What is Financing for Development

The Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the outcome document from 2015,  provides a new global framework for financing sustainable development that aligns all financing flows and policies with economic, social and environmental priorities.

The Financing for Development process is centered around supporting the follow-up to the agreements and commitments reached during the three major international conferences on Financing for Development: in Monterrey, Mexico in 2002; in Doha, Qatar in 2008; and in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2015. The process also follows up on the financing for development-related aspects of the outcomes of major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic and social fields, including the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Addis Agenda provides a new global framework for financing sustainable development, which supports implementation of the 2030 Agenda, including the SDGs. The Agenda aligns all domestic and international resource flows, policies and international agreements with economic, social and environmental priorities. It incorporates all the SDG means of implementation targets into a comprehensive financing framework, and serves as a guide for further actions by governments, international organizations, the business sector, civil society, and philanthropists.

The specific action areas of the Addis Agenda are:

  • Domestic public resources;
  • Domestic and international private business and finance;
  • International development cooperation;
  • International trade as an engine for development;
  • Debt and debt sustainability;
  • Addressing systemic issues;
  • Science, technology, innovation and capacity building.

Integrated approach to the FfD follow-up

Member States mandated the Financing for Sustainable Development Office (FSDO) to promote and support an integrated, cross-cutting and holistic approach to the Financing for Development follow-up. FSDO acts as the Secretariat for the biennial ECOSOC Development Cooperation Forum (DCF), a global multi-stakeholder forum for action-oriented reviews of trends, progress and emerging issues in international development cooperation. The Addis Agenda recognizes the DCF as the primary platform for discussion on the quality, impact and effectiveness of development cooperation. The deliberations of the DCF are taken into account in the HLPF.

FSDO also provides Secretariat support to the UN Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters (UN Tax Committee), and disseminates the guidelines issued by the Committee through a capacity development programme aimed at strengthening the capacity of developing countries to develop more efficient and effective tax systems, with the ultimate aim to increase the mobilization of resources for investment in sustainable development.

Related Forums

The Addis Agenda established an annual ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development (FfD Forum), an intergovernmental process with universal participation mandated to discuss the follow-up and review of the financing for development outcomes and the means of implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The intergovernmentally agreed conclusions and recommendations of the FfD Forum also feed into the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).

The Addis Agenda moreover called on the Secretary-General to convene an Inter-Agency Task Force on Financing for Development with a mandate to:

  • Report annually on progress in implementing the Addis Agenda and other Financing for Development outcomes and the means of implementation of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, and
  • Advise the intergovernmental follow-up process on progress, implementation gaps and recommendations for corrective action, while taking into consideration the national and regional dimensions. The Task Force’s annual report is the major substantive input to the ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development follow-up and supports the deliberations of the HLPF.

Looking ahead

The FSDO’s activities will be closely aligned to the Secretary-General’s strategy on finance. Priorities in 2019 will include facilitating the ECOSOC FFD Forum and SDGI Fair in April, the High-Level Dialogue on Financing for Development in September, and providing support for the ministerial and summit-level HLPFs that will take place in July and September respectively.

Financing for sustainable development – Report

The 2019 Financing for Sustainable Development Report (FSDR) of the Inter-agency Task Force on Financing for Development warns that mobilizing sufficient financing remains a major challenge in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Despite signs of progress, investments that are critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) remain underfunded and parts of the multilateral system are under strain.