The Inter-Agency Task Force on Financing for Development, convened by the Secretary-General to follow up on the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, is comprised of over 60 United Nations agencies, programmes and offices, regional economic commissions and other relevant international institutions. The Task Force produces an annual Sustainable Development Report.
The 2023 Financing for Sustainable Development Report "Financing Sustainable Transformations"
The 2023 Report warns of a lasting sustainable development divide as SDG financing needs are growing but development financing is not keeping pace. It calls on the international community to align financing with sustainable development by combing three sets of actions. First, scale up development cooperation and SDG investment. Second, strengthen the international financial architecture. Third, accelerate national sustainable industrial transformations.
Sustainable development prospects continue to diverge between developed and developing countries. The 2023 Financing for Sustainable Development Report finds that SDG financing needs are growing, but development financing is not keeping pace. The war in Ukraine, sharp increases in food and energy prices, and rapidly tightening financial conditions have increased hunger and poverty and reversed progress on the SDGs. If left unaddressed, a “great finance divide” will translate into a lasting sustainable development divide.
Stakeholders must maintain a long-term focus on resilient and inclusive development, while addressing near-term crises. Delaying investment in sustainable transformations is not an option – not only because it would put the 2030 Agenda and climate targets out of reach, but also because it would exacerbate financing challenges down the line. This report calls on the international community to take advantage of this moment to align financing with sustainable development through three sets of actions.
First, scale up development cooperation and SDG investment: These can support the UN Secretary-General’s call for an SDG Stimulus.
Second, strengthen the international financial architecture by bringing different reform processes together, strengthening effectiveness, ensuring full alignment with the SDGs and climate action.
Third, accelerate national sustainable industrial transformations: Countries need to chart their own national paths to achieve the SDGs with a new generation of sustainable industrial policies, supported by integrated national financing frameworks.
The world is at a crossroads. The international community must deliver on the outstanding promise of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, deliver sustainable transformations, and achieve the SDGs.
Financing for Development Forum 2023
The ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development follow-up (FfD Forum) is an intergovernmental process with universal participation mandated to review the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and other financing for development outcomes and the means of implementation of the SDGs. It discusses global challenges based on the Sustainable Development Report.
The Forum in April 2023 pointed out that the global economic outlook remains fragile amid a highly challenging environment. Countries are facing difficult economic policy trade-offs and recent shocks are threatening to further reverse progress on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Both immediate and longer-term measures are urgently needed to effectively finance responses to multiple overlapping crises while scaling up essential investments in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The 2023 ECOSOC Financing for Development (FfD) Forum was held from 17 to 20 April 2023 in the Trusteeship Council, at UN Headquarters, New York. It provided a platform for inclusive, multi-stakeholder dialogue to address the current global challenges and advance policies for financing long-term sustainable development priorities, in line with its mandate laid out in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.
The Addis Ababa Action Agenda 2015
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The 59-paragraph document sets forth a global consensus on the causes, impacts and responses to the current crisis; prioritizes the prompt, decisive and coordinated actions that are required; and defines a clear role for the United Nations.
The importance of the FfD follow-up process needs monitoring of civil society worldwide, including in the South, to put pressure on governments to further implement the commitments made at the UN Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis in 2009 in New York.
Officials from more than 160 countries, including nearly 40 Heads of State or Government, attended the four day conference. The Doha Declaration reaffirmed the Monterrey Consensus and called for a United Nations conference at the highest level on the world financial and economic crisis and its impact on development.
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The Financing for Development/FfD process which lead to the International Conference in Monterrey/Mexico in March 2002, was initiated and driven by the developing countries of the G77. After the failure to put the issue of financing on the UN agenda 20 years ago, when the North were fully opposed, the G77 started discussions on this issue again in 1997. After the Asian financial crisis, time seemed favourable to get the agreement of the developed countries, including the US, to think about avoiding future global crisis and a more stable financial architecture. Another reason for a focussed discussion on financing was that developing countries were disappointed about the slow implementation of the UN Summits commitments of the 1990s. Especially the Rio, Copenhagen and Beijing Action Plans were not implemented seriously at national level. Great commitments had been made, including the Millennium Declaration in 2000, but no concrete ways had been proposed how to finance them.
There was HIPC II in 1999, a welcomed debt initiative, but it was still insufficient, and overall ODA was declining. By starting multilateral dialogues on financing development, the G77 had the following goals:
· Raising the financial resources for development: more and better quality aid and more debt relief for poverty reduction strategies,
· Achieving better coherence between the different areas: domestic policies, foreign direct investment, international trade, aid and debt,
· Addressing imbalances and unfairness of the global structures and accelerating the process for change: questioning the role and legitimacy of ad hoc groups like the G8, broadening decision making for developing countries in the international financial institutions, claiming their accountability, strengthening the UN as well as reforming its Economic and Social Council/ ECOSOC.
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For the first time in history, heads of States and Governments gathered to recognize the significance of social development and human well-being for all and to give to these goals the highest priority both now and into the twenty-first century. They acknowledged that the people of the world have shown in different ways an urgent need to address profound social problems, especially poverty, unemployment and social exclusion, that affect every country. They agreed to the task to address both their underlying and structural causes and their distressing consequences in order to reduce uncertainty and insecurity in the life of people. They were convinced that democracy and transparent and accountable governance and administration in all sectors of society are indispensable foundations for the realization of social and people-centred sustainable development. They shared the conviction that social development and social justice are indispensable for the achievement and maintenance of peace and security within and among our nations.