Draft resolution submitted by the Chair of the Main Committee
Outcome document of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development: Addis Ababa Action Agenda
The Third International Conference on Financing for Development,
Having met in Addis Ababa from 13 to 16 July 2015,
- Adopts, as the outcome document of the Conference, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (Addis Ababa Action Agenda), annexed to the present resolution;
- Recommends that the General Assembly endorse, at its sixty-ninth session, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda as adopted by the Conference.
Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development
(Addis Ababa Action Agenda)
A global framework for financing development post-2015
We, the Heads of State and Government and High Representatives, gathered in Addis Ababa from 13 to 16 July 2015, affirm our strong political commitment to address the challenge of financing and creating an enabling environment at all levels for sustainable development in the spirit of global partnership and solidarity. We reaffirm and build on the 2002 Monterrey Consensus and the 2008 Doha Declaration. Our goal is to end poverty and hunger, and to achieve sustainable development in its three dimensions through promoting inclusive economic growth, protecting the environment, and promoting social inclusion. We commit to respecting all human rights, including the right to development. We will ensure gender equality and women’s and girls’ empowerment. We will promote peaceful and inclusive societies and advance fully towards an equitable global economic system in which no country or person is left behind, enabling decent work and productive livelihoods for all, while preserving the planet for our children and future generations.
In September 2015, the United Nations will host a summit to adopt an ambitious and transformative post-2015 development agenda, including sustainable development goals. This agenda must be underpinned by equally ambitious and credible means of implementation. We have come together to establish a holistic and forward-looking framework and to commit to concrete actions to deliver on the promise of that agenda. Our task is threefold: to follow-up on commitments and assess the progress made in the implementation of the Monterrey Consensus and the Doha Declaration; to further strengthen the framework to finance sustainable development and the means of implementation for the universal post-2015 development agenda; and to reinvigorate and strengthen the financing for development follow-up process to ensure that the actions to which we commit are implemented and reviewed in an appropriate, inclusive, timely and transparent manner.
We recognize that since the adoption of the Monterrey Consensus the world has made significant overall progress. Globally, economic activity and financing flows have increased substantially. We have made great progress in mobilizing financial and technical resources for development from an increased number of actors. Advances in science, technology and innovation have enhanced the potential to achieve our development goals. Many countries, including developing countries, have implemented policy frameworks that have contributed to increased mobilization of domestic resources and higher levels of economic growth and social progress. Developing countries’ share in world trade has increased and, while debt burdens remain, they have been reduced in many poor countries. These advances have contributed to a substantial reduction in the number of people living in extreme poverty and to notable progress towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
Despite these gains, many countries, particularly developing countries, still face considerable challenges, and some have fallen further behind. Inequalities within many countries have increased dramatically. Women, representing half of the world’s population, as well as indigenous peoples and the vulnerable, continue to be excluded from participating fully in the economy. While the Monterrey agenda has not yet been fully implemented, new challenges have arisen, and enormous unmet needs remain for the achievement of sustainable development. The 2008 world financial and economic crisis exposed risks and vulnerabilities in the international financial and economic system. Global growth rates are now below pre-crisis levels. Shocks from financial and economic crises, conflict, natural disasters and disease outbreaks spread rapidly in our highly interconnected world. Environmental degradation, climate change, and other environmental risks threaten to undermine past successes and future prospects. We need to ensure that our development efforts enhance resilience in the face of these threats.
Solutions can be found, including through strengthening public policies, regulatory frameworks and finance at all levels, unlocking the transformative potential of people and the private sector, and incentivizing changes in financing as well as consumption and production patterns to support sustainable development. We recognize that appropriate incentives, strengthening national and international policy environments and regulatory frameworks and their coherence, harnessing the potential of science, technology and innovation, closing technology gaps and scaling up capacity-building at all levels are essential for the shift towards sustainable development and poverty eradication. We reaffirm the importance of freedom, human rights, and national sovereignty, good governance, rule of law, peace and security, combating corruption at all levels and in all its forms, and effective, accountable and inclusive democratic institutions at the subnational, national and international levels as central to enabling the effective, efficient and transparent mobilization and use of resources. We also reaffirm all the principles of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development.
We reaffirm that achieving gender equality, empowering all women and girls, and the full realization of their human rights are essential to achieving sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth and sustainable development. We reiterate the need for gender mainstreaming, including targeted actions and investments in the formulation and implementation of all financial, economic, environmental and social policies. We recommit to adopting and strengthening sound policies and enforceable legislation and transformative actions for the promotion of gender equality and women’s and girls’ empowerment at all levels, to ensure women’s equal rights, access and opportunities for participation and leadership in the economy and to eliminate gender-based violence and discrimination in all its forms.
We recognize that investing in children and youth is critical to achieving inclusive, equitable and sustainable development for present and future generations, and we recognize the need to support countries that face particular challenges to make the requisite investments in this area. We reaffirm the vital importance of promoting and protecting the rights of all children, and ensuring that no child is left behind.
We recognize the importance of addressing the diverse needs and challenges faced by countries in special situations, in particular African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States, as well as the specific challenges facing middle-income countries. We reaffirm that least developed countries, as the most vulnerable group of countries, need enhanced global support to overcome the structural challenges they face for the achievement of the post-2015 development agenda and the sustainable development goals. We reaffirm the need to address the special challenges and needs of landlocked developing countries in structurally transforming their economies, harnessing benefits from international trade, and developing efficient transport and transit systems. We further reaffirm that small island developing States remain a special case for sustainable development in view of their small size, remoteness, narrow resource and export base, and exposure to global environmental challenges. We also reaffirm the need to achieve a positive socioeconomic transformation in Africa, and the need to address the diverse and specific development needs of middle-income countries, including combating poverty in all of its forms. In this regard, we support the implementation of relevant strategies and programmes of action, including the Istanbul Declaration and Programme of Action, the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway and the Vienna Programme of Action for Landlocked Developing Countries for the Decade 2014-2024, and reaffirm the importance of supporting the new development framework, “the African Union’s Agenda 2063”, as well as its 10-year Plan of Action, as a strategic framework for ensuring a positive socioeconomic transformation in Africa within the next 50 years and its continental programme embedded in the resolutions of the General Assembly on the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). Countries in conflict and post-conflict situations also need special attention. We recognize the development challenge posed by conflict, which not only impedes but can reverse decades of development gains. We recognize the peacebuilding financing gap and the importance of the Peacebuilding Fund. We take note of the principles set out in the New Deal by the Group of Seven Plus, countries that are, or have been, affected by conflict.
Cohesive nationally owned sustainable development strategies, supported by integrated national financing frameworks, will be at the heart of our efforts. We reiterate that each country has primary responsibility for its own economic and social development and that the role of national policies and development strategies cannot be overemphasized. We will respect each country’s policy space and leadership to implement policies for poverty eradication and sustainable development, while remaining consistent with relevant international rules and commitments. At the same time, national development efforts need to be supported by an enabling international economic environment, including coherent and mutually supporting world trade, monetary and financial systems, and strengthened and enhanced global economic governance. Processes to develop and facilitate the availability of appropriate knowledge and technologies globally, as well as capacity-building, are also critical. We commit to pursuing policy coherence and an enabling environment for sustainable development at all levels and by all actors, and to reinvigorating the global partnership for sustainable development.
The enhanced and revitalized global partnership for sustainable development, led by Governments, will be a vehicle for strengthening international cooperation for implementation of the post-2015 development agenda. Multi-stakeholder partnerships and the resources, knowledge and ingenuity of the private sector, civil society, the scientific community, academia, philanthropy and foundations, parliaments, local authorities, volunteers and other stakeholders will be important to mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, complement the efforts of Governments, and support the achievement of the sustainable development goals, in particular in developing countries. This global partnership should reflect the fact that the post-2015 development agenda, including the sustainable development goals, is global in nature and universally applicable to all countries while taking into account different national realities, capacities, needs and levels of development and respecting national policies and priorities. We will work with all partners to ensure a sustainable, equitable, inclusive, peaceful and prosperous future for all. We will all be held accountable by future generations for the success and delivery of commitments we make today.
Achieving an ambitious post-2015 development agenda, including all the sustainable development goals, will require an equally ambitious, comprehensive, holistic and transformative approach with respect to the means of implementation, combining different means of implementation and integrating the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. This should be underpinned by effective, accountable and inclusive institutions, sound policies and good governance at all levels. We will identify actions and address critical gaps relevant to the post-2015 development agenda, including the sustainable development goals, with an aim to harness their considerable synergies, so that implementation of one will contribute to the progress of others. We have therefore identified a range of cross-cutting areas that build on these synergies.
Delivering social protection and essential public services for all. To end poverty in all its forms everywhere and finish the unfinished business of the Millennium Development Goals, we commit to a new social compact. In this effort, we will provide fiscally sustainable and nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, with a focus on those furthest below the poverty line and the vulnerable, persons with disabilities, indigenous persons, children, youth and older persons. We also encourage countries to consider setting nationally appropriate spending targets for quality investments in essential public services for all, including health, education, energy, water and sanitation, consistent with national sustainable development strategies. We will make every effort to meet the needs of all communities through delivering high-quality services that make effective use of resources. We commit to strong international support for these efforts, and will explore coherent funding modalities to mobilize additional resources, building on country-led experiences.
Scaling up efforts to end hunger and malnutrition. It is unacceptable that close to 800 million people are chronically undernourished and do not have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food. With the majority of the poor living in rural areas, we emphasize the need to revitalize the agricultural sector, promote rural development, and ensure food security, notably in developing countries, in a sustainable manner, which will lead to rich payoffs across the sustainable development goals. We will support sustainable agriculture, including forestry, fisheries and pastoralism. We will also take action to fight malnutrition and hunger among the urban poor. Recognizing the enormous investment needs in these areas, we encourage increased public and private investments. In this regard, we recognize the Committee on World Food Security’s voluntary Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems and the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests. We recognize the efforts of the International Fund for Agricultural Development in mobilizing investment to enable rural people living in poverty to improve their food security and nutrition, raise their incomes, and strengthen their resilience. We value the work of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) the World Food Programme, and the World Bank and other multilateral development banks. We also recognize the complementary role of social safety nets in ensuring food security and nutrition. In this regard, we welcome the Rome Declaration on Nutrition and the Framework for Action, which can provide policy options and strategies aimed at ensuring food security and nutrition for all. We also commit to increasing public investment, which plays a strategic role in financing research, infrastructure and pro-poor initiatives. We will strengthen our efforts to enhance food security and nutrition and focus our efforts on smallholders and women farmers, as well as on agricultural cooperatives and farmers’ networks. We call on relevant agencies to further coordinate and collaborate in this regard, in accordance with their respective mandates. These efforts must be supported by improving access to markets, enabling domestic and international environments, and strengthened collaboration across the many initiatives in this area, including regional initiatives, such as the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme. We will also work to significantly reduce post-harvest food loss and waste.
Establishing a new forum to bridge the infrastructure gap. Investing in sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including transport, energy, water and sanitation for all, is a pre-requisite for achieving many of our goals. To bridge the global infrastructure gap, including the $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion annual gap in developing countries, we will facilitate development of sustainable, accessible and resilient quality infrastructure in developing countries through enhanced financial and technical support. We welcome the launch of new infrastructure initiatives aimed at bridging these gaps, including the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Global Infrastructure Hub, the New Development Bank, the Asia Pacific Project Preparation Facility, the World Bank Group’s Global Infrastructure Facility and the Africa50 Infrastructure Fund, as well as the increase in the capital of the Inter‑American Investment Corporation. As a key pillar to meet the sustainable development goals, we call for the establishment of a global infrastructure forum building on existing multilateral collaboration mechanisms, led by the multilateral development banks. This forum will meet periodically to improve alignment and coordination among established and new infrastructure initiatives, multilateral and national development banks, United Nations agencies, and national institutions, development partners and the private sector. It will encourage a greater range of voices to be heard, particularly from developing countries, to identify and address infrastructure and capacity gaps in particular in least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, small island developing States and African countries. It will highlight opportunities for investment and cooperation, and work to ensure that investments are environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.
Promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization. We stress the critical importance of industrial development for developing countries, as a critical source of economic growth, economic diversification, and value addition. We will invest in promoting inclusive and sustainable industrial development to effectively address major challenges such as growth and jobs, resources and energy efficiency, pollution and climate change, knowledge-sharing, innovation and social inclusion. In this regard, we welcome relevant cooperation within the United Nations system, including the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), to advance the linkages between infrastructure development, inclusive and sustainable industrialization and innovation.
Generating full and productive employment and decent work for all and promoting micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. To enable all people to benefit from growth, we will include full and productive employment and decent work for all as a central objective in our national development strategies. We will encourage the full and equal participation of women and men, including persons with disabilities, in the formal labour market. We note that micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, which create the vast majority of jobs in many countries, often lack access to finance. Working with private actors and development banks, we commit to promoting appropriate, affordable and stable access to credit to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as adequate skills development training for all, particularly for youth and entrepreneurs. We will promote national youth strategies as a key instrument for meeting the needs and aspirations of young people. We also commit to developing and operationalizing, by 2020, a global strategy for youth employment and implementing the International Labour Organization (ILO) Global Jobs Pact.
Protecting our ecosystems for all. All of our actions need to be underpinned by our strong commitment to protect and preserve our planet and natural resources, our biodiversity and our climate. We commit to coherent policy, financing, trade and technology frameworks to protect, manage and restore our ecosystems, including marine and terrestrial ecosystems, and to promote their sustainable use, build resilience, reduce pollution and combat climate change, desertification and land degradation. We recognize the importance of avoiding harmful activities. Governments, businesses and households will all need to change behaviours, with a view to ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns. We will promote corporate sustainability, including reporting on environmental, social and governance impacts, to help to ensure transparency and accountability. Public and private investments in innovations and clean technologies will be needed, while keeping in mind that new technologies will not substitute for efforts to reduce waste or efficiently use natural resources.
Promoting peaceful and inclusive societies. We underline the need to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for achieving sustainable development, and to build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. Good governance, rule of law, human rights, fundamental freedoms, equal access to fair justice systems, and measures to combat corruption and curb illicit financial flows will be integral to our efforts.
The post-2015 development agenda, including the sustainable development goals, can be met within the framework of a revitalized global partnership for sustainable development, supported by the concrete policies and actions as outlined in the present Action Agenda.
Domestic public resources
For all countries, public policies and the mobilization and effective use of domestic resources, underscored by the principle of national ownership, are central to our common pursuit of sustainable development, including achieving the sustainable development goals. Building on the considerable achievements in many countries since Monterrey, we remain committed to further strengthening the mobilization and effective use of domestic resources. We recognize that domestic resources are first and foremost generated by economic growth, supported by an enabling environment at all levels. Sound social, environmental and economic policies, including countercyclical fiscal policies, adequate fiscal space, good governance at all levels, and democratic and transparent institutions responsive to the needs of the people are necessary to achieve our goals. We will strengthen our domestic enabling environments, including the rule of law, and combat corruption at all levels and in all its forms. Civil society, independent media, and other non-State actors also play important roles.
Evidence shows that gender equality, women’s empowerment and women’s full and equal participation and leadership in the economy are vital to achieve sustainable development and significantly enhance economic growth and productivity. We commit to promoting social inclusion in our domestic policies. We will promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws, social infrastructure and policies for sustainable development, as well as enable women’s full and equal participation in the economy, and their equal access to decision-making processes and leadership.
We recognize that significant additional domestic public resources, supplemented by international assistance as appropriate, will be critical to realizing sustainable development and achieving the sustainable development goals. We commit to enhancing revenue administration through modernized, progressive tax systems, improved tax policy and more efficient tax collection. We will work to improve the fairness, transparency, efficiency and effectiveness of our tax systems, including by broadening the tax base and continuing efforts to integrate the informal sector into the formal economy in line with country circumstances. In this regard, we will strengthen international cooperation to support efforts to build capacity in developing countries, including through enhanced official development assistance (ODA). We welcome efforts by countries to set nationally defined domestic targets and timelines for enhancing domestic revenue as part of their national sustainable development strategies, and will support developing countries in need in reaching these targets.
We will redouble efforts to substantially reduce illicit financial flows by 2030, with a view to eventually eliminating them, including by combating tax evasion and corruption through strengthened national regulation and increased international cooperation. We will also reduce opportunities for tax avoidance, and consider inserting anti-abuse clauses in all tax treaties. We will enhance disclosure practices and transparency in both source and destination countries, including by seeking to ensure transparency in all financial transactions between Governments and companies to relevant tax authorities. We will make sure that all companies, including multinationals, pay taxes to the Governments of countries where economic activity occurs and value is created, in accordance with national and international laws and policies.
We note the report of the High-level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa. We invite other regions to carry out similar exercises. To help combat illicit flows, we invite the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the United Nations to assist both source and destination countries. We also invite appropriate international institutions and regional organizations to publish estimates of the volume and composition of illicit financial flows. We will identify, assess and act on money-laundering risks, including through effective implementation of the Financial Action Task Force standards on anti-money-laundering/counter-terrorism financing. At the same time, we will encourage information-sharing among financial institutions to mitigate the potential impact of the anti-money-laundering and combating the financing of terrorism standard on reducing access to financial services.
We urge all countries that have not yet done so to ratify and accede to the United Nations Convention against Corruption and encourage parties to review its implementation. We commit to making the Convention an effective instrument to deter, detect, prevent and counter corruption and bribery, prosecute those involved in corrupt activities, and recover and return stolen assets to their country of origin. We encourage the international community to develop good practices on asset return. We support the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative of the United Nations and the World Bank, and other international initiatives that support the recovery of stolen assets. We further urge that regional conventions against corruption be updated and ratified. We will strive to eliminate safe havens that create incentives for transfer abroad of stolen assets and illicit financial flows. We will work to strengthen regulatory frameworks at all levels to further increase transparency and accountability of financial institutions and the corporate sector, as well as public administrations. We will strengthen international cooperation and national institutions to combat money-laundering and financing of terrorism.
Countries relying significantly on natural resource exports face particular challenges. We encourage investment in value addition and processing of natural resources and productive diversification, and commit to addressing excessive tax incentives related to these investments, particularly in extractive industries. We reaffirm that every State has and shall freely exercise full permanent sovereignty over all its wealth, natural resources and economic activity. We underline the importance of corporate transparency and accountability of all companies, notably in the extractive industries. We encourage countries to implement measures to ensure transparency, and take note of voluntary initiatives such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. We will continue to share best practices and promote peer learning and capacity-building for contract negotiations for fair and transparent concession, revenue and royalty agreements, and for monitoring the implementation of contracts.
We commit to scaling up international tax cooperation. We encourage countries, in accordance with their national capacities and circumstances, to work together to strengthen transparency and adopt appropriate policies, including multinational enterprises reporting country-by-country to tax authorities where they operate; access to beneficial ownership information for competent authorities; and progressively advancing towards automatic exchange of tax information among tax authorities as appropriate, with assistance to developing countries, especially the least developed, as needed. Tax incentives can be an appropriate policy tool. However, to end harmful tax practices, countries can engage in voluntary discussions on tax incentives in regional and international forums.
We stress that efforts in international tax cooperation should be universal in approach and scope and should fully take into account the different needs and capacities of all countries, in particular least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, small island developing States and African countries. We welcome the participation of developing countries or their regional networks in this work, and call for more inclusiveness to ensure that these efforts benefit all countries. We welcome ongoing efforts, including the work of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, and take into account the work of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for the Group of 20 on base erosion and profit shifting. We support strengthening of regional networks of tax administrators. We take note of ongoing efforts, such as those of IMF, including on capacity-building, and the OECD “Tax Inspectors without Borders” initiative. We recognize the need for technical assistance through multilateral, regional, bilateral and South-South cooperation, based on different needs of countries.
We emphasize the importance of inclusive cooperation and dialogue among national tax authorities on international tax matters. In this regard, we welcome the work of the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters, including its subcommittees. We have decided that we will work to further enhance its resources in order to strengthen its effectiveness and operational capacity. To that end, we will increase the frequency of its meetings to two sessions per year, with a duration of four working days each. We will increase the engagement of the Committee with the Economic and Social Council through the Special Meeting on International Cooperation on Tax Matters, with a view to enhancing intergovernmental consideration of tax issues. Members of the Committee will continue to report directly to the Economic and Social Council. We continue to urge Member States to support the Committee and its subsidiary bodies through the voluntary trust fund, to enable the Committee to fulfil its mandate, including supporting the increased participation of developing country experts at subcommittee meetings. The Committee members shall be nominated by Governments and acting in their expert capacity, who are to be drawn from the fields of tax policy and tax administration and who are to be selected to reflect an adequate equitable geographical distribution, representing different tax systems. The members shall be appointed by the Secretary-General, in consultation with Member States.
We will strengthen national control mechanisms, such as supreme audit institutions, along with other independent oversight institutions, as appropriate. We will increase transparency and equal participation in the budgeting process, and promote gender responsive budgeting and tracking. We will establish transparent public procurement frameworks as a strategic tool to reinforce sustainable development. We take note of the work of the Open Government Partnership, which promotes the transparency, accountability and responsiveness of Governments to their citizens, with the goal of improving the quality of governance and government services.
We reaffirm the commitment to rationalize inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption by removing market distortions, in accordance with national circumstances, including by restructuring taxation and phasing out those harmful subsidies, where they exist, to reflect their environmental impacts, taking fully into account the specific needs and conditions of developing countries and minimizing the possible adverse impacts on their development in a manner that protects the poor and the affected communities.
We note the enormous burden that non-communicable diseases place on developed and developing countries. These costs are particularly challenging for small island developing States. We recognize, in particular, that, as part of a comprehensive strategy of prevention and control, price and tax measures on tobacco can be an effective and important means to reduce tobacco consumption and health-care costs, and represent a revenue stream for financing for development in many countries.
We note the role that well-functioning national and regional development banks can play in financing sustainable development, particularly in credit market segments in which commercial banks are not fully engaged and where large financing gaps exist, based on sound lending frameworks and compliance with appropriate social and environmental safeguards. This includes areas such as sustainable infrastructure, energy, agriculture, industrialization, science, technology and innovation, as well as financial inclusion and financing of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. We acknowledge that national and regional development banks also play a valuable countercyclical role, especially during financial crises when private sector entities become highly risk-averse. We call on national and regional development banks to expand their contributions in these areas, and further urge relevant international public and private actors to support such banks in developing countries.
We further acknowledge that expenditures and investments in sustainable development are being devolved to the subnational level, which often lacks adequate technical and technological capacity, financing and support. We therefore commit to scaling up international cooperation to strengthen capacities of municipalities and other local authorities. We will support cities and local authorities of developing countries, particularly in least developed countries and small island developing States, in implementing resilient and environmentally sound infrastructure, including energy, transport, water and sanitation, and sustainable and resilient buildings using local materials. We will strive to support local governments in their efforts to mobilize revenues as appropriate. We will enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and strengthen economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning, within the context of national sustainable development strategies. We will work to strengthen debt management, and where appropriate to establish or strengthen municipal bond markets, to help subnational authorities to finance necessary investments. We will also promote lending from financial institutions and development banks, along with risk mitigation mechanisms, such as the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, while managing currency risk. In these efforts, we will encourage the participation of local communities in decisions affecting their communities, such as in improving drinking water and sanitation management. By 2020, we will increase the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, and resilience to disasters. We will develop and implement holistic disaster risk management at all levels in line with the Sendai Framework. In this regard, we will support national and local capacity for prevention, adaptation and mitigation of external shocks and risk management.
Domestic and international private business and finance
Private business activity, investment and innovation are major drivers of productivity, inclusive economic growth and job creation. We acknowledge the diversity of the private sector, ranging from micro-enterprises to cooperatives to multinationals. We call on all businesses to apply their creativity and innovation to solving sustainable development challenges. We invite them to engage as partners in the development process, to invest in areas critical to sustainable development, and to shift to more sustainable consumption and production patterns. We welcome the significant growth in domestic private activity and international investment since Monterrey. Private international capital flows, particularly foreign direct investment, along with a stable international financial system, are vital complements to national development efforts. Nonetheless, we note that there are investment gaps in key sectors for sustainable development. Foreign direct investment is concentrated in a few sectors in many developing countries and often bypasses countries most in need, and international capital flows are often short-term oriented.
We will develop policies and, where appropriate, strengthen regulatory frameworks to better align private sector incentives with public goals, including incentivizing the private sector to adopt sustainable practices, and foster long-term quality investment. Public policy is needed to create the enabling environment at all levels and a regulatory framework necessary to encourage entrepreneurship and a vibrant domestic business sector. Monterrey tasked us to build transparent, stable and predictable investment climates, with proper contract enforcement and respect for property rights, embedded in sound macroeconomic policies and institutions. Many countries have made great strides in this area. We will continue to promote and create enabling domestic and international conditions for inclusive and sustainable private sector investment, with transparent and stable rules and standards and free and fair competition, conducive to achieving national development policies.
We will foster a dynamic and well-functioning business sector, while protecting labour rights and environmental and health standards in accordance with relevant international standards and agreements, such as the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the labour standards of ILO, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and key multilateral environmental agreements, for parties to those agreements. We welcome the growing number of businesses that embrace a core business model that takes account of the environmental, social and governance impacts of their activities, and urge all others to do so. We encourage impact investing, which combines a return on investment with non-financial impacts. We will promote sustainable corporate practices, including integrating environmental, social and governance factors into company reporting as appropriate, with countries deciding on the appropriate balance of voluntary and mandatory rules. We encourage businesses to adopt principles for responsible business and investing, and we support the work of the Global Compact in this regard. We will work towards harmonizing the various initiatives on sustainable business and financing, identifying gaps, including in relation to gender equality, and strengthening the mechanisms and incentives for compliance.
We acknowledge the importance of robust risk-based regulatory frameworks for all financial intermediation, from microfinance to international banking. We acknowledge that some risk-mitigating measures could potentially have unintended consequences, such as making it more difficult for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to access financial services. We will work to ensure that our policy and regulatory environment supports financial market stability and promotes financial inclusion in a balanced manner, and with appropriate consumer protection. We will endeavour to design policies, including capital market regulations where appropriate, that promote incentives along the investment chain that are aligned with long-term performance and sustainability indicators, and that reduce excess volatility.
Many people, especially women, still lack access to financial services, as well as financial literacy, which is a key for social inclusion. We will work towards full and equal access to formal financial services for all. We will adopt or review our financial inclusion strategies, in consultation with relevant stakeholders, and will consider including financial inclusion as a policy objective in financial regulation, in accordance with national priorities and legislation. We will encourage our commercial banking systems to serve all, including those who currently face barriers to access financial services and information. We will also support microfinance institutions, development banks, agricultural banks, mobile network operators, agent networks, cooperatives, postal banks and savings banks as appropriate. We encourage the use of innovative tools, including mobile banking, payment platforms and digitalized payments. We will expand peer learning and experience-sharing among countries and regions, including through the Alliance for Financial Inclusion and regional organizations. We commit to strengthening capacity development for developing countries, including through the United Nations development system, and encourage mutual cooperation and collaboration between financial inclusion initiatives.
We recognize the positive contribution of migrants for inclusive growth and sustainable development in countries of origin, and transit and destination countries. Remittances from migrant workers, half of whom are women, are typically wages transferred to families, primarily to meet part of the needs of the recipient households. They cannot be equated to other international financial flows, such as foreign direct investment, ODA or other public sources of financing for development. We will work to ensure that adequate and affordable financial services are available to migrants and their families in both home and host countries. We will work towards reducing the average transaction cost of migrant remittances by 2030 to less than 3 per cent of the amount transferred. We are particularly concerned with the cost of remittances in certain low volume and high cost corridors. We will work to ensure that no remittance corridor requires charges higher than 5 per cent by 2030, mindful of the need to maintain adequate service coverage, especially for those most in need. We will support national authorities to address the most significant obstacles to the continued flow of remittances, such as the trend of banks withdrawing services, to work towards access to remittance transfer services across borders. We will increase coordination among national regulatory authorities to remove obstacles to non-bank remittance service providers accessing payment system infrastructure, and promote conditions for cheaper, faster and safer transfer of remittances in both source and recipient countries, including by promoting competitive and transparent market conditions. We will exploit new technologies, promote financial literacy and inclusion, and improve data collection.
We are committed to women’s and girls’ equal rights and opportunities in political and economic decision-making and resource allocation and to removing any barriers that prevent women from being full participants in the economy. We resolve to undertake legislation and administrative reforms to give women equal rights with men to economic resources, including access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, credit, inheritance, natural resources and appropriate new technology. We further encourage the private sector to contribute to advancing gender equality through striving to ensure women’s full and productive employment and decent work, equal pay for equal work or work of equal value, and equal opportunities, as well as protecting them against discrimination and abuse in the workplace. We support the Women’s Empowerment Principles established by UN-Women and the Global Compact and encourage increased investments in female-owned companies or businesses.
We welcome the rapid growth of philanthropic giving and the significant financial and non-financial contribution philanthropists have made towards achieving our common goals. We recognize philanthropic donors’ flexibility and capacity for innovation and taking risks, and their ability to leverage additional funds through multi-stakeholder partnerships. We encourage others to join those who already contribute. We welcome efforts to increase cooperation between philanthropic actors, Governments and other development stakeholders. We call for increased transparency and accountability in philanthropy. We encourage philanthropic donors to give due consideration to local circumstances and align with national policies and priorities. We also encourage philanthropic donors to consider managing their endowments through impact investment, which considers both profit and non-financial impacts in its investment criteria.
We recognize that micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, particularly those that are women-owned, often have difficulty in obtaining financing. To encourage increased lending to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, financial regulations can permit the use of collateral substitutes, create appropriate exceptions to capital requirements, reduce entry and exit costs to encourage competition and allow microfinance institutions to mobilize savings by receiving deposits. We will work to strengthen the capacity of financial institutions to undertake cost-effective credit evaluation, including through public training programmes, and through establishing credit bureaux where appropriate. National development banks, credit unions, and other domestic financial institutions can play a vital role in providing access to financial services. We encourage both international and domestic development banks to promote finance for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, including in industrial transformation, through the creation of credit lines targeting those enterprises, as well as technical assistance. We welcome the work of the International Finance Corporation and other initiatives in this area, and encourage increased capacity-building and knowledge-sharing at the regional and global levels. We also recognize the potential of new investment vehicles, such as development-oriented venture capital funds, potentially with public partners, blended finance, risk mitigation instruments, and innovative debt funding structures with appropriate risk management and regulatory frameworks. We will also enhance capacity-building in these areas.
To meet longer-term financing needs, we will work towards developing domestic capital markets, particularly long-term bond and insurance markets where appropriate, including crop insurance on non-distortive terms. We will also work to strengthen supervision, clearing, settlement and risk management. We underline that regional markets are an effective way to achieve scale and depth not attainable when individual markets are small. We welcome the increase in lending in domestic currencies by multilateral development banks, and encourage further growth in this area. We encourage development banks to make use of all risk management tools, including through diversification. We recognize that the nature of international portfolio investment has evolved over the past 15 years, and that foreign investors now play a significant role in some developing countries’ capital markets, and the importance of managing volatility associated with these. We will enhance international support in developing domestic capital markets in developing countries, in particular in least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States. We will work to strengthen capacity-building in this area, including through regional, interregional and global forums for knowledge-sharing, technical assistance and data-sharing.
We recognize the important contribution that direct investment, including foreign direct investment, can make to sustainable development, particularly when projects are aligned with national and regional sustainable development strategies. Government policies can strengthen positive spillovers from foreign direct investment, such as know-how and technology, including through establishing linkages with domestic suppliers, as well as encouraging the integration of local enterprises, in particular micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in developing countries, into regional and global value chains. We will encourage investment promotion and other relevant agencies to focus on project preparation. We will prioritize projects with the greatest potential for promoting full and productive employment and decent work for all, sustainable patterns of production and consumption, structural transformation and sustainable industrialization, productive diversification and agriculture. Internationally, we will support these efforts through financial and technical support and capacity-building, and closer collaboration between home and host country agencies. We will consider the use of insurance, investment guarantees, including through the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, and new financial instruments to incentivize foreign direct investment to developing countries, particularly least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, small island developing States and countries in conflict and post-conflict situations.
We note with concern that many least developed countries continue to be largely sidelined by foreign direct investment that could help to diversify their economies, despite improvements in their investment climates. We resolve to adopt and implement investment promotion regimes for least developed countries. We will also offer financial and technical support for project preparation and contract negotiation, advisory support in investment-related dispute resolution, access to information on investment facilities and risk insurance and guarantees such as through the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, as requested by the least developed countries. We also note that small island developing States face challenges accessing international credit as a result of the structural characteristics of their economies. Least developed countries will continue to improve their enabling environments. We will also strengthen our efforts to address financing gaps and low levels of direct investment faced by landlocked developing countries, small island developing States, many middle-income countries, and countries in conflict and post-conflict situations. We encourage the use of innovative mechanisms and partnerships to encourage greater international private financial participation in these economies.
We acknowledge that impediments to private investment in infrastructure exist on both the supply and demand side. Insufficient investment is due in part to inadequate infrastructure plans and an insufficient number of well-prepared investable projects, along with private sector incentive structures that are not necessarily appropriate for investing in many long-term projects, and risk perceptions of investors. To address these constraints, we will imbed resilient and quality infrastructure investment plans in our national sustainable development strategies, while also strengthening our domestic enabling environments. Internationally, we will provide technical support for countries to translate plans into concrete project pipelines, as well as for individual implementable projects, including for feasibility studies, negotiation of complex contracts, and project management. In this regard, we take note of the African Union’s Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa. We note with concern the decline in infrastructure lending from commercial banks. We call on standard-setting bodies to identify adjustments that could encourage long-term investments within a framework of prudent risk-taking and robust risk control. We encourage long-term institutional investors, such as pension funds and sovereign wealth funds, which manage large pools of capital, to allocate a greater percentage to infrastructure, particularly in developing countries. In this regard, we encourage investors to take measures to incentivize greater long-term investment such as reviews of compensation structures and performance criteria.
We recognize that both public and private investment have key roles to play in infrastructure financing, including through development banks, development finance institutions and tools and mechanisms such as public-private partnerships, blended finance, which combines concessional public finance with non-concessional private finance and expertise from the public and private sector, special-purpose vehicles, non-recourse project financing, risk mitigation instruments and pooled funding structures. Blended finance instruments including public-private partnerships serve to lower investment-specific risks and incentivize additional private sector finance across key development sectors led by regional, national and subnational government policies and priorities for sustainable development. For harnessing the potential of blended finance instruments for sustainable development, careful consideration should be given to the appropriate structure and use of blended finance instruments. Projects involving blended finance, including public-private partnerships, should share risks and reward fairly, include clear accountability mechanisms and meet social and environmental standards. We will therefore build capacity to enter into public-private partnerships, including with regard to planning, contract negotiation, management, accounting and budgeting for contingent liabilities. We also commit to holding inclusive, open and transparent discussion when developing and adopting guidelines and documentation for the use of public-private partnerships, and to build a knowledge base and share lessons learned through regional and global forums.
We will promote both public and private investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technologies including carbon capture and storage technologies. We will substantially increase the share of renewable energy and double the global rate of energy efficiency and conservation, with the aim of ensuring universal access to affordable, reliable modern and sustainable energy services for all by 2030. We will enhance international cooperation to provide adequate support and facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, expand infrastructure and upgrade technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services to all developing countries, in particular least developed countries and small island developing States. We welcome the Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative as a useful framework, including its regional hubs, and the development of action agendas and investment prospectuses at country level, where appropriate. We call for action on its recommendations, with a combined potential to raise over
$100 billion in annual investments by 2020, through market-based initiatives, partnerships and leveraging development banks. We recognize the special vulnerabilities and needs of small island developing States, least developed countries and landlocked developing countries, and welcome Power Africa, the NEPAD Africa Power Vision and the Global Renewable Energy Islands Network of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
International development cooperation
International public finance plays an important role in complementing the efforts of countries to mobilize public resources domestically, especially in the poorest and most vulnerable countries with limited domestic resources. Our ambitious agenda puts significant demands on public budgets and capacities, which requires scaled-up and more effective international support, including both concessional and non-concessional financing. We welcome the increase of all forms of international public finance since Monterrey and are determined to step up our respective efforts in support of the post-2015 development agenda. We recognize that we share common goals and common ambitions to strengthen international development cooperation and maximize its effectiveness, transparency, impact and results. In this regard, we welcome the progress achieved in elaborating the principles that apply to our respective efforts to increase the impact of our cooperation. We will continue to strengthen our dialogue to enhance our common understanding and improve knowledge-sharing.
We welcome the increase in volume of ODA since Monterrey. Nonetheless, we express our concern that many countries still fall short of their ODA commitments and we reiterate that the fulfilment of all ODA commitments remains crucial. ODA providers reaffirm their respective commitments, including the commitment by many developed countries to achieve the target of 0.7 per cent of ODA/GNI and 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries. We are encouraged by those few countries that have met or surpassed their commitment to 0.7 per cent of ODA/GNI and the target of 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries. We urge all others to step up efforts to increase their ODA and to make additional concrete efforts towards the ODA targets. We welcome the decision by the European Union which reaffirms its collective commitment to achieve the
0.7 per cent of ODA/GNI target within the time frame of the post-2015 agenda, and undertakes to meet collectively the target of 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries in the short term, and to reach 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries within the time frame of the post-2015 agenda. We encourage ODA providers to consider setting a target to provide at least 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries.
We recognize the importance of focusing the most concessional resources on those with the greatest needs and least ability to mobilize other resources. In this regard we note with great concern the decline in the share of ODA to least developed countries and commit to reversing this decline. We are encouraged by those who are allocating at least 50 per cent of their ODA to least developed countries.
We stress the importance of mobilizing greater domestic support towards the fulfilment of ODA commitments, including through raising public awareness, and providing data on aid effectiveness and demonstrating tangible results. We encourage partner countries to build on progress achieved in ensuring that ODA is used effectively to help to achieve development goals and targets. We encourage the publication of forward-looking plans which increase clarity, predictability and transparency of future development cooperation, in accordance with national budget allocation processes. We urge countries to track and report resource allocations for gender equality and women’s empowerment.
An important use of international public finance, including ODA, is to catalyse additional resource mobilization from other sources, public and private. It can support improved tax collection and help to strengthen domestic enabling environments and build essential public services. It can also be used to unlock additional finance through blended or pooled financing and risk mitigation, notably for infrastructure and other investments that support private sector development.
We will hold open, inclusive and transparent discussions on the modernization of the ODA measurement and on the proposed measure of “total official support for sustainable development” and we affirm that any such measure will not dilute commitments already made.
South-South cooperation is an important element of international cooperation for development as a complement, not a substitute, to North-South cooperation. We recognize its increased importance, different history and particularities, and stress that South-South cooperation should be seen as an expression of solidarity among peoples and countries of the South, based on their shared experiences and objectives. It should continue to be guided by the principles of respect for national sovereignty, national ownership and independence, equality, non-conditionality, non-interference in domestic affairs and mutual benefit.
We welcome the increased contributions of South-South cooperation to poverty eradication and sustainable development. We encourage developing countries to voluntarily step up their efforts to strengthen South-South cooperation, and to further improve its development effectiveness in accordance with the provisions of the Nairobi outcome document of the High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation. We also commit to strengthening triangular cooperation as a means of bringing relevant experience and expertise to bear in development cooperation.
We welcome continued efforts to improve the quality, impact and effectiveness of development cooperation and other international efforts in public finance, including adherence to agreed development cooperation effectiveness principles. We will align activities with national priorities, including by reducing fragmentation, accelerating the untying of aid, particularly for least developed countries and countries most in need. We will promote country ownership and results orientation and strengthen country systems, use programme-based approaches where appropriate, strengthen partnerships for development, reduce transaction costs, and increase transparency and mutual accountability. We will make development more effective and predictable by providing developing countries with regular and timely indicative information on planned support in the medium term. We will pursue these efforts in the Development Cooperation Forum of the Economic and Social Council and in this regard we also take account of efforts in other relevant forums, such as the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation, in a complementary manner. We will also consider not requesting tax exemptions on goods and services delivered as government-to-government aid, beginning with renouncing repayments of value-added taxes and import levies.
We acknowledge that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Conference of the Parties thereto is the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change. We welcome the Lima call for climate action and we are encouraged by the commitment of the Conference of the Parties to reaching an ambitious agreement in Paris in 2015 that is applicable to all parties and that reflects the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances.
We reaffirm the importance of meeting in full existing commitments under international conventions, including on climate change and related global challenges. We recognize that funding from all sources, including public and private, bilateral and multilateral, as well as alternative sources of finance, will need to be stepped up for investments in many areas including for low-carbon and climate resilient development. We recognize that, in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation, developed countries committed to a goal of mobilizing jointly $100 billion a year by 2020 from a wide variety of sources to address the needs of developing countries. We recognize the need for transparent methodologies for reporting climate finance and welcome the ongoing work in the context of the Convention.
We welcome the successful and timely initial resource mobilization process of the Green Climate Fund, making it the largest dedicated climate fund and enabling it to start its activities in supporting developing country parties to the Convention. We welcome the decision of the Board of the Green Climate Fund to aim to start taking decisions on the approval of projects and programmes no later than its third meeting in 2015 as well as its decision regarding the formal replenishment process for the Fund. We also welcome the Board’s decision to aim for a 50:50 balance between mitigation and adaptation over time on a grant equivalent basis and to aim for a floor of 50 per cent of the adaptation allocation for particularly vulnerable countries, including least developed countries, small island developing States and African countries. We note the importance of continued support to address remaining gaps in the capacity to gain access to and manage climate finance.
We acknowledge the importance of taking into account the three dimensions of sustainable development. We encourage consideration of climate and disaster resilience in development financing to ensure the sustainability of development results. We recognize that well-designed actions can produce multiple local and global benefits, including those related to climate change. We commit to investing in efforts to strengthen the capacity of national and local actors to manage and finance disaster risk, as part of national sustainable development strategies, and to ensure that countries can draw on international assistance when needed.
We acknowledge the critical importance of biodiversity and the sustainable use of its components in poverty eradication and sustainable development. We welcome the implementation of the global Strategic Plan for Biodiversity for 2011-2020 and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets by the parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity and we invite all parties to attend the thirteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, to be held in Mexico in 2016. We encourage the mobilization of financial resources from all sources and at all levels to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity and ecosystems, including promoting sustainable land management, combating desertification, drought, dust storms and floods, restoring degraded land and soil, and promoting sustainable forest management. We welcome the commitment of States parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification to support and strengthen its implementation. We commit to supporting the efforts of countries to advance conservation and restoration efforts, such as the African Union Great Green Wall Initiative, and to providing support to countries in need to enhance the implementation of their national biodiversity strategies and action plans.
We recognize that oceans, seas and coastal areas form an integrated and essential component of the Earth’s ecosystem and are critical to sustaining it and that international law, as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, provides the legal framework for the conservation and the sustainable use of the oceans and their resources. We stress the importance of the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans and seas and of their resources for sustainable development, including through the contributions to poverty eradication, sustained economic growth, food security, creation of sustainable livelihoods and decent work, while at the same time protecting biodiversity and the marine environment and addressing the impacts of climate change. We therefore commit to protecting, and restoring, the health, productivity and resilience of oceans and marine ecosystems, and to maintaining their biodiversity, enabling their conservation and sustainable use for present and future generations, and to effectively applying an ecosystem approach and the precautionary approach in the management, in accordance with international law, of activities impacting on the marine environment, to deliver on all three dimensions of sustainable development.
We acknowledge that increases in global temperature, sea level rise, ocean acidification, and other climate change impacts are seriously affecting coastal areas and low-lying coastal countries including many least developed countries and small island developing States, while extreme climate events endanger the lives and livelihoods of millions. We commit to enhanced support to the most vulnerable in addressing and adapting to these critical challenges.
Development finance can contribute to reducing social, environmental and economic vulnerabilities and enable countries to prevent or combat situations of chronic crisis related to conflicts or natural disasters. We recognize the need for the coherence of developmental and humanitarian finance to ensure more timely, comprehensive, appropriate and cost-effective approaches to the management and mitigation of natural disasters and complex emergencies. We commit to promoting innovative financing mechanisms to allow countries to better prevent and manage risks and develop mitigation plans. We will invest in efforts to strengthen the capacity of national and local actors to manage and finance disaster risk reduction, and to enable countries to draw efficiently and effectively on international assistance when needed. We take note of the establishment of the Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Humanitarian Financing and the World Humanitarian Summit to be held in Istanbul, Turkey, on 26 and 27 May 2016.
We recognize the major challenge to the achievement of durable peace and sustainable development in countries in conflict and post-conflict situations. We recognize the peacebuilding financing gap and the role played by the Peacebuilding Fund. We will step up our efforts to assist countries in accessing financing for peacebuilding and development in the post-conflict context. We recognize the need for aid to be delivered efficiently through simplified mechanisms, increased strengthening and use of country systems, as well as strengthening of the capacity of local and national institutions as a priority in conflict-affected and post-conflict States while stressing the importance of country ownership and leadership in both peacebuilding and development.
We welcome ongoing work in relevant institutions to support efforts by least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States to build their national capacity to respond to various kinds of shocks including financial crisis, natural disasters, and public health emergencies, including through funds and other tools.
We welcome the progress made since Monterrey to develop and mobilize support for innovative sources and mechanisms of additional financing, in particular by the Leading Group on Innovative Financing for Development. We invite more countries to voluntarily join in implementing innovative mechanisms, instruments and modalities which do not unduly burden developing countries. We encourage consideration of how existing mechanisms, such as the International Finance Facility for Immunisation, might be replicated to address broader development needs. We also encourage exploring additional innovative mechanisms based on models combining public and private resources such as green bonds, vaccine bonds, triangular loans and pull mechanisms, and carbon pricing mechanisms.
We recognize the significant potential of multilateral development banks and other international development banks in financing sustainable development and providing know-how. Multilateral development banks can provide countercyclical lending, including on concessional terms as appropriate, to complement national resources for financial and economic shocks, natural disasters and pandemics. We invite the multilateral development banks and other international development banks to continue providing both concessional and non-concessional stable, long-term development finance by leveraging contributions and capital, and by mobilizing resources from capital markets. We stress that development banks should make optimal use of their resources and balance sheets, consistent with maintaining their financial integrity, and should update and develop their policies in support of the post-2015 development agenda, including the sustainable development goals. We encourage the multilateral development finance institutions to establish a process to examine their own role, scale and functioning to enable them to adapt and be fully responsive to the sustainable development agenda.
We recognize that middle-income countries still face significant challenges to achieve sustainable development. In order to ensure that achievements made to date are sustained, efforts to address ongoing challenges should be strengthened through the exchange of experiences, improved coordination, and better and focused support of the United Nations development system, the international financial institutions, regional organizations and other stakeholders. We therefore request those stakeholders to ensure that the diverse and specific development needs of middle-income countries are appropriately considered and addressed, in a tailored fashion, in their relevant strategies and policies with a view to promoting a coherent and comprehensive approach towards individual countries. We also acknowledge that ODA and other concessional finance is still important for a number of these countries and has a role to play for targeted results, taking into account the specific needs of these countries.
We also recognize the need to devise methodologies to better account for the complex and diverse realities of middle-income countries. We note with concern that access to concessional finance is reduced as countries’ incomes grow, and that countries may not be able to access sufficient affordable financing from other sources to meet their needs. We encourage shareholders in multilateral development banks to develop graduation policies that are sequenced, phased and gradual. We also encourage multilateral development banks to explore ways to ensure that their assistance best addresses the opportunities and challenges presented by the diverse circumstances of middle-income countries. In this regard, we acknowledge the World Bank’s small island State exception as a noteworthy response to the financing challenges of small island developing States. We also underscore the importance of risk mitigation mechanisms, including through the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency.
We recognize that the graduation process of least developed countries should be coupled with measures to ensure that the development process will not be jeopardized and that progress towards the sustainable development goals will be sustained. We further note that the level of concessionality of international public finance should take into account the level of development of each recipient, including income level, institutional capacity and vulnerability, as well as the nature of the project to be funded, including the commercial viability.
We underline the important role and comparative advantage of an adequately resourced, relevant, coherent, efficient and effective United Nations system in its support to achieve the sustainable development goals and sustainable development, and support the process on the longer-term positioning of the United Nations development system in the context of the post-2015 development agenda. We will work to strengthen national ownership and leadership over the operational activities for development of the United Nations system in programme countries, United Nations coherence, relevance, effectiveness and efficiency, to improve coordination and results, including through achieving further progress on the “Delivering as one” voluntary approach, among other operational modalities and approaches, and to improve United Nations collaboration with relevant stakeholders and partners.
Development banks can play a particularly important role in alleviating constraints on financing development, including quality infrastructure investment, including for sub-sovereign loans. We welcome efforts by new development banks to develop safeguard systems in open consultation with stakeholders on the basis of established international standards, and encourage all development banks to establish or maintain social and environmental safeguards systems, including on human rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment, that are transparent, effective, efficient and time-sensitive. We encourage multilateral development banks to further develop instruments to channel the resources of long-term investors towards sustainable development, including through long-term infrastructure and green bonds. We underline that regional investments in key priority sectors require the expansion of new financing mechanisms, and call upon multilateral and regional development finance institutions to support regional and subregional organizations and programmes.
We recognize that genuine, effective and durable multi-stakeholder partnerships can play an important role in advancing sustainable development. We will encourage and promote such partnerships to support country-driven priorities and strategies, building on lessons learned and available expertise. We further recognize that partnerships are effective instruments for mobilizing human and financial resources, expertise, technology and knowledge. We acknowledge the role of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in mainstreaming environmental concerns into development efforts and providing grant and concessional resources to support environmental projects in developing countries. We support building capacity in developing countries, especially least developed countries and small island developing States, to access available funds, and aim to enhance public and private contributions to GEF.
Multi-stakeholder partnerships, such as the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (Gavi) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, have also achieved results in the field of health. We encourage a better alignment between such initiatives, and encourage them to improve their contribution to strengthening health systems. We recognize the key role of the World Health Organization as the directing and coordinating authority on international health work. We will enhance international coordination and enabling environments at all levels to strengthen national health systems and achieve universal health coverage. We commit to strengthening the capacity of countries, in particular developing countries, for early warning, risk reduction and management of national and global health risks, as well as to substantially increase health financing and the recruitment, development, training and retention of the health workforce in developing countries, especially in least developed countries and small island developing States. Parties to the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control will also strengthen implementation of the Convention in all countries, as appropriate, and will support mechanisms to raise awareness and mobilize resources. We welcome innovative approaches to catalyse additional domestic and international private and public resources for women and children, who have been disproportionately affected by many health issues, including the expected contribution of the Global Financing Facility in support of Every Woman, Every Child.
We recognize the importance for achieving sustainable development of delivering quality education to all girls and boys. This will require reaching children living in extreme poverty, children with disabilities, migrant and refugee children, and those in conflict and post-conflict situations, and providing safe, non-violent, inclusive and effective learning environments for all. We will scale up investments and international cooperation to allow all children to complete free, equitable, inclusive and quality early childhood, primary and secondary education, including through scaling-up and strengthening initiatives, such as the Global Partnership for Education. We commit to upgrading education facilities that are child, disability and gender sensitive and increasing the percentage of qualified teachers in developing countries, including through international cooperation, especially in least developed countries and small island developing States.
International trade as an engine for development
International trade is an engine for inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction, and contributes to the promotion of sustainable development. We will continue to promote a universal, rules-based, open, transparent, predictable, inclusive, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system under the World Trade Organization (WTO), as well as meaningful trade liberalization. Such a trading system encourages long-term investment in productive capacities. With appropriate supporting policies, infrastructure and an educated work force, trade can also help to promote productive employment and decent work, women’s empowerment and food security, as well as a reduction in inequality, and contribute to achieving the sustainable development goals.
We recognize that the multilateral trade negotiations in WTO require more effort, although we regard the approval of the Bali Package in 2013 as an important achievement. We reaffirm our commitment to strengthening the multilateral system. We call on members of WTO to fully and expeditiously implement all the decisions of the Bali Package, including the decisions taken in favour of least developed countries, the decision on public stockholding for food security purposes, and the Work Programme on Small Economies, and to expeditiously ratify the Agreement on Trade Facilitation. WTO members declaring themselves in a position to do so should notify commercially meaningful preferences for least developed country services and service suppliers in accordance with the 2011 and 2013 Bali decision on the operationalization of the least developed countries services waiver and in response to the collective request of those countries.
We acknowledge that lack of access to trade finance can limit a country’s trading potential, and result in missed opportunities to use trade as an engine for development. We welcome the work carried out by the WTO Expert Group on Trade Financing, and commit to exploring ways to use market-oriented incentives to expand WTO-compatible trade finance and the availability of trade credit, guarantees, insurance, factoring, letters of credit and innovative financial instruments, including for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in developing countries. We call on the development banks to provide and increase market-oriented trade finance and to examine ways to address market failures associated with trade finance.
Whereas, since Monterrey, exports of many developing countries have increased significantly, the participation of least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, small island developing States and Africa in world trade in goods and services remains low and world trade seems challenged to return to the buoyant growth rates seen before the global financial crisis. We will endeavour to significantly increase world trade in a manner consistent with the sustainable development goals, including exports from developing countries, in particular from least developed countries with a view towards doubling their share of global exports by 2020 as stated in the Istanbul Programme of Action. We will integrate sustainable development into trade policy at all levels. Given the unique and particular vulnerabilities in small island developing States, we strongly support their engagement in trade and economic agreements. We will also support the fuller integration of small, vulnerable economies in regional and world markets.
As a means of fostering growth in global trade, we call on WTO members to redouble their efforts to promptly conclude the negotiations on the Doha Development Agenda and reiterate that development concerns form an integral part of the Doha Development Agenda, which places the needs and interests of developing countries, including least developed countries, at the heart of the Doha Work Programme. In that context enhanced market access, balanced rules, and well targeted, sustainably financed technical assistance and capacity-building programmes have important roles to play. We commit to combating protectionism in all its forms. In accordance with one element of the mandate of the Doha Development Agenda, we call on WTO members to correct and prevent trade restrictions and distortions in world agricultural markets, including through the parallel elimination of all forms of agricultural export subsidies and disciplines on all export measures with equivalent effect. We call on WTO members to also commit to strengthening disciplines on subsidies in the fisheries sector, including through the prohibition of certain forms of subsidies that contribute to overcapacity and overfishing in accordance with the mandate of the Doha Development Agenda and the Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration. We urge WTO members to commit to continuing efforts to accelerate the accession of all developing countries engaged in negotiations for WTO membership and welcome the 2012 strengthening, streamlining and operationalizing of the guidelines for the accession of least developed countries to WTO.
Members of WTO will continue to implement the provisions of special and differential treatment for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, in accordance with WTO agreements. We welcome the establishment of the monitoring mechanism to analyse and review all aspects of the implementation of special and differential treatment provisions, as agreed in Bali, with a view to strengthening them and making them more precise, effective and operational as well as facilitating integration of developing and least-developed WTO members into the multilateral trading system.
We call on developed country WTO members and developing country WTO members declaring themselves in a position to do so to realize timely implementation of duty-free and quota-free market access on a lasting basis for all products originating from all least developed countries, consistent with WTO decisions. We call on them to also take steps to facilitate market access for products of least developed countries, including by developing simple and transparent rules of origin applicable to imports from least developed countries, in accordance with the guidelines adopted by WTO members at the Bali ministerial conference in 2013.
We reaffirm the right of WTO members to take advantage of the flexibilities in the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and reaffirm that the TRIPS Agreement does not and should not prevent members from taking measures to protect public health. To this end, we would urge all WTO members that have not yet accepted the amendment of the TRIPS Agreement allowing improved access to affordable medicines for developing countries to do so by the deadline of the end of 2015. We welcome the June 2013 decision to extend the transition period for all least developed countries. We invite the General Council to consider how WTO can contribute to sustainable development.
We recognize the significant potential of regional economic integration and interconnectivity to promote inclusive growth and sustainable development, and commit to strengthening regional cooperation and regional trade agreements. We will strengthen coherence and consistency among bilateral and regional trade and investment agreements, and to ensure that they are compatible with WTO rules. Regional integration can also be an important catalyst to reduce trade barriers, implement policy reforms and enable companies, including micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, to integrate into regional and global value chains. We underline the contribution trade facilitation measures can make to this end. We urge the international community, including international financial institutions and multilateral and regional development banks, to increase its support to projects and cooperation frameworks that foster regional and subregional integration, with special attention to Africa, and that enhance the participation and integration of small-scale industrial and other enterprises, particularly from developing countries, into global value chains and markets. We encourage multilateral development banks, including regional banks, in collaboration with other stakeholders, to address gaps in trade, transport and transit-related regional infrastructure, including completing missing links connecting landlocked developing countries, least developed countries and small island developing States within regional networks.
Recognizing that international trade and investment offers opportunities but also requires complementary actions at the national level, we will strengthen domestic enabling environments and implement sound domestic policies and reforms conducive to realizing the potential of trade for inclusive growth and sustainable development. We further recognize the need for value addition by developing countries and for further integration of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises into value chains. We reiterate and will strengthen the important role of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) as the focal point within the United Nations system for the integrated treatment of trade and development and interrelated issues in the areas of finance, technology, investment and sustainable development.
We endorse the efforts and initiatives of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, as the core legal body within the United Nations system in the field of international trade law, aimed at increasing coordination of and cooperation on legal activities of international and regional organizations active in the field of international trade law and at promoting the rule of law at the national and international levels in this field.
Aid for Trade can play a major role. We will focus Aid for Trade on developing countries, in particular least developed countries, including through the Enhanced Integrated Framework for Trade-Related Technical Assistance to Least Developed Countries. We will strive to allocate an increasing proportion of Aid for Trade going to least developed countries, provided according to development cooperation effectiveness principles. We also welcome additional cooperation among developing countries to this end. Recognizing the critical role of women as producers and traders, we will address their specific challenges in order to facilitate women’s equal and active participation in domestic, regional and international trade. Technical assistance and improvement of trade- and transit-related logistics are crucial in enabling landlocked developing countries to fully participate in and benefit from multilateral trade negotiations, effectively implement policies and regulations aimed at facilitating transport and trade, and diversify their export base.
The goal of protecting and encouraging investment should not affect our ability to pursue public policy objectives. We will endeavour to craft trade and investment agreements with appropriate safeguards so as not to constrain domestic policies and regulation in the public interest. We will implement such agreements in a transparent manner. We commit to supporting capacity-building including through bilateral and multilateral channels, in particular to least developed countries, in order to benefit from opportunities in international trade and investment agreements. We request UNCTAD to continue its existing programme of meetings and consultations with Member States on investment agreements.
We also recognize that illegal wildlife trade, illegal unreported and unregulated fishing, illegal logging and illegal mining are a challenge for many countries. Such activities can create substantial damage, including lost revenue and corruption. We resolve to enhance global support for efforts to combat poaching and trafficking of protected species, trafficking in hazardous waste, and trafficking in minerals, including by strengthening both national regulation and international cooperation, and increasing the capacity of local communities to pursue sustainable livelihood opportunities. We will also enhance capacity for monitoring, control and surveillance of fishing vessels so as to effectively prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, including through institutional capacity-building.
Debt and debt sustainability
Borrowing is an important tool for financing investment critical to achieving sustainable development, including the sustainable development goals. Sovereign borrowing also allows government finance to play a countercyclical role over economic cycles. However, borrowing needs to be managed prudently. Since the Monterrey Consensus, strengthened macroeconomic and public resource management has led to a substantial decline in the vulnerability of many countries to sovereign debt distress, as has the substantial debt reduction through the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative and Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative. Yet many countries remain vulnerable to debt crises and some are in the midst of crises, including a number of least developed countries, small island developing States and some developed countries. We acknowledge that debt sustainability challenges facing many least developed countries and small island developing States require urgent solutions, and the importance of ensuring debt sustainability to the smooth transition of countries that have graduated from least developed country status.
We recognize the need to assist developing countries in attaining long-term debt sustainability through coordinated policies aimed at fostering debt financing, debt relief, debt restructuring and sound debt management, as appropriate. We will continue to support the remaining HIPC-eligible countries that are working to complete the HIPC process. On a case-by-case basis we could explore initiatives to support non-HIPC countries with sound economic policies to enable them to address the issue of debt sustainability. We will support the maintenance of debt sustainability in those countries that have received debt relief and achieved sustainable debt levels.
The monitoring and prudent management of liabilities is an important element of comprehensive national financing strategies and is critical to reducing vulnerabilities. We welcome the efforts of IMF, the World Bank and the United Nations system to further strengthen the analytical tools for assessing debt sustainability and prudent public debt management. In this regard, the IMF-World Bank debt sustainability analysis is a useful tool to inform the level of appropriate borrowing. We invite IMF and the World Bank to continue strengthening their analytical tools for sovereign debt management in an open and inclusive process with the United Nations and other stakeholders. We encourage international institutions to continue to provide assistance to debtor countries to enhance debt management capacity, manage risks, and analyse trade-offs between different sources of financing, as well as to help to cushion against external shocks and ensure steady and stable access to public financing.
We welcome the continuing activities in setting methodological standards and promoting public availability of data on public and publicly guaranteed sovereign debt and on the total external debt obligations of economies, and more comprehensive quarterly publication of debt data. We invite relevant institutions to consider the creation of a central data registry including information on debt restructurings. We encourage all Governments to improve transparency in debt management.
We reiterate that debtors and creditors must work together to prevent and resolve unsustainable debt situations. Maintaining sustainable debt levels is the responsibility of the borrowing countries; however we acknowledge that lenders also have a responsibility to lend in a way that does not undermine a country’s debt sustainability. In this regard we take note of the UNCTAD principles on responsible sovereign lending and borrowing. We recognize the applicable requirements of the IMF debt limits policy and/or the World Bank’s non-concessional borrowing policy. The OECD Development Assistance Committee has introduced new safeguards in its statistical system in order to enhance the debt sustainability of recipient countries. We recall the need to strengthen information-sharing and transparency to make sure that debt sustainability assessments are based on comprehensive, objective and reliable data. We will work towards a global consensus on guidelines for debtor and creditor responsibilities in borrowing by and lending to sovereigns, building on existing initiatives.
We affirm the importance of debt restructurings being timely, orderly, effective, fair and negotiated in good faith. We believe that a workout from a sovereign debt crisis should aim to restore public debt sustainability, while preserving access to financing resources under favourable conditions. We further acknowledge that successful debt restructurings enhance the ability of countries to achieve sustainable development and the sustainable development goals. We continue to be concerned with non-cooperative creditors who have demonstrated their ability to disrupt timely completion of the debt restructurings.
We recognize that important improvements have been made since Monterrey in enhancing the processes for cooperative restructuring of sovereign obligations, including in the Paris Club of official creditors and in the market acceptance of new standard clauses of government bond contracts. However we acknowledge the existence of stocks of sovereign bonds without those collective action clauses. We recognize that there is scope to improve the arrangements for coordination between public and private sectors and between debtors and creditors, to minimize both creditor and debtor moral hazards and to facilitate fair burden-sharing and an orderly, timely and efficient restructuring that respects the principles of shared responsibility. We take note of the ongoing work being carried out by IMF and the United Nations system in this area. We recognize the recent “Paris Forum” initiative by the Paris Club that aims to foster dialogue among sovereign creditors and debtors on debt issues. We encourage efforts towards a durable solution to the debt problems of developing countries to promote their economic growth and sustainable development.
We are concerned by the ability of non-cooperative minority bondholders to disrupt the will of the large majority of bondholders who accept a restructuring of a debt-crisis country’s obligations, given the potential broader implications in other countries. We note legislative steps taken by certain countries to prevent these activities and encourage all Governments to take action, as appropriate. Furthermore, we take note of discussions in the United Nations on debt issues. We welcome the reforms to pari passu and collective action clauses proposed by the International Capital Market Association, and endorsed by IMF, to reduce the vulnerability of sovereigns to holdout creditors. We encourage countries, particularly those issuing bonds under foreign law, to take further actions to include those clauses in all their bond issuance. We also welcome provision of financial support for legal assistance to least developed countries and commit to boosting international support for advisory legal services. We will explore enhanced international monitoring of litigation by creditors after debt restructuring.
We note the increased issuance of sovereign bonds in domestic currency under national laws, and the possibility of countries voluntarily strengthening domestic legislation to reflect guiding principles for effective, timely, orderly and fair resolution of sovereign debt crises.
We recognize that severe natural disasters and social or economic shocks can undermine a country’s debt sustainability, and note that public creditors have taken steps to ease debt repayment obligations through debt rescheduling and debt cancellation following an earthquake, a tsunami and in the context of the Ebola crisis in West Africa. We encourage consideration of further debt relief steps, where appropriate, and/or other measures for countries affected in this regard, as feasible. We also encourage the study of new financial instruments for developing countries, particularly least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States experiencing debt distress, noting experiences of debt-to-health and debt-to-nature swaps.
Addressing systemic issues
Monterrey emphasized the importance of continuing to improve global economic governance and to strengthen the United Nations leadership role in promoting development. Monterrey also emphasized the importance of the coherence and consistency of the international financial and monetary and trading systems in support of development. Since Monterrey we have become increasingly aware of the need to take account of economic, social and environmental challenges, including the loss of biodiversity, natural disasters and climate change, and to enhance policy coherence across all three dimensions of sustainable development. We will take measures to improve and enhance global economic governance and to arrive at a stronger, more coherent and more inclusive and representative international architecture for sustainable development, while respecting the mandates of respective organizations. We recognize the importance of policy coherence for sustainable development and we call upon countries to assess the impact of their policies on sustainable development.
The 2008 world financial and economic crisis underscored the need for sound regulation of financial markets to strengthen financial and economic stability, as well as the imperative of a global financial safety net. We welcome the important steps taken since Monterrey, particularly following the crisis in 2008, to build resilience, reduce vulnerability to international financial disruption, and reduce spill-over effects of global financial crises, including to developing countries, in a reform agenda whose completion remains a high priority. The IMF membership bolstered the Fund’s lending capacity, and multilateral and national development banks played important countercyclical roles during the crisis. The world’s principal financial centres worked together to reduce systemic risks and financial volatility through stronger national financial regulation, including Basel III and the broader financial reform agenda.
Regulatory gaps and misaligned incentives continue to pose risks to financial stability, including risks of spillover effects of financial crises to developing countries, which suggests a need to pursue further reforms of the international financial and monetary system. We will continue to strengthen international coordination and policy coherence to enhance global financial and macroeconomic stability. We will work to prevent and reduce the risk and impact of financial crises, acknowledging that national policy decisions can have systemic and far-ranging effects well beyond national borders, including on developing countries. We commit to pursuing sound macroeconomic policies that contribute to global stability, equitable and sustainable growth and sustainable development, while strengthening our financial systems and economic institutions. When dealing with risks from large and volatile capital flows, necessary macroeconomic policy adjustment could be supported by macroprudential and, as appropriate, capital flow management measures.
We recommit to broadening and strengthening the voice and participation of developing countries in international economic decision-making and norm-setting and global economic governance. We recognize the importance of overcoming obstacles to planned resource increases and governance reforms at IMF. The implementation of the 2010 reforms for IMF remains the highest priority and we strongly urge the earliest ratification of those reforms. We reiterate our commitment to further governance reform in both IMF and the World Bank to adapt to changes in the global economy. We invite the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and other main international regulatory standard-setting bodies to continue efforts to increase the voice of developing countries in norm-setting processes to ensure that their concerns are taken into consideration. As the shareholders in the main international financial institutions, we commit to open and transparent, gender-balanced and merit-based selection of their heads, and to enhanced diversity of staff.
At the same time, we recognize the importance of strengthening the permanent international financial safety net. We remain committed to maintaining a strong and quota-based IMF, with adequate resources to fulfil its systemic responsibilities. We look forward to the quinquennial special drawing rights review by IMF this year. We encourage dialogue among regional financial arrangements and strengthened cooperation between IMF and regional financial arrangements, while safeguarding the independence of the respective institutions. We call on the relevant international financial institutions to further improve early warning of macroeconomic and financial risks. We also urge IMF to continue its efforts to provide more comprehensive and flexible financial responses to the needs of developing countries. We request the international financial institutions to continue to support developing countries in developing new instruments for financial risk management and capacity-building. Consistent with its mandate, we call on IMF to provide adequate levels of financial support to developing countries pursuing sustainable development to assist them in managing any associated pressures on the national balance of payments. We stress the importance of ensuring that international agreements, rules and standards are consistent with each other and with progress towards the sustainable development goals. We encourage development finance institutions to align their business practices with the post-2015 development agenda.
We are concerned about excessive volatility of commodity prices, including for food and agriculture and its consequences for global food security and improved nutrition outcomes. We will adopt measures to ensure the proper functioning of food commodity markets and their derivatives and call for relevant regulatory bodies to adopt measures to facilitate timely, accurate and transparent access to market information in an effort to ensure that commodity markets appropriately reflect underlying demand and supply changes and to help limit excess volatility of commodity prices. In this regard, we also take note of the Agricultural Market Information System hosted by FAO. We will also provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets, consistent with sustainable management practices as well as initiatives that add value to outputs from small-scale fishers.
We take note of the work by the Financial Stability Board on financial market reform, and commit to sustaining or strengthening our frameworks for macroprudential regulation and countercyclical buffers. We will hasten completion of the reform agenda on financial market regulation, including assessing and if necessary reducing the systemic risks associated with shadow banking, markets for derivatives, securities lending, and repurchase agreements. We also commit to addressing the risk created by “too-big-to-fail” financial institutions, and addressing cross-border elements in effective resolution of troubled systemically important financial institutions.
We resolve to reduce mechanistic reliance on credit-rating agency assessments, including in regulations. To improve the quality of ratings, we will promote increased competition as well as measures to avoid conflict of interest in the provision of credit ratings. We acknowledge the efforts of the Financial Stability Board and others in this area. We support building greater transparency requirements for evaluation standards of credit-rating agencies. We will continue ongoing work on these issues, including in the United Nations.
We recognize that international migration is a multidimensional reality of major relevance for the development of origin, transit and destination countries that must be addressed in a coherent, comprehensive and balanced manner. We will cooperate internationally to ensure safe, orderly and regular migration, with full respect for human rights. We endeavour to increase cooperation on access to and portability of earned benefits, enhance the recognition of foreign qualifications, education and skills, lower the costs of recruitment for migrants, and combat unscrupulous recruiters, in accordance with national circumstances and legislation. We further endeavour to implement effective social communication strategies on the contribution of migrants to sustainable development in all its dimensions, in particular in countries of destination, in order to combat xenophobia, facilitate social integration, and protect migrants’ human rights through national frameworks. We reaffirm the need to promote and protect effectively the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants, especially those of women and children, regardless of their migration status.
We will strengthen regional, national and subnational institutions to prevent all forms of violence, combat terrorism and crime, and end human trafficking and exploitation of persons, in particular women and children, in accordance with international human rights law. We will effectively strengthen national institutions to combat money-laundering, corruption and the financing of terrorism, which have serious implications for economic development and social cohesion. We will enhance international cooperation for capacity-building in these areas at all levels, in particular in developing countries. We commit to ensuring the effective implementation of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.
Building on the vision of the Monterrey Consensus, we resolve to strengthen the coherence and consistency of multilateral financial, investment, trade, and development policy and environment institutions and platforms, and increase cooperation between major international institutions, while respecting mandates and governance structures. We commit to taking better advantage of relevant United Nations forums for promoting universal and holistic coherence and international commitments to sustainable development.
Science, technology, innovation and capacity-building
The creation, development and diffusion of new innovations and technologies and associated know-how, including the transfer of technology on mutually agreed terms, are powerful drivers of economic growth and sustainable development. However, we note with concern the persistent “digital divide” and the uneven innovative capacity, connectivity and access to technology, including information and communications technology, within and between countries. We will promote the development and use of information and communications technology infrastructure, as well as capacity-building, particularly in least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States, including rapid universal and affordable access to the Internet. We will promote access to technology and science for women, youth and children. We will further facilitate accessible technology for persons with disabilities.
Capacity development will be integral to achieving the post-2015 development agenda. We call for enhanced international support and establishment of multi‑stakeholder partnerships for implementing effective and targeted capacity-building in developing countries, including least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, small island developing States, African countries, and countries in conflict and post-conflict situations, to support national plans to implement all the sustainable development goals. Capacity development must be country-driven, address the specific needs and conditions of countries and reflect national sustainable development strategies and priorities. We reiterate the importance of strengthening institutional capacity and human resource development. It is also critical to reinforce national efforts in capacity-building in developing countries in such areas as public finance and administration, social and gender responsive budgeting, mortgage finance, financial regulation and supervision, agriculture productivity, fisheries, debt management, climate services, including planning and management for both adaptation and mitigation purposes, and water and sanitation related activities and programmes.
We will craft policies that incentivize the creation of new technologies, that incentivize research and that support innovation in developing countries. We recognize the importance of an enabling environment at all levels, including enabling regulatory and governance frameworks, in nurturing science, innovation, the dissemination of technologies, particularly to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as industrial diversification and value added to commodities. We also recognize the importance of adequate, balanced and effective protection of intellectual property rights in both developed and developing countries in line with nationally defined priorities and in full respect of WTO rules. We recognize voluntary patent pooling and other business models, which can enhance access to technology and foster innovation. We will promote social innovation to support social well-being and sustainable livelihoods.
We will encourage knowledge-sharing and the promotion of cooperation and partnerships between stakeholders, including between Governments, firms, academia and civil society, in sectors contributing to the achievement of the sustainable development goals. We will promote entrepreneurship, including through supporting business incubators. We affirm that regulatory environments that are open and non-discriminatory can promote collaboration and further our efforts. We will also foster linkages between multinational companies and the domestic private sector to facilitate technology development and transfer, on mutually agreed terms, of knowledge and skills, including skills trading programmes, in particular to developing countries, with the support of appropriate policies. At the same time, we recognize that traditional knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous peoples and local communities can support social well-being and sustainable livelihoods and we reaffirm that indigenous peoples have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions.
We also recognize the important role of public finance and policies in research and technological development. We will consider using public funding to enable critical projects to remain in the public domain, and strive for open access to research for publicly funded projects, as appropriate. We will consider setting up innovation funds where appropriate, on an open, competitive basis to support innovative enterprises, particularly during research, development and demonstration phases. We recognize the value of a “portfolio approach” in which public and private venture funds invest in diverse sets of projects to diversify risks and capture the upside of successful enterprises.
We resolve to adopt science, technology and innovation strategies as integral elements of our national sustainable development strategies to help to strengthen knowledge-sharing and collaboration. We will scale up investment in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, and enhance technical, vocational and tertiary education and training, ensuring equal access for women and girls and encouraging their participation therein. We will increase the number of scholarships available to students in developing countries to enrol in higher education. We will enhance cooperation to strengthen tertiary education systems, and aim to increase access to online education in areas related to sustainable development.
We will encourage the development, dissemination and diffusion and transfer of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries on favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed. We will endeavour to step up international cooperation and collaboration in science, research, technology and innovation, including through public-private and multi‑stakeholder partnerships, and on the basis of common interest and mutual benefit, focusing on the needs of developing countries and the achievement of the sustainable development goals. We will continue to support developing countries to strengthen their scientific, technological and innovative capacity to move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption and production, including through implementation of the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production patterns. We will enhance international cooperation, including ODA, in these areas, in particular to least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, small island developing States, and countries in Africa. We also encourage other forms of international cooperation, including South-South cooperation, to complement these efforts.
We will support research and development of vaccines and medicines, as well as preventive measures and treatments for the communicable and non‑communicable diseases, in particular those that disproportionately impact developing countries. We will support relevant initiatives, such as Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which incentivizes innovation while expanding access in developing countries. To reach food security, we commit to further investment, including through enhanced international cooperation, in earth observation, rural infrastructure, agricultural research and extension services, and technology development by enhancing agricultural productive capacity in developing countries, in particular in least developed countries, for example by developing plant and livestock gene banks. We will increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology adopted by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries.
We welcome science, technology and capacity-building initiatives, including the Commission on Science and Technology for Development, the Technology Mechanism under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the advisory services of the Climate Technology Centre and Network, the capacity-building of the World Intellectual Property Organization and the UNIDO National Cleaner Production Centres networks. We invite specialized agencies, funds and programmes of the United Nations system with technology-intensive mandates to further promote the development and diffusion of relevant science, technologies and capacity-building through their respective work programmes. We commit to strengthening coherence and synergies among science and technology initiatives within the United Nations system, with a view to eliminating duplicative efforts and recognizing the many successful existing efforts in this space.
We decide to establish a technology facilitation mechanism. The mechanism will be launched at the United Nations summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda in order to support the sustainable development goals.
We decide that the technology facilitation mechanism will be based on a multi‑stakeholder collaboration between Member States, civil society, the private sector, the scientific community, United Nations entities and other stakeholders and will be composed of a United Nations inter-agency task team on science, technology and innovation for the sustainable development goals, a collaborative multi-stakeholder forum on science, technology and innovation for the sustainable development goals and an online platform.
The United Nations inter-agency task team on science, technology and innovation for the sustainable development goals will promote coordination, coherence and cooperation within the United Nations system on science, technology and innovation related matters, enhancing synergy and efficiency, in particular to enhance capacity-building initiatives. The task team will draw on existing resources and will work with 10 representatives from civil society, the private sector and the scientific community to prepare the meetings of the multi-stakeholder forum on science, technology and innovation for the sustainable development goals, as well as in the development and operationalization of the online platform, including preparing proposals for the modalities for the forum and the online platform. The 10 representatives will be appointed by the Secretary-General, for periods of two years. The task team will be open to the participation of all United Nations agencies, funds and programmes and the functional commissions of the Economic and Social Council and it will initially be composed of the entities that currently integrate the informal working group on technology facilitation, namely, the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the United Nations Environment Programme, UNIDO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNCTAD, the International Telecommunication Union, WIPO and the World Bank.
The online platform will be used to establish a comprehensive mapping of, and serve as a gateway for, information on existing science, technology and innovation initiatives, mechanisms and programmes, within and beyond the United Nations. The online platform will facilitate access to information, knowledge and experience, as well as best practices and lessons learned, on science, technology and innovation facilitation initiatives and policies. The online platform will also facilitate the dissemination of relevant open access scientific publications generated worldwide. The online platform will be developed on the basis of an independent technical assessment which will take into account best practices and lessons learned from other initiatives, within and beyond the United Nations, in order to ensure that it will complement, facilitate access to and provide adequate information on existing science, technology and innovation platforms, avoiding duplications and enhancing synergies.
The multi-stakeholder forum on science, technology and innovation for the sustainable development goals will be convened once a year, for a period of two days, to discuss science, technology and innovation cooperation around thematic areas for the implementation of the sustainable development goals, congregating all relevant stakeholders to actively contribute in their area of expertise. The forum will provide a venue for facilitating interaction, matchmaking and the establishment of networks between relevant stakeholders and multi-stakeholder partnerships in order to identify and examine technology needs and gaps, including on scientific cooperation, innovation and capacity-building, and also in order to help facilitate development, transfer and dissemination of relevant technologies for the sustainable development goals. The meetings of the forum will be convened by the President of the Economic and Social Council before the meetings of the high-level political forum on sustainable development, under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council or, alternatively, in conjunction with other forums or conferences, as appropriate, taking into account the theme to be considered and on the basis of a collaboration with the organizers of the other forums or conferences. The meetings of the forum will be co-chaired by two Member States and will result in a summary of discussions elaborated by the two co-Chairs, as an input to the meetings of the high-level political forum, in the context of the follow-up and review of the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda.
The meetings of the high-level political forum will be informed by the summary of the multi-stakeholder forum. The themes for the subsequent multi‑stakeholder forum on science, technology and innovation for the sustainable development goals will be considered by the high-level political forum on sustainable development, taking into account expert inputs from the task team.
We look forward to the recommendations of the Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on the Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries on the feasibility and organizational and operational functions of a proposed technology bank and science, technology and innovation capacity-building mechanism for least developed countries. We will take into account the High-level Panel’s recommendations on the scope, functions, institutional linkages and organizational aspects of the proposed bank, with a view to operationalizing it by 2017, and will seek to promote synergies with the technology facilitation mechanism.
III. Data, monitoring and follow-up
High-quality disaggregated data is an essential input for smart and transparent decision-making, including in support of the post-2015 agenda and its means of implementation, and can improve policy-making at all levels. A focus on quantitative and qualitative data, including open data, and statistical systems and administrations at the national and subnational level will be especially important in order to strengthen domestic capacity, transparency and accountability in the global partnership. National statistical systems have a central role in generating, disseminating and administering data. They should be supplemented with data and analysis from civil society, academia and the private sector.
We will seek to increase and use high-quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by sex, age, geography, income, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, and other characteristics relevant in national contexts. We will enhance capacity-building support to developing countries, including for least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States, for this purpose and provide international cooperation, including through technical and financial support, to further strengthen the capacity of national statistical authorities and bureaux. We call on relevant institutions to strengthen and standardize data on domestic and international resource mobilization and spending, as well as data on other means of implementation. In this regard, we will welcome proposals on improved statistical indicators for all means of implementation. We also request the Statistical Commission, working with the relevant international statistical services and forums, to facilitate enhanced tracking of data on all cross-border financing and other economically relevant financial flows that brings together existing databases and to regularly assess and report on the adequacy of international statistics related to implementing the sustainable development agenda. The availability of timely and reliable data for development could be improved by supporting civil registration and vital statistics systems, which generate information for national plans and investment opportunities.
We recognize that greater transparency is essential and can be provided by publishing timely, comprehensive and forward-looking information on development activities in a common, open, electronic format, as appropriate. Access to reliable data and statistics helps Governments to make informed decisions, and enables all stakeholders to track progress and understand trade-offs, and creates mutual accountability. We will learn from existing transparency initiatives and open data standards, and take note of the International Aid Transparency Initiative. We further recognize the importance of national ownership of the post-2015 development agenda, and stress the importance of preparing country needs assessments for the different priority areas to allow for greater transparency and efficiency by linking needs and support, in particular in developing countries.
Data access alone, however, is not enough to fully realize the potential that data can offer to both achieving, monitoring and reviewing sustainable development goals. We should endeavour to ensure broad access to the tools necessary to turn data into useful, actionable information. We will support efforts to make data standards interoperable, allowing data from different sources to be more easily compared and used. We call on relevant public and private actors to put forward proposals to achieve a significant increase in global data literacy, accessibility and use, in support of the post-2015 development agenda.
We further call on the United Nations system, in consultation with the international financial institutions, to develop transparent measurements of progress on sustainable development that go beyond per capita income, building on existing initiatives as appropriate. These should recognize poverty in all of its forms and dimensions, and the social, economic and environmental dimensions of domestic output and structural gaps at all levels. We will seek to develop and implement tools to mainstream sustainable development, as well as to monitor sustainable development impacts for different economic activities, including for sustainable tourism.
Mechanisms for follow-up and review will be essential to the achievement of the sustainable development goals and their means of implementation. We commit to fully engaging, nationally, regionally and internationally, in ensuring proper and effective follow-up of the financing for development outcomes and all the means of implementation of the post-2015 development agenda. To achieve this, it will be necessary to ensure the participation of relevant ministries, local authorities, national parliaments, central banks and financial regulators, as well as the major institutional stakeholders, other international development banks, and other relevant institutions, civil society, academia and the private sector. We encourage the United Nations regional commissions, in cooperation with regional banks and organizations, to mobilize their expertise and existing mechanisms, which could focus on thematic aspects of the present Action Agenda.
We appreciate the role played by the United Nations financing for development follow-up process. We recognize the inter-linkages between the financing for development process and the means of implementation of the post‑2015 development agenda, and emphasize the need of a dedicated follow-up and review for the financing for development outcomes as well as all the means of implementation of the post-2015 development agenda, which is integrated with the post-2015 follow-up and review process to be decided at the United Nations summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda. The follow-up process should assess progress, identify obstacles and challenges to the implementation of the financing for development outcomes, and the delivery of the means of implementation, promote the sharing of lessons learned from experiences at the national and regional levels, address new and emerging topics of relevance to the implementation of this agenda as the need arises, and provide policy recommendations for action by the international community. We will also enhance coordination, promote the efficiency of United Nations processes and avoid duplication and overlapping of discussions.
We commit to staying engaged to this important agenda through a dedicated and strengthened follow-up process that will use existing institutional arrangements and will include an annual Economic and Social Council forum on financing for development follow-up with universal, intergovernmental participation, to be launched during the Council’s current cycle. The forum’s modalities of participation will be those utilized at the international conferences on financing for development. The forum will consist of up to five days, one of which will be the special high-level meeting with the Bretton Woods institutions, WTO and UNCTAD, as well as additional institutional and other stakeholders depending on the priorities and scope of the meeting; up to four days will be dedicated to discussing the follow-up and review of the financing for development outcomes and the means of implementation of the post-2015 development agenda. Its intergovernmentally agreed conclusions and recommendations will be fed into the overall follow-up and review of the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda in the high-level political forum on sustainable development. The deliberations of the Development Cooperation Forum, according to its mandate, will also be taken into account. The High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development of the General Assembly will be held back-to-back with the high-level political forum under the auspices of the General Assembly when the high-level political forum is convened every four years.
To ensure a strengthened follow-up process at the global level, we encourage the Secretary-General to convene an inter-agency task force, including the major institutional stakeholders and the United Nations system, including funds and programmes and specialized agencies whose mandates are related to the follow-up, building on the experience of the Millennium Development Goals Gap Task Force. The inter-agency task force will report annually on progress in implementing the financing for development outcomes and the means of implementation of the post‑2015 development agenda and advise the intergovernmental follow-up thereto on progress, implementation gaps and recommendations for corrective action, while taking into consideration the national and regional dimensions.
We will consider the need to hold a follow-up conference by 2019.
by Irina Bokova
16 July 2015
If this year is to go down as the one in which the global community set the world on a transformative development path and clinched a deal on climate change, ambitions will have to match means.
This is what is at stake as we meet in Addis Ababa. In one of the most inclusive global exercises ever conducted, we have rallied around a set of proposed sustainable development goals that are universal in scope and aspire to leave no one behind and protect the planet.
When it comes to investment, we should not only focus on price tags and amounts, but rather on how to maximize results by targeting the best returns on investment. As we enter a new era of limits – in terms of resources, the power of States and the boundaries of the planet – I can hardly think of a smarter choice than investing in the ultimate renewable energy we have: human ingenuity, nurtured through education, the sciences and our creative diversity. This is the key driver of innovation and an absolute development multiplier. It fosters ownership and the full empowerment of people to shape their future and craft sustainable solutions.
This begins with education, the ultimate game changer and the most powerful transformative force for beating poverty, improving health, driving growth and shaping equitable, green societies. Early childhood education, especially for the most marginalized, pays lifelong dividends. A primary and secondary education translates into fewer child marriages, lower infant and mortality rates, more effective HIV prevention and higher earnings. When girls are educated, societies are transformed. What is maybe more important is to look at the high price the world is actually paying for underfunding education. According to the Education for all Monitoring report published by UNESCO, the global learning crisis is costing governments US$ 129 billion a year. 10% of global spending on primary education is being lost on poor quality education that is failing to ensure that children learn. By contrast, ensuring an equal, quality education for all can generate huge economic rewards, increasing a country’s gross domestic product per capita by 23% over 40 years.
At the World Education Forum in Incheon (Republic of Korea), 160 countries committed to provide 12 years of publicly funded education, of which at least nine years are compulsory. For this to happen, education has to receive higher billing – domestically and internationally. Today some 124 million children and adolescents are out of school worldwide, and many more are in school without learning. It will cost an extra US$39 billion to realize Education for all in low and lower-middle income countries. Aid for education will need to increase six-fold. In Incheon, leaders also pledged their determination to increase spending on education to at least 15 to 20 percent of total public expenditure and to step up aid where it is needed most. This means a serious reversal in current trends that is a matter of political will and smart choices.
The same holds true for science. Harnessing men and women’s talents in the sciences holds a key to opening the doors of innovation and scientific progress, to writing the next chapter of the scientific revolution we need to foster sustainable development. The Addis preparatory process has acknowledged the key role of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), and the emerging agreement on a technology facilitation mechanism is encouraging. There is a now a need to set up robust national STI policies and systems to take advantage of countries’ full potential of scientific and technological knowledge as a development multiplier.
The way to sustainability is to invest in human capacities, in everything that can sustain ownership and self-determination. Education, the sciences and cultural diversity represent a wellspring of innovation, creativity and renewal. The importance of culture as an enabler and driver of sustainable development was recognized in the zero draft of the post-2015 development agenda – and this is a historic milestone. New innovative mechanisms of financing and investing in culture are needed to further enhance the vitality of the sector and harness its full potential for sustainable development.
The way to build a truly people-centred development agenda is clear: it is to massively invest in the people, through education, the sciences, and culture. This resonates strongly with UNESCO’s mandate, and I believe it is not only the right thing to do, it is the most effective policy option available.
by Phyllis Costanza
16 July 2015
Almost 3000 miles from Addis Ababa, where delegates from around the globe have gathered for the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, the ground work is being laid for what may prove to be a catalyst for change for development financing: the Educate Girls Development Impact Bond, a pioneering new way to encourage private investors to fund development projects that is 100% focused on the outcomes achieved. And in our view it’s all about outcomes.
Yet, surprisingly, results are not always at the forefront in the development sector. An issue is identified, projects are started and then….well, it can all get a bit hazy after that. Would this be acceptable in business? No way. Business is all about results. So why should it be any different in the development space? The answer is it shouldn’t be.
And, at a time of continuing uncertainty about the prospects for global economic growth, and the consequent pressures on government budgets, there is clearly an even greater need for a more innovative approach to development financing. A new, smarter, more creative way of thinking is needed; one that helps draw in new actors, unlocks new sources of funding, and encourages investors and providers to place an emphasis on outcomes not activities. Seeking out result-focused partners — those we believe in and are willing to fund — gives us the confidence to grant them much more flexibility and the creative freedom to do what they are best at.
And these are the reasons why the UBS Optimus Foundation and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) have joined forces in this pilot to test a proof of concept to show potential investors and donors that it is possible to invest in and achieve societal gains while, at the same time, achieving result-based financial returns.
Now let me tell you a bit more about the work going on in India and the DIB itself. Travelling through hundreds of villages in a remote area of Rajasthan, northern India, teams from the Indian non-profit organization Educate Girls have been recording how many girls in each house attend school, and if they don’t attend their families are being asked why not. This information will be used as the basis for a program to get more girls into quality primary education. Rajasthan has some of the worst indicators for girls’ education in India, and it is clear that something needs to be done if these communities are ever going to lift themselves out of poverty. You are probably thinking that there is nothing especially new about this. And you’d be right. But what is new is the way the program is funded.
So how does it work in practice? Well, a socially-motivated investor – in this case the UBS Optimus Foundation – puts in the working capital so the service provider – in this case Educate Girls – can begin its work on the ground. An outcome payer, in this case CIFF, promises to pay back the investor the original amount plus an extra return, as long as agreed targets are met. In this case the targets are focused on increased enrolment and the children’s progress in literacy and numeracy, which will all be assessed regularly by an independent evaluator over the course of the three-year program.
It’s envisioned that future outcome payers would be government development agencies or private foundations. And that’s why we want to invite development policy makers and practitioners along for the journey. Over the next three years, we’ll be sharing updates on how the program is progressing, and asking for input and advice from experts around the world.
While the value of the project may be small when compared to the yawning financing gap for the Sustainable Development Goals globally, the number of beneficiaries is larger than any Social Impact Bond of the past five years. And the hope is that we will uncover valuable lessons for the future. Success in the short-term will mean that many more girls will have the benefit of this vital early investment in their futures, and over the longer term this bold experiment in development financing could pave the way for new ways of addressing a range of issues that can be scaled up worldwide to deliver life-changing benefits for millions of people.