Economic and Social Council

18 April 2016

Remarks to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Forum on Financing for Development

Ban Ki-moon

I am pleased to join the President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in welcoming you to the inaugural session of the ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development. And I am particularly pleased to see many ministers, Finance and Development Ministers and the EU Commissioner and Heads of United Nations Agencies, who are taking part in this important forum.

2015 was a year of crucial milestones for development. In July, world leaders gathered in Addis Ababa and adopted a comprehensive framework to mobilize and deliver the resources, technology and partnerships needed for sustainable development.

The Addis Ababa Action Agenda, together with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris agreement on climate change, are triumphs of multilateralism. I look forward to the signing ceremony of the Paris Agreement here in New York later this week.

These are historic agreements to eradicate poverty, build resilient societies, address climate change and put the world on a sustainable development path.

We have the collective responsibility to turn these landmark agreements into tangible actions.
The time for implementation is now.

Following-up on the Addis Agenda is the right starting point.

I am encouraged by your enthusiasm for the task at hand.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The financing requirements to achieve the SDGs are estimated to be in the order of trillions of dollars annually. Mobilizing these resources will be a significant challenge, particularly at a time of continued economic uncertainty and financial constraints.

Since we met in Addis, risks and vulnerabilities have increased. Large numbers of refugees are on the move, and geopolitical tensions have escalated in some regions. Commodity prices are falling and capital flows are more volatile.

The global economic recovery remains uneven. We have not seen the strong, sustained and balanced growth needed to realize sustainable development for all.

Yet this challenge is not unsurmountable. We know that global public and private savings and investment will be sufficient – but only if they are aligned with sustainable development.

The Addis Agenda provides a full range of actions to realign financial flows and policies with economic, social and environmental priorities.

It contains over 100 concrete policy commitments that draw upon all sources of finance, technology, innovation, trade, debt and data to support the 2030 Agenda.

We must sustain our political momentum and build on the unprecedented collaboration of recent years. The global response to the 2030 Agenda must match the scope of the challenge – which means tapping into the potential of all actors to achieve the large-scale transformation we need.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Now is the time for smart investments in people and the planet, where they are needed, when they are needed and at the scale they are needed.

More than 2.4 billion people still lack clean water and sanitation; 57 million of the world’s children are not enrolled in school; and more than half the world’s population lacks any social security coverage.

We must follow through on the new ‘social compact’ enshrined in the Addis Agenda to provide social protection and essential public services for all.

Billions of lives depend on it.

Investments in sustainable and resilient infrastructure are a prerequisite to achieve many of our global goals.

The new Global Infrastructure Forum, led by the multilateral development banks, which I attended last weekend in Washington D.C., is an important step towards bridging this gap.

But more needs to be done. We need to step up our efforts to implement the Addis Abba Action Agenda in it its entirety.

The private sector must be an active partner, in particular in areas such as the provision of urgently-needed social goods.

The growing importance of South-South cooperation must also to be recognized. This is now driving innovation and demonstrating its effectiveness in many developing countries.

The United Nations must be the forum where leadership and strategic collaboration among very different actors can transform our development model.

Developing countries hosting large numbers of refugees should have access to concessional loans – and I am glad to see progress on that front.

We also call for stronger commitment to humanitarian financing, which will be one focus of the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit that I am convening in Istanbul on 23rd and 24th May.

But development aid plays a critical role in addressing the root causes of conflict. That is one reason why we make sure that efforts to increase the share of ODA to Least Developed Countries should continue.

Delivering on the new Paris Agreement will require countries to implement their national climate plans, as well as increase their ambitions over time. Achieving both of these goals requires a key item: finance.

I urge developed countries to meet the agreed goal of $100 billion per year by 2020 and the private sector to make financial flows consistent with a pathway towards low-emissions, climate-resilient development.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Implementation will be the test of our commitment. The Addis Agenda provides the foundation for a renewed and strengthened global partnership for sustainable development.

I urge each and every one of you to take action and show leadership. We must all play our part in this global endeavour, from governments and international organisations, to financial and trade institutions, the private sector and civil society.

Accurate and comprehensive monitoring of actions at all levels will be crucial for success.

The Inter-Agency Task Force, which I convened at the end of 2015, will report annually on progress in implementing the financing for development outcomes and the 2030 Agenda.

I thank all UN agencies and other international organizations for their effective collaboration in putting together a comprehensive report under very tight time constraints.

I urge you to make good use of this Forum to usher in a new era of international cooperation on financing for sustainable development.

With a spirit of true partnership, shared responsibility and solidarity, we can transform our global vision into better lives and greater opportunities for people everywhere.

Thank you.