2 May 2017
FfD Forum Co-facilitators Circulate Zero Draft
UN Photo/Manuel Elías
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Negotiations on the outcome of the second FFD Forum will begin on 2 May.

The co-facilitators (Belgium and South Africa) circulated the zero draft following a series of informal consultations.

27 April 2017: The co-facilitators for the draft conclusions and recommendations of the UN Economic and Social Council’s (ECOSOC) second Forum on Financing for Development Follow-up (FfD Forum) circulated the zero draft ahead of intergovernmental negotiations beginning on 2 May 2017. Co-facilitators Marc Pecsteen de Buytswerve, Permanent Representative of Belgium, and Jerry Matthews Matjila, Permanent Representative of South Africa, issued the text on 27 April 2017 following a series of intergovernmental consultations that began on 4 April.

The 2017 FfD Forum will convene from 22-25 May 2017, in New York, US. The Forum is mandated by the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) to produce intergovernmentally agreed conclusions and recommendations, which feed into the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development’s (HLPF) follow-up and review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The FfD Forum is held annually at the UN Headquarters in New York with universal intergovernmental participation. It identifies obstacles and challenges to the implementation of the FfD outcomes and the delivery of the means of implementation (MOIs) of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It also promotes the sharing of lessons learned from experiences at the national and regional levels, addresses new and emerging topics of relevance and provides policy recommendations for action by the international community.

The zero draft notes “the significant impacts of the challenging global environment in 2016” on national efforts to implement the AAAA, specifically macroeconomic conditions, a large drop in commodity prices, decelerating trade growth and volatile capital flows, and natural disasters, environmental, humanitarian and security crises. By the text, in order to change the trajectory of the global economy and support countries towards achieving the SDGs, Member States would commit to strengthening international cooperation that supports policies to increase public and private investment in sustainable development and generates employment, while protecting the vulnerable against crises and shocks.

According to the draft, building synergies between social protection and tax systems can strengthen the social contract between citizens and the State, and Member States would ask the UN Inter-agency Task Force on Financing for Development (IATF), in consultation with the Social Protection Interagency Board (SPIAC-B), to prepare an inventory of international financial instruments and funding modalities, including existing quick-disbursing international facilities and the requirements for accessing them, to be discussed at the 2018 session of the FfD Forum.

The zero draft further: calls for an increase in the volume, flow and access to finance for climate projects, alongside improved capacity and technology, including from developed to developing countries; urges Member States to support the increased participation of developing countries’ experts at subcommittee meetings of the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters; encourages States to speed up international cooperation on the return of stolen assets and make efforts to ensure that returned assets are not stolen again; and encourages donor countries to increase external support to build capacity in the area of tax matters.

By the text, on working with private actors and development banks, governments would: recommit to promoting appropriate, affordable and stable access to credit to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), as well as skills development training; support efforts by the private sector to better align their internal incentives with long-term investment and with sustainable development indicators; and commit to “do more” to increase the volume and quality of foreign direct investment (FDI), “in particular its alignment with the SDGs and long-term nature,” especially to the least developed countries (LDCs), small island developing states (SIDS), land-locked developing countries (LLDCs) and African countries.

Member States would strive to ensure that allocating more development finance to emergency response will not divert from investment in sustainable development.

On official development assistance (ODA), the zero draft notes that Member States: welcome the increase of ODA in real terms in 2016; will strive to ensure that allocating more development finance to emergency response will not divert resources from long-term investments in sustainable development; and call on donors to realize their projected additional increases in ODA to developing countries, especially the LDCs, in the coming years. Also by the text, as more developing countries pass per capita income thresholds, additional efforts will need to be made to broaden eligibility criteria for concessional financing to reflect continued vulnerabilities.

Through the draft, governments would: recommit to increase the voice of developing countries in international economic-decision making and norm-setting processes; aim to ensure that public spending on research and development (R&D) remains stable and long-term oriented, while seeking to incentivize greater private investment; and increase efforts to establish the financial base for the Technology Bank for LDCs as soon as possible. [FfD Forum Zero Draft] [Programme of FfD Forum 2017] [Website of FfD Forum] [SPIAC-B Webpage]

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