Broad support for policies and actions that will generate resources in support of the implementation of a new sustainable development agenda emerged from the United Nations Third International Conference on Financing for Development that concluded today.
The Conference resulted in the adoption of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, a comprehensive framework to guide policies that will mobilize financial resources, as well as the launch of new initiatives to finance the achievement of the proposed sustainable development goals, including on social welfare, access to clean energy, and greater cooperation on tax issues.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “The Addis Ababa Action Agenda is a major step forward in building a world of prosperity and dignity for all.” He said the agreement “points the way for all stakeholders for smart investments in people and the planet where they are needed, when they are needed and at the scale they are needed.”
The conference in Addis Ababa was the first of three milestones in the year 2015. It will be followed by the Summit on Sustainable Development in New York in September where countries will adopt a new sustainable development agenda, and the Paris Climate Conference in December.
“Member States have now passed this first hurdle,” Mr. Ban said. “Let us keep ambition high and work to realize the great potential of 2015 to be a year of transformation in leaving no one behind and ensuring lives of dignity for all.”
Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, who served as President of the Conference, said, “The world has gathered here in Addis Ababa to agree on a document that will guide our international efforts on sustainable development for the next decade and a half. I am delighted that the action agenda we have agreed here bears the name of our capital city.”
“The Addis Ababa Action Agenda recognizes that the only development worth having is sustainable development,” he said. “The world is clear in its resolve that no one is left behind as we make the sustainable development goals a reality.”
Conference Secretary-General Wu Hongbo said the successful outcome “is a building block of our new global development agenda for the next 15 years.”
“The Action Agenda provides a global framework for financing sustainable development and developing sustainable finance.” He added, “This new framework aligns all financing flows and policies with economic, social and environmental priorities.”
The framework provided by the Addis Ababa Action Agenda includes more than 100 measures that will, if implemented, result in policies that will enable and direct financial investments by the public and private sectors to meet an array of challenges. Areas of sharp focus include commitment to direct finance to social protection, infrastructure, technology, assistance to the poorest countries, cooperation on tax issues and the need to address illicit financial flows that take resources away from development. Notably, in the Action Agenda, countries committed themselves to pursue the equal rights and opportunities of women and girls in the economy.
The achievements of the Conference on Financing for Development went beyond the agreed negotiated outcome. Six multi-stakeholder roundtables and almost 200 side events resulted in the announcement of new initiatives aimed at implementing the sustainable development agenda. These include:
- Tax: Three major initiatives on were launched in Addis – Tax Inspectors Without Borders (UNDP and OECD); the Addis Tax Initiative (18 developed countries to double official development assistance for tax capacity) and a joint World Bank/IMF initiative. In addition, building on successful networks in Latin America and Africa, a regional network of Asian tax administrators will be convened by UNESCAP.
- Development banks: Existing national, regional and multilateral development banks took action, with vows to provide hundreds of billions of dollars in resources over the course of the next several years, in particular for infrastructure and small and medium enterprise financing. These come on top of commitments made by developing and developed countries to set up new development banks.
- Social needs: New financing partnerships were launched to tackle health and nutrition issues, including a $12 billion Global Financing Facility for women’s and children’s health; a $2.5 billion fund by the Gates Foundation and the Islamic Development Bank; and UNITLIFE, an innovative financing mechanism to channel a portion of extractives royalties towards nutrition interventions in Africa. In the lead-up to Addis, the G-7 announced its commitment to lift 500 million people out of hunger and malnutrition by 2030.
- Environmental concerns: The Sustainable Energy for All initiative launched a report by its Committee on Scaling Up Finance for Sustainable Energy Investments, which identifies the potential for catalyzing $120 billion of incremental annual investment in sustainable energy by 2020. Initiatives to increase access to renewable energy were also announced.
For the full agreement, see