt burden, climate impacts and natural disasters, and arbitrary determinations that they were uncooperative on tax matters. “Let us leave Addis Ababa armed with a consensus outcome and with the shared commitment to its effective implementation, which will be critical to effect any tangible transformation.” He urged all to “work together to give our people a chance”.
GUSTAVE SANON, Minister of Economy and Finance of Burkina Faso, associating with the Francophone Group and the Group of 77 and China, hoped the agenda would usher in a new era of shared, sustainable prosperity. Describing his country’s development programmes, he highlighted mobilization of domestic resources through tax reform. Official development assistance (ODA) was a very important element and any drop in aid was of great concern. He pledged that his country would ensure effective use of that aid. There was greater transparency in exploitation of resources such as gold, as well as anti-corruption efforts. Youth and women’s employment was a major concern, along with eliminating extreme poverty and mitigating the severe effects of climate change. To help his country overcome those challenges, he called for follow-up on agreements made in Addis Ababa.
NAMGAY DORJI, Minister for Finance of Bhutan, called for a redoubling of efforts sparked by the Monterrey and Doha conferences for the success of equitable, sustainable development. A variety of mechanisms was needed to release the necessary transformational change. He described the “formidable” challenges of his land-locked country, while vowing its commitment to environmental conservation and fighting poverty. Eager to find innovative means of mobilizing domestic resources, the country would still require the support of development partners. A renewed global partnership should be the main pillar for development financing. In that context, the need for developed countries to enhance ODA to least developed States was absolutely necessary, to enable them to restructure their economies and take advantage of technological changes in order to accelerate development. He called for a holistic framework to support the implementation of an ambitious development agenda, as well as follow up on any agreement reached.
FAEQA SAEED ALSALEH, Minister of Social Development of Bahrain, said she had represented her country during the Economic and Social Council High-Level Political Forum, during which she presented the outcome of an Arab forum, which emphasized the universality and holistic approach needed for the post-2015 agenda. It also emphasized the need for a common but differentiated approach, as well as respect for the sovereignty and human rights. She hoped the Conference would also foresee a joint responsibility for addressing common issues. The sustainable development goals aimed to end poverty, and the international community would need to move from ODA to other forms of investment. Innovative and classical methods were needed, as were private flows; ODA on its own would not be enough. Bahrain had helped to develop Islamic banking by providing financing tools that adhered to Sharia law for infrastructure, housing and industrial projects.
BEATRICE ATALLAH, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Madagascar, said poverty alleviation was a battle to ensure harmonious sustainable development. “These challenges are monumental,” she said, stressing that her country had seen violent cyclones, flooding and drought. She supported all initiatives aimed at building climate-change resilience. Deficits, connectivity and means of payment were challenges more keenly felt by poor countries and often exacerbated by social crises, weakened economic situations and conflict. Achieving objectives required a change of mindset, notably the better management of human resources. Madagascar’s national development plan sought inclusive, sustainable development that prioritized human capital, good governance and natural capital, among other things. The private sector had a crucial role in creating jobs and providing a “growth engine”. Good governance and the rule of law were not enough: “We need external finance”, both innovative and direct investment from abroad, particularly for infrastructure, she said.
JAYANT SINHA, Minister of State for Finance of India, said that “Our vision here in Addis Ababa must be to go beyond merely financing for development and aim at making development happen”, so that, ultimately developing countries could generate the resources they needed themselves. For that purpose, aid delivery must be scaled up, particularly to least developed countries and those most affected by climate change. On the Conference outcome, he welcomed the reaffirmation of the Rio principles including that of common but differentiated responsibilities, as well as provisions for a follow-up and review mechanism and the establishment of a technology facilitation mechanism. He was deeply disappointed, however, at the lack of a decision on establishing an intergovernmental body for tax matters at the United Nations, which he called “an historic missed opportunity”. Greater information exchange was good, but did not replace equitable multilateralism in deciding global standards. Noting India’s strenuous efforts to lift hundreds of millions out of poverty, he pledged its continued strong commitment to that end.
ABDELKADER MESSAHEL, Minister of Maghreb Affairs, African Union and League of Arab States of Algeria, expressed satisfaction that the Conference was not characterized by unfair accusations. A realistic review of progress since the Monterrey and Doha conferences was the best way to identify progress in fighting poverty and achieving social development. It would identify the “huge” efforts made by African countries since the launch of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), which aimed to optimize and mobilize the full range of development finance and manage external debt. ODA had a key role in fighting poverty, building capacities and reducing infrastructure deficits. That role must be reviewed in line with principles that ensured its effectiveness, notably concerning structural allocation. He advocated full respect for debt relief, productive investment and global governance reform.
GUNNAR BRAGI SVEINSSON, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland, said that in leveraging resources, including ODA and domestic, private and public, “we must not lose sight of where resources can most effectively be targeted”. Iceland shared the history of developing countries, with centuries-long experience as a colony and deep poverty until the middle of the last century, which was why its cooperation focused on sharing its experience, notably through the four United Nations university programmes in his country. Through persistence, it had halted degradation in many areas and reversed desertification. Land restoration and rehabilitation would be among the most effective actions to achieve other goals and targets. The Conference’s outcome emphasized the need to invest in land-degradation neutrality, which would have positive impacts on food security, poverty eradication, women’s empowerment and climate change mitigation and adaptation.
FLORENCE LIMBIO, Minister of Economy, Planning and International Cooperation in charge of Policy Development of the Central African Republic, said the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) list of fragile States revealed that those nations were home to 43 per cent of people living on $1.25 per day. Poverty would be exacerbated by 2030. A more flexible and reactive finance system was needed for post-conflict countries to achieve sustainable development. Indeed, for those countries, domestic resource mobilization had to be accomplished through, in part, broadening the tax base, doing away with tax breaks and better managing contracts, all of which could improve the “public purse”. Conflict had prevented her country from achieving many of the Millennium Development Goals. It had organized a national reconciliation forum which had heard recommendations to decommission weapons and reintegrate people back into normal work life. Elections must be organized and displaced persons must return. “My country has huge needs,” which required strong international mobilization, she said.
WINSTON DOOKERAN, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Trinidad and Tobago, said his Government was pleased to join consensus on the Addis Ababa action agenda, which placed the international community in a position to consolidate gains from the Doha and Monterrey Conferences, address outstanding challenges and “chart the way forward” for building a global partnership. He urged quick delivery on the commitment in the action agenda to broaden and strengthen developing countries’ voice in economic decision-making, norm-setting and global economic governance. Welcoming its recognition of the need to strengthen the global financial safety net, he said efforts must be made to ensure that support for small States by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and others was better oriented towards development. Also, countries of the global South must be fully integrated into the global economy, and the framework for implementing the post-2015 agenda must be part of the action agenda as the “nuts and bolts” for the renewed global partnership.
ROBERTO B. TAN, Treasurer of the Philippines, affirming the development progress of his country, said that, at the same time, it was vulnerable to natural disasters, climate change and financial shocks. As with other middle-income countries, it therefore valued assistance in capacity-building for domestic resource mobilization and achieving resiliency. Welcoming the establishment of a technology facilitation mechanism, he called for cheaper access to much-needed technologies covered by intellectual property rights, concrete measures to protect migrant workers’ rights and decreased remittance costs, as well as progress in the Doha round of trade negotiations. He urged seizing the opportunity of the Conference to forge a global framework of partnerships, to ensure that no one was left behind in the effort to achieve sustainable development.
TABU ABDALLAH MANIRAKIZA, Minister of Finance and Economic Development Planning of Burundi, associating with the Group of 77 and China, and the least developed countries, said that the commitments made in previous conferences must be fulfilled in order to bring about the needed transformation, particularly in Africa. Illicit financial flows must be stopped and industrialization and technology transfer stepped up. Development of human capital and infrastructure was also essential. International cooperation was critical in all such areas. North-South cooperation was central in that context and could be complemented by South-South cooperation, in a climate of respect for the independence of all countries’ internal affairs.
DARCY BOYCE, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office of Barbados, said the Conference “must trigger action and galvanize a collective and fair approach in addressing development bottlenecks and economic shortcomings experienced by developing countries”. High-middle-income countries with high debt levels, such as his own, faced particular obstacles in accessing suitable financing. He suggested the use of “resilience building” as a policy condition for lending by the international financial institutions; the structural conditions were not yet sufficiently robust to rely on financial markets to supply all necessary external funding. In advancing a global partnership on development financing, all must have a seat at the table, and he looked forward to a stronger role for the United Nations in tax issues as well as financial regulation, so that global resilience could be built. “Let us leave this milestone event with a clear plan as to how to make financing for development fully operational so that all our countries become less vulnerable, more resilient and able to provide a decent living for all our people,” he said.
EMMANUEL NGANOU DJOLUMESSI, Minister of Economy and National Planning of Cameroon, said significant efforts were needed to address persistent challenges in education, employment and socioeconomic inclusion. Developing country reforms should be reviewed in the areas of infrastructure and good governance. For its part, Cameroon was working with its partners on a number of projects to increase structural investments. The multi-risk contingency plan, for example, aimed to ensure the country could resist internal and external shocks. He urged its partners to help limit impacts of refugees and persons internally displaced by war. A system was in place to help those who promoted public-private partnerships, with gains seen in the areas of water and roads. He called for continued increase of ODA to meet the target of 0.7 per cent of gross national income. He urged combating illicit financial flows and making progress on trade. He urged enshrining commitments made in the Addis action plan. Cameroon would broaden its tax base and ensure that joint work adhered to its national development strategy.
JUAN TEMISTOCLES MONTÁS DOMINGUEZ, Minister of Economy, Planning and Development of the Dominican Republic, associating with the Group of 77 and China, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, and the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), said new mechanisms must be created to overcome market and Government shortfalls. The market alone had not brought about the needed change; public policies were needed so countries could develop capacities, promote gender equality, and facilitate access to funding, science, knowledge and technology. His country was vulnerable to climate change and other external influences which could reverse development gains. The 2030 development plan was based on sustainability and contained indicators to measure progress. A number of issues must be addressed: international cooperation on tax matters, with dialogue at the United Nations at the highest technical level; fulfilment of pledges to meet the 0.7 per cent ODA target; South-South cooperation as a complement to North-South partnership; and revitalization of agriculture, among other issues.
ABDOULAYE DIOP, Minister for Foreign Affairs, African Integration and International Cooperation, and Special Envoy of the President of Mali, said the results of the Monterrey and Doha conferences had been mixed, although he was pleased at progress in debt relief and the fact that some countries had gone beyond the 0.7 per cent ODA target. Mali had worked to improve its business climate through public-private partnerships, having provided support to agriculture, health, education and youth employment. In mobilizing national savings, Mali had set a target for internal resources through a modern management system and better “tax take”. Its “Unit Life” initiative tackled malnutrition, in part by identifying how extractive resources could address that problem. Remittances accounted for $860 million a year, or 11 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), and they must be harnessed for development, he said, expressing concern at aid concessions, which made it difficult for Mali to mobilize resources. He called on donors, especially international financial institutions, to consider Mali’s ability to repay.
MIGUEL ENGONGA OBIANG EYANG, Minister of Finance and Budget of Equatorial Guinea, emphasized the importance of implementation and transparency in financing for internationally agreed goals. Technology transfer should be effectively carried out to promote industrialization. He attached great importance to the issue of climate change, and welcomed the process initiated by the Green Climate Fund. Sustainable development also must be promoted in the context of growing international trade, the reduction of non-tariff barriers, and improved transparency and equity. He urged that measures in Monterrey and Doha documents be implemented, as they were important instruments to foster sustainable development.
FERNANDO APORTELA RODRIGUEZ, Vice-Minister of Finance of Mexico, describing structural reforms in his country aimed equitable growth that had been recognized by the international financing institutions, underlined the importance of an international financing structure that was “open and fair”. The recognition of middle-income countries and their challenges was also needed. In that context, he welcomed the broad overview of the new financing for development framework, encouraging international partnership and building on the results of the ground-breaking conference held in Monterrey in his country.
MARY JERVASE YAK, Deputy Minister of Finance, Commerce, Investment and Economic Planning of South Sudan, affirmed the need for the Conference to take into consideration the needs of fragile, conflict-affected countries. Inclusiveness, support for domestic resource mobilization and resource management, and improved access to climate finance were some of the priorities for such countries. For those purposes, she urged developed countries to continue and enhance ODA. At the same time, her Government reaffirmed its commitment to peace and stability to allow development to take hold.
HELDER LOPES, Vice-Minister of Finance of Timor-Leste, said technology, resources and know-how existed. “We need our deliberations this week to provide political commitments and means to finance them,” he said. Talking about “millions and trillions” would mean nothing if countries were unable to meet their ambitions. In just over a decade, Timor-Leste had rebuilt most of its infrastructure and put in place a stable governance system. It had been a difficult, yet rewarding journey that focused on converting challenges into opportunities for peace. Underlining the importance of ODA, he said discussions on improving the aid quality hinged on predictability and strengthening the use of country systems. However, discussions on quality should not overshadow commitments on quantity.
HANY KADRY DAMIAN, Minister of Finance of Egypt, urged stepped-up efforts to address economic and demographic changes, as well as environmental threats. Decisions to address global temperature rise must be taken and agreement reached on sustainable development objectives. The available tools and resources were not compatible with the level of global ambition. Different mechanisms were needed to help countries reach their goals. There were divergences in country resources and he urged consideration of the different contributions that countries could make. He called for reform of the multilateral trade system that ensured market access, technology development and a balanced approach to intellectual property questions. Not all countries were in a position to achieve their goals; they needed financial and technical assistance. Recent years had shown that developing countries could contribute to global economic growth. Developed countries should mobilize resources required by developing countries. He urged a comprehensive and balanced Conference document.
RAMON GORDILS, Vice Minister of Economic Cooperation of Venezuela, associating with the Group of 77 and China, and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, said political commitment was lacking from the developed world, which continued to defend an obsolete economic model. He advocated autonomous, sovereign management of natural resources, without transnationals acting as intermediates, as that would enable stronger finance for development. The private sector’s role in development should not be exaggerated; Venezuela gave pride of place to people, rather than profits. In that context, he urged working together to end coercive economic measures, such as sanctions, which threatened trade and investment. This year marked a decade since Venezuela’s former President had established Petrocaribe, which was an energy supply agreement for 18 countries. He urged the creation of an international climate that favoured development, stressing that international financial institutions, especially the IMF and World Bank, must become more democratic.
AHMED AL MURAIKHI, Director of International Development in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Qatar, said that financing for development should measure up to aspirations of the international community for the post-2015 framework and agreements on climate change. His country pledged to provide assistance to realize development, peace and security, with stability being a basic condition for development. Terrorism must be taken into account in that context. As a donor country that had been continually increasing its cooperation assistance since 1974, Qatar hoped that all lessons learned in financing would guide a new framework.
MANUEL SAGER, State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, affirming that women’s empowerment was crucial to sustainable development, said that despite tough negotiations, the international community could be proud of the draft Addis action agenda. He cited provisions on resource management and promotion of standards of sustainability throughout economies, while hoping that clear support for a carbon tax would be included. He also welcomed support for public-private partnerships and the establishment of new international institutions, as well as a framework to combat illicit financial flows. He stressed, however, that no matter what the results were in Addis, success depended on action performed to implement the agenda. “Let us start this work,” he concluded.
GONZALO ROBLES, Secretary-General of International Cooperation for Development of Spain, said the Conference document would involve commitments for all countries, meaning that developing and middle-income countries would have to share that burden and take on responsibility for financing in an increasingly globalized world. Spain’s priorities included poverty eradication, reducing inequality in middle-income countries, promoting rights — such as for non-discrimination, transparency and rule of law — and gender mainstreaming, so that women could take ownership of their future. He advocated strengthening fiscal administration and eliminating tax avoidance as major tasks in development financing. Combatting tax havens must be an international priority. Those who were harmed by such activities were peoples in least developed countries. The growing role of emerging and middle-income countries in the global economy must be recognized. The private sector had a role in development through wealth and job creation. In Addis Ababa, countries must establish a consistent financial agenda.
KASSIM ASKER HASSAN ALI, Chairman of Delegation of Iraq, said his country was working to update its relationship with developing countries, signing various financing and trade agreements. Iraq had established a national fund to support developing countries, and it played an effective role in different international organizations, including the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and other entities, and it was a member of regional organizations. More than 62 countries were dealing with terrorism. Iraq was fighting Da’esh, which had led to the exploitation of its natural resources. Development would help developing countries alleviate debt and increase their trade prospects.
LILIANNE PLOUMEN, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands, said ODA billions must spark trillions. On taxes, her country had provided technical assistance to broaden the tax base. It was revising tax treaties with 23 developing countries and launching a partnership to mobilize extra resources. It was doubling its own contribution in that area. In four decades, a profound change in mentality had emerged with concepts such as corporate social responsibility gaining traction. Consumers were willing to pay more for goods that were more environmentally friendly. Developed countries and big companies could afford to make extra investments and comply with higher standards. States must ensure that new sustainable business practices did not inadvertently exclude countries and companies that could not yet keep up.
CLAVER GATETE, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning of Rwanda, said his country had attained all but one of the Millennium Development Goals, having achieved gender parity in education and a “drastic” reduction in maternal and under-5 mortality rates. National leadership and ownership were central to sustaining efforts. Rwanda expected to transition to a middle-income country, transform its economy towards an increased contribution of services and industry, and diversify its export base. Rwanda had doubled its revenue collection as a proportion of GDP to 15 per cent over the last seven years. He supported the creation of a conducive international legal framework that helped countries collect taxes, combat tax evasion and curb illicit financial flows, stressing that the private sector’s ability to make large investments in critical sectors such as infrastructure should be enhanced through a public-private partnership framework.
MARIAM MAHAMAT NOUR, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation of Chad, supported pooled efforts to create conditions that ensured financial stability, sustainable growth and women’s empowerment. In so doing, it was crucial to consider the special situation of least developed and landlocked countries, small island developing States, and post-conflict nations. Without peace, it would be impossible to mobilize resources. Chad’s quest for peace had been difficult and the country needed international solidarity. It had recently experienced three terrorist attacks, which had claimed 15 lives. But that would not dissuade her country from participating in international peace efforts. Resource mobilization would not suffice without a true global partnership to curb illicit financial flows, estimated at more than $50 billion annually. A landlocked country, Chad attached priority to infrastructure development and was exploring options for pursuing renewable energy. Technology transfer was also important.
HENRI DJOMBO, Minister for Forestry and Sustainable Development of Congo, said several challenges persisted in Africa, where poverty eradication was far from the reality on the ground. As such, the Conference should define a framework for freeing internal and external means for implementing the sustainable development goals. Further, the new agenda should give priority to national sustainable development strategies, while the Conference should assign to the United Nations a mission to help countries formulate such strategies. Congo’s strategy would be adopted next week. The Conference should encourage more resource mobilization, and an adequately resourced intergovernmental body on tax matters.
EDWARD SCICLUNA, Minister for Finance of Malta, called for an outcome from the Conference that was both sustainable and universal. As part of it, his country supported the European policy on ODA, with a major share going to least developed countries. He also fully supported measures that could improve the effectiveness of development assistance, including improving national policy environments and public financing. All countries must bear equal responsibility in proportion to ability. His had dramatically increased its ODA contributions since 2004, focusing on water, health care and AIDS, gender equality and extreme poverty eradication, with an emphasis on Africa but not exclusively. As his country was on the route of massive migration flows, he supported directing aid to where it addressed root causes of the crises that caused such movements.
SERGEY STORCHAK, Deputy Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation, surveying the changes in the international financial environment, pledged that his country would actively support efforts to fully implement the upcoming sustainable development goals. Despite all the changes since Monterrey, ODA remained central to development financing, although the amount was not likely to increase. To meet ambitious objectives, therefore, more sophisticated taxation systems must be instituted in developing countries that had growing incomes, with grant-based programmes focused on the most vulnerable countries, as his had been doing in Eurasia. Middle-income countries could benefit from other, innovative financing, and debt relief should be fully implemented. In that context, he said more attention should be paid to improving the International Development Association.
ADAM ZOLAN KOVACS, Deputy State Secretary for International Cooperation of Hungary, associating with the European Union, stated that “stretching planetary boundaries urges us to reinforce our common efforts to attain an efficient, economically well-functioning international system in a dignified and sustainable world”. In such a partnership, all stakeholders should know their roles and be accountable for them, in contributing the range of resources needed, both financial and non-financial. As human capacity growth is essential for equal and participatory societies, his country was offering hundreds of scholarships to students from partner countries. Capacity for management of water and building democratic institutions were also critical, and Hungary was actively cooperating in those areas as well.
MUHAMMAD ABDUL MANNAN, State Minister for Finance and Planning of Bangladesh, associating with the Group of 77 and China, and the least developed countries, noted progress in his country, but stressed that domestic resources alone would not be enough to realize the targets for sustainable development; ODA would continue to play an important role, particularly for least developed countries. He urged the adoption of concrete policy guidelines to ensure that ODA represented genuine wealth transfer, and that aid was untethered and predictability increased. Trade, migration and remittances should be facilitated; in Bangladesh, remittances surpassed aid and had a direct impact on poverty reduction at the household level. Barriers to access to the Green Climate Fund and other mechanisms for climate change adaptation must also be alleviated. Firm commitments in all those areas must result from the Conference.
ROLANDAS KRISCIUNAS, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, associating with the European Union, said that the implementation of the future development agenda should be based on the mobilization of all resources: public and private, domestic, international and other innovative means. ODA alone would not end poverty. However, used in a smart way, it could leverage other kinds of resources; the same was true for good governance, sound policy and gender equality. In those areas, transfer of expertise was a key ingredient. Lithuania, having recently gone through transformative processes, was ready to share its experience. Emphasizing the shared efforts were needed from all countries and sectors, he called for a single monitoring, accountability and review mechanism for the new framework.
MARTIN TLAPA, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, said his Government had just adopted a strategy defining the three global priorities of security; prosperity and development; and human dignity, in a demonstration of its responsibility for improving the well-being of millions. His country had experienced war and peace, a background that allowed it to continue sharing its unique transformation experience with partner countries and institutions. He hoped the Conference outcome would be action-oriented and offer a balanced mix of financial and non-financial means of implementation. Recognizing the central role of domestic resource mobilization, he said that to minimize illicit capital flows from developing countries, more elaboration on international tax reform was needed. In that, he supported initiatives to establish more efficient and fair tax systems, as well as the “Aid for Trade” initiative.
VÄINO REINART, Undersecretary for Trade and Development Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, said the new global partnership must promote human rights, gender equality, environmental sustainability, rule of law and good governance. It must address the special challenges of the most vulnerable nations. Governments had a key role in creating an enabling environment that included all partners. Estonia’s experience had shown that the rule of law and good governance were among the best conditions for delivering results. Implementing such a complex agenda required mobilizing resources, and it would be important to tap into all funds — public and private, national and international. Capacity-building and cooperation in science, innovation and technology was also needed. With that, he encouraged countries to take policy action, be accountable, mobilize resources and monitor and report results.
THIPPHAKONE CHANTHAVONGSA, Vice-Minister of Finance of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, looked forward to the adoption of the Addis action agenda, saying that financing for development should be complemented by implementation means for the sustainable development goals. Her country was preparing its eighth five-year development plan, into which the sustainable development goals would be integrated. It lacked technical and financial resources, and required continued international support. Stressing the importance of domestic resource mobilization, she said her country had reformed its public financial management and improved revenue collection. She agreed that the main focus of ODA should be on least developed and landlocked developing countries, small island developing States and middle-income countries, and she supported enhanced South-South and triangular cooperation as complements to North-South cooperation.
TRUONG CHI TRUNG, Deputy Minister of Finance of Viet Nam, associating with the Group of 77 and China, reaffirmed the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, which took into account countries’ specific conditions and development level. North-South cooperation was the bedrock of an enhanced global partnership, in which developed countries must provide resources, help build capacity and transfer technology. At the same time, developing countries must carry out economic reforms, enhance management and administration capacity and improve the investment and business environment to make the best use of internal and external resources. Recognizing that trade played an important role in development, Viet Nam had taken steps towards global and regional integration, having implemented World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments and enhanced cooperation with Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation members.
SEÁN SHERLOCK, Minister of State, Department of Foreign Affairs of Ireland, said 850 million people still suffered from hunger and 8,000 children died daily because of malnutrition. “We have no choice but to do better as a global community,” he said, noting that Ireland was co-facilitator for the agenda’s intergovernmental negotiations in New York. The new agenda could only be funded with trillions, meaning that new finance from additional sources had to be unlocked. Critical to success was domestic resource mobilization; taxation; the combat of illicit financial flows; and the private sector. Governments must ensure a conducive environment for large and small businesses, as well as for small farmers and women. Ireland was reviewing the effects of its tax regime on the economies of developing countries. It would direct more aid to the least-developed, remain strongly focused on sub-Saharan nations, continue to invest 20 per cent of the aid budget to combat hunger and malnutrition; and focus its climate finance also on the needs of the least developed countries.
DON PRAMUDWINAI, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, said his country had moved from a low-income to an upper-middle income country, having fulfilled all the Millennium Goals, some ahead of the deadline. It had also transformed from a recipient to an emerging donor country. Its success stemmed from employing both conventional and non-traditional means of financing, with the conventional means including improved domestic resource mobilization. Measures such as improved taxation capacity and enhanced access to finance for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises could not be covered by public spending alone. He attached importance to policies that promoted growth aligned with the needs and cultural heritage of local communities. He supported United Nations’ efforts to seek new indicators for measuring progress in the post-2015 agenda. Thailand was engaging in triangular cooperation and co-developing special economic zones with neighbouring countries. It also aimed to strengthen democracy based on good governance, accountability, the rule of law and human rights.
MILORAD ŠĆEPANOVIĆ, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Montenegro, urged delegates to produce a comprehensive agreement on financing, underpinned by accountable and inclusive institutions. It was important that a financing framework support the new post-2015 agenda. He urged agreement on taxes, illicit financial flows, domestic resource mobilization; and the private sector’s role in sustainable development. The Conference outcome should address all means of implementation for the post-2015 agenda. It also should help define the new global partnership. Engagement in that regard should be shared among the private sector, civil society, international financial institutions and other major actors. Governments bore the primary duty for development and he supported the principle of national ownership in that regard. Noting that capacity-building was an important means of implementation, he said ODA would remain an important part of the financing picture, especially for least developed countries. The new agenda must be underpinned with universal monitoring and review.
JAIME ALFREDO MIRANDA FLAMENCO, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of El Salvador, associating with the Group of 77 and China, and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), said all possible channels of financing should be activated, as the new agenda required consistent and coherent funding across all its dimensions. Countries needed national development strategies with a propitious global environment, especially in terms of trade and cooperation. He urged improving the quantity and quality of ODA, which had been undermined by a lack of meeting commitments. Ecuador needed concessionary public financing from ODA. The criteria for granting ODA, financing preferences and trade should take a multidimensional understanding of development to better reflect structural difficulties. He supported transitioning the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters into an intergovernmental body, and consideration of a body to assess progress in financing for development.
EDUARDO TREGOS LALL, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica, associating with the Group of 77 and China, and ECLAC, said his country was working to eliminate extreme poverty, use its limited resources more effectively, and promote decent, productive work. It also was re-organizing its tax system and aimed to redress current fiscal imbalance. It would dedicate funds to the fight against corruption, drug-trafficking and international organized crime. Many middle-income countries did not have the economic resources to cover the demands of sustainable development. He supported the formulation of an action plan for cooperation among them, which should be done by the United Nations. Costa Rica needed access to loans from development banks to strengthen sectors that brought direct investment. He urged the international community to consider disarmament as a way to fund sustainable development. ODA should be maintained for all those who needed it.
SWARNIM WAGLE, Member of the National Planning Commission of Nepal, associating with the Group of 77 and China, and the least developed countries, described the combination of resources that were needed to face the severe challenges of the recent earthquake, after which no one starved and those injured were treated for free. The State mustered all it could through a robust base of internal revenue and generous aid from neighbours and development partners, as well as South-South sources. Remittances poured in from Nepalis abroad, and civil society and business helped greatly. Such a diverse coalition showed that new models of cooperation were now viable. Having graduated from the least developed country category, Nepal now had a vibrant middle-income economy in its sight by attracting investment, complemented by a new kind of ODA that filled critical gaps in knowledge, skills and finance, and accountability, and was well utilized through national ownership.
EDUARDO GALVEZ, Director-General for multilateral and Global Affairs of Chile, said a review of policies at all levels was repeatedly needed to ensure coherence in development support. As a middle-income country, Chile had prioritized good governance and open markets, as well as trade negotiation. Education systems and tax reform required review and improvement to keep on the road of progress. Increasing tax revenues was particularly important, but an enabling international environment was also needed. He supported raising the status of the committee on tax matters for that reason. Supporting the draft action agenda, he welcomed the endorsement of a range of strategies for development cooperation, with South-South and other innovative strategies not, however, replacing North-South cooperation. He also endorsed an integrated follow-up mechanism for the agenda.
PEDRO LUIS PEDROSO Deputy General-Director of Multilateral Affairs to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba, said that the sustainable development goals had significant financial implications, while many development countries were already heavily in debt and many developed countries had not met their ODA commitments. He called for the end of the economic blockade that persisted despite warming relations with the United States, as well as for converting the world’s massive spending on weaponry to development financing. National efforts were important, but must be augmented by efforts on the international level to lower inequalities and fund efforts that were not profitable for business, as well as to shape business investment towards social goods. He pledged that his country would continue to partner with other countries within its modest abilities.
GIL HASKEL, Head of Mashav, Agency for International Development Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel, said that from his country’s experience in fighting poverty and advancing sustainable development, financial assistance must be combined with the sharing of technical know-how. Israel was sharing the expertise it had gained through its own development – on innovative agriculture, food security, access to health care and education and the empowerment of women, among other areas — with dozens of countries around the world. The crucial role of development cooperation was providing the tools to unlock opportunities. Responding to yesterday’s statement by the Palestinian representative, he stressed that “political bashing” was not among the tools for advancement. He called for Israelis and Arabs alike to unite in the region for the good of the people and leave the blame game out of the discussion of sustainable development.
YOGEESVARAN KUMARAGURU, Deputy Director-General of the Economic Planning Unit in the Prime Minister’s Department of Malaysia, associating with the statement made on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, emphasized the importance for development financing of concrete policies and actions to promote domestic public resources, private business and finance, and international cooperation. Significant gaps between countries and regions must be addressed, however, to achieve the overarching goals of this Conference. Malaysia had always placed the well-being of its people at the forefront of its development policies and in doing so had been able to progress on a range of measures, but was still vulnerable to shocks. He underlined, therefore, the importance of strengthening global financial and macroeconomic stability. Regional arrangements and technology exchange was also key. Maintaining that the action agenda provided a new spirit of cooperation for development financing, he urged its successful completion.
PETER LAUNSKY-TIEFFENTHAL, Director-General for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs of Austria, emphasized the significance of the Conference for the future, particularly as it related to creating opportunities for the generations to come. A sound basis for economic growth must be built through effective domestic resource mobilization, transparent and efficient use of public funds, private investment, trade and international cooperation. Taxation and public funds played an important role, with Austria providing financial and technical support for auditing, anti-corruption and digitalization efforts. The country also supported education and vocational training, particularly for women. To help engender a vibrant and innovative economic sector, Austria had also been supporting economic partnership programmes.
DRAGOVEST GORANOV, Chairman of Delegation of Bulgaria, noting that building power, water, transport and telecoms capacities required “enormous” financing, wondered how much more was needed. Investments should be used well, in line with development effectiveness principles such as ownership, transparency and mutual accountability. International public finance remained an important element in the overall financing available for developing countries. Bulgaria, a middle-income country, had focused on transitioning from an aid beneficiary to a net aid donor by developing its aid delivery capacity. It expected other upper middle-income countries to provide their fair share to support countries in reaching internationally agreed goals by committing to increase their contribution to global public financing.
ASHRAF SHIKHALIYEV, Director, International Development Agency of Azerbaijan, said Governments bore the primary responsibility for development, with poverty reduction strategies pivotal in that regard. Developing countries were growing faster than developed countries and the volume of South-South cooperation was steadily increasing. Some developing countries were emerging as new donors and required attention to encourage more active participation. Azerbaijan had made gains in its development. Yet, Armenia’s on-going aggression had resulted in more than 1 million people becoming refugees and internally displaced persons, a heavy burden on the economy. A sound economic strategy, economic diversification, private-sector development and poverty reduction measures had brought impressive results. Azerbaijan had joined the family of donor countries and assisted developing countries through the Azerbaijan International Development Agency.
BERNARDITO AUZA, Permanent Observer for the Holy See, said while the world had made significant economic progress, many people had been excluded from the benefits. Least developed countries in particular still needed support and, for that reason, both financial and non-financial commitments should be fulfilled. He supported the goal of the outcome document: to end poverty and hunger, and achieve sustainable development, while promoting peaceful, inclusive societies. A multidimensional approach was needed, as the solutions to global poverty could not be left to market forces alone. The sharing of science and technology, the acceptance of ethical values, and joint political will must align. Every effort should be made to mobilize financing for human development from all sources. While every country had the primary responsibility for its own development, a supportive global economic environment must undergird development strategies.
SAHBI KHALFALLAH, Chairman of Delegation of Tunisia, said efforts made at the Conference must be in line with the Monterrey Consensus and the Doha Declaration. He urged ensuring that the prerequisites for success in the post-2015 agenda were in place. Tunisia had toppled despotism and tyranny, and today looked forward to freedom and justice. His Government was working to create jobs for young people, raise the level investment, and devise a vision for the country based on sustainable development. That strategy would be put to the people during an international conference this year. He requested international support for those efforts and in support of local governments. It was also needed to increase exports, transfer technology and develop climate change policies. Also, redoubled global efforts were needed to address the roots of terrorism.
ARCANJO MARIA DO NASCIMENTO, Chairman of Delegation of Angola, associating with the Group of 77 and China, cited the shortfall in development financing as one reason the Millennium Development Goals had not been achieved. “The global partnership to provide the support to achieve the MDGs has failed to deliver,” he said. The gap in ODA disbursement had reached $167 billion in 2011 and widened further in 2012. It was a concern that the prospects for ODA pointed to medium-term stagnation. In addition, there appeared “no light at the end of the tunnel” as far as the Doha round of trade talks was concerned. The fulfilment of commitments to allocate 0.7 per cent of GNI to ODA should be the starting point of a renewed global partnership. South-South cooperation should remain free from externally imposed norms drawn from North-South assistance. It should not be used as a pretext to dilute existing aid commitments.
ARANCHA GONZALEZ, Executive Director of the International Trade Centre, said that the Conference must transform the powerful language on partnership into reality. Traditional development assistance remained critical, particularly for the poorest and most vulnerable countries, for whom donors must meet their longstanding pledges and, where possible, increase the reach and impact of their aid. Organizations such as her own would continue to focus on results and impact, as well as better mobilization of domestic resources, for which fair taxation was part of the answer. The range of partnerships between countries and sectors must be strengthened, particularly public-private engagement in favour of small and medium-sized enterprises. A good example of the latter, she stated, was her organization’s work with a German electronics firm to help Kenyan food companies improve their production processes.
JOZE GRAZIANO DA SILVA, Director-General of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), said that farmers were the major sources of investment in agriculture that could end hunger, but formal systems of credit and insurance often discriminated against them. Small-scale farmers in particular needed support, and the poorest needed social protection systems as well. His organization and its partners estimated that an investment of some $267 billion per year on average were needed over the next 15 years to end hunger. That might seem like a lot of money, he realized, but was an investment that was essential to reach the future we want, the foundation of which was zero hunger.
YAMINA DJACTA, Director, New York Office, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), welcomed the recognition of the vital role of municipalities and local authorities in sustainable development. Cities that were well planned, governed and financed could drive national economic growth. But there would be no sustainable development without sustainable urban development. A supportive governance and institutional environment was critical in that regard. The structure and administration of municipal revenues must be improved, and municipal financial management strengthened. Local governments needed access to domestic and international capital.
WILLIAM LACY SWING, Director General, International Organization for Migration (IOM), said the number of international migrants had increased by 32 per cent since 2000, reaching almost 250 million. Migrants were agents of development. “Investing in migration policy and not leaving migrants behind is one of the most powerful policy innovations for sustainable development,” he said, stressing that his organization was working with Governments to support less expensive remittance channels.
MARGARETA WAHLSTRÖM, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, supported foreign direct investment decisions that were “risk-informed” and measures that maintained supply chains which ensured that investments were protected in the face of disasters. She underlined the benefits of direct private and public investment in risk reduction, expressing support for a stronger insurance system that lessened the impact of disasters.
TORU HASEGAWA, Deputy Director of Economic Development of the Air Transport Bureau of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), underlined the importance of a safe and reliable air transport system as a catalyst for economic and social development. Cognizant of the challenges and opportunities presented by the sustainable development goals to the aviation community, particularly in ensuring that no country was left behind, his organization sought to improve connectivity for sustainable tourism development and to promote the building of related infrastructure, particularly in the neediest countries. To encourage the financing of such efforts, the organization had proposed appropriate indicators under proposed sustainable development goal 9. He pledged that his organization would continue to maximize aviation’s contribution to economic development while minimizing its adverse environmental effects.