UN Member States continue to negotiate the conclusions and recommendations of the upcoming UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Forum on Financing for Development Follow-up (FfD Forum).
A draft outcome circulated on 7 April 2016 is the subject of ongoing consultations, which are co-facilitated by Jean-Francis Regis Zinsou, Permanent Representative of Benin, and Vladimir Drobnjak, Permanent Representative of Croatia.
13 April 2016: UN Member States have continued negotiations on the conclusions and recommendations of the upcoming UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Forum on Financing for Development Follow-up (FfD Forum). A draft outcome, which was circulated on 7 April 2016, is the subject of ongoing consultations. Jean-Francis Regis Zinsou, Permanent Representative of Benin, and Vladimir Drobnjak, Permanent Representative of Croatia, are co-facilitating the consultations.
The draft outcome welcomes: the launch of the Global Infrastructure Forum, led by the multilateral development banks (MDBs), on 16 April 2016, in Washington, DC; the decision of the Board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), taken on 6 November 2015, to end its design phase and start the flow of climate finance to developing countries; and the entry into force of agreements on reform of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
By the draft, governments would decide to establish a clear reporting mechanism of the Global Infrastructure Forum to the FfD Forum, through which member states would give political guidance. The draft recalls developed countries’ commitment on mitigation and transparency with regard to the Paris Agreement on climate change, reaffirms the right of World Trade Organization (WTO) members to take advantage of flexibilities in the agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), and reaffirms that the TRIPS Agreement does not prevent measures to protect public health.
The draft outcome further highlights: the need for support for capacity development; and the “will” to continue to hold open, inclusive and transparent discussions on modernizing the ODA measurement and on the proposed measure of “total official support for sustainable development” (TOSSD). It reaffirms countries’ respective official development assistance (ODA) commitments, urging efforts to meet outstanding targets.
During the consultations taking place in New York, US, following the release of the revised outcome, many developed countries noted that the new draft does not represent an “equitable” basis for negotiations, cautioned against cherry-picking from the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) on FfD, and called for a streamlined, concise and “positive” document. They expressed caution about some of the references to the Paris Agreement, the WTO and IMF reform. One country said the draft politicizes a document that should not be politicized, and includes concepts not included in the AAAA, such as “debt cancellation.” Many delegations called for references to gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Some proposed that the document have only three brief parts: reaffirming the AAAA in its entirety; providing guidance on how to involve and welcome all stakeholders; and providing guidance on how the FfD Forum will be organized in 2017.
Many developing countries stressed the need to address capacity building. They recalled that developing countries’ original preference was for a more institutionalized structure than the Forum, so adding substantive aspects does not amount to renegotiating the AAAA.
The inaugural FfD Forum will take place from 18-20 April 2016, at UN Headquarters in New York, US, on the theme ‘Financing for sustainable development: follow-up to the AAAA.’ One day of the forum (18 April) will be dedicated to the special high-level meeting with the Bretton Woods institutions, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The two other days (19-20 April 2016) will include: a briefing for civil society and the business sector; interactive roundtables on action areas of the AAAA; a panel discussion on the Global Infrastructure Forum; statements by ministers and other high-level officials (general debate); and the presentation and adoption of intergovernmentally agreed conclusions and recommendations.
Informal consultations will continue on 13 April.
Meanwhile, the UN’s Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on the follow-up to the FfD outcomes and the means of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has issued its full inaugural report. Titled ‘Addis Ababa Action Agenda: Monitoring Commitments and Actions’, the report proposes ways to monitor the implementation of commitments related to the AAAA and the MoI of the 2030 Agenda in future years.
The UN Secretary-General convened the IATF in December 2015, to review progress in implementing the FfD outcomes and the means of implementation of the SDGs, and advise the intergovernmental follow-up process on progress, implementation gaps and recommendations for corrective action. The Task Force comprises over 50 UN agencies, programmes and offices and other relevant international institutions and entities. [FfD Forum Outcome Document, Revised Draft 7 April] [IISD RS Story on First Consultations] [FfD Forum Website] [Tentative Programme of the Forum] [Publication: Addis Ababa Action Agenda: Monitoring Commitments and Actions] [IATF Webpage] [IISD RS Stories on IATF]