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UN forum aims to ensure ‘promises made are promises kept’ on financing for development


UN forum aims to ensure ‘promises made are promises kept’ on financing for development

UN forum aims to ensure ‘promises made are promises kept’ on financing for development
Photo credit: Pierre Holtz | UNICEF

Promises made for financing the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals must be promises kept, speakers said yesterday at the opening of a United Nations forum.

“The eyes of the world are upon us,” said Frederick Musiiwa Makamure Shava, President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), as he opened the 2017 Forum on Financing for Development follow-up.

The forum is an intergovernmental process mandated to review the Addis Ababa Action Agenda adopted by UN Member States in 2015 as well as other financing for development outcomes and the means of implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Building on last year’s inaugural session, which devoted particular attention to setting up the monitoring framework for the follow-up to the Addis Agenda, the 2017 Forum is expected to provide impetus for achieving results.

UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, speaking via video message, recalled that the Addis Agenda, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change have provided a roadmap for a better future for all.

The Forum will closely examine key elements of that roadmap, including the need for long-term, high-quality investment and urgent measures to improve the well-being of the poor and vulnerable, she said, encouraging participants to share their experiences with others and urged all countries to seek out and forge meaningful partnerships.

Developed countries need to deliver and developing countries have to further pursue South-South and triangular cooperation, she added.

Other speakers included Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF); Mahmoud Mohieldin, Senior Vice-President for the 2030 Development Agenda, United Nations Relations and Partnerships, World Bank Group; and Yonov Frederick Agah, Deputy Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Continued slow global growth rates risk leaving 6.5 percent of population in extreme poverty in 2030, says new UN report

New multilateral efforts needed to bring 550 million people out of poverty

Continued slow global economic growth is likely to leave about 6.5 per cent of the world population extremely poor in 2030 without national actions supported by international cooperation, according to a new report issued by the United Nations on Monday.

A continuation of the status quo would severely hamper efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. The Goals call for eliminating poverty by 2030.

According to the 2017 “Financing for Development: Progress and Prospects” report, under current trends, least developed countries (LDCs) are likely to fall short by large margins.

Projections indicating that global gross product will grow at less than 3 percent over the next two years, and with slow growth in international trade – it grew at less than 2 per cent per year in value terms 2011 to 2014, before declining by 10 per cent in 2015 – prospects for the poorest remain challenging.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called on countries to take swift action: “Despite the huge strides in the fight against poverty, made possible by globalization and technological progress, inequality has increased markedly around the world. Conflicts are proliferating and other megatrends such as climate change, food security and water scarcity, are putting the progress of the last few decades at risk.”

The report, which is led by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, tracks progress on the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and draws on the expertise, analysis and data from over 50 international institutions that make up the Inter-agency Task Force on Financing for Development, including the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization, UNCTAD and UNDP. The Addis Agenda, adopted at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in July 2015, provides a global framework to support the implementation of the SDGs by ensuring the effective mobilization of resources at the national and international level.

The report contends that many of the challenges that countries face – including slow economic growth, climate change and humanitarian crises–have cross-border or even global repercussions, and cannot be addressed by any one actor alone. It states that a steadfast commitment to multilateral cooperation for sustainable development should support national efforts.

The Addis Agenda points to an infrastructure gap of $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion annually in developing countries, while estimates of the global gap generally range from $3 trillion to $5 trillion annually.

To close these and other gaps, the report finds that there is an urgent need to increase long-term investments in sustainable development and to address economic vulnerability. Such investment will stimulate global growth, leading to a virtuous cycle. “Ramped-up investment in sustainable infrastructure will help stimulate sustainable and equitable global growth, and make available more resources for investment in achieving sustainable development,” said Wu Hongbo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs.


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