iisdrs_FfD316 July 2015: The Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD3) has concluded with the adoption of the Outcome Document of the Conference, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA). In support of the AAAA, a number of significant partnerships were launched during FfD3, including: the Addis Tax Initiative, which will support strengthening domestic tax systems; the Global Financing Facility in Support of Every Woman Every Child, which brings together countries, donors and the private sector; and the Commission on Financing Global Education.

FfD3 took place in Addis Ababa Ababa, Ethiopia, from 13-16 July 2015. Over 11,000 participants attended the Conference, including 18 Heads of State and Government, ministers and representatives from governments, non-governmental and UN organizations, and over 400 media representatives.

Eight plenaries were held, in addition to six multi-stakeholder roundtables on two themes: global partnerships and the three dimensions of sustainable development; and ensuring policy coherence and an enabling environment at all levels for sustainable development. A Main Committee, formed during the opening plenary to finalize the draft outcome document, met three times in closed sessions. Approximately 200 side events also took place.

Following a compromise on issues related to international tax matters, the AAAA was adopted by the Main Committee on Wednesday evening, 15 July, and approved by the plenary on the final day of the Conference, on 16 July 2015.

The AAAA includes three main sections on: a global framework for financing development post-2015; action areas; and data, monitoring and follow-up. The second section on action areas includes seven sub-sections on: domestic public resources; domestic and international private business and finance; international development cooperation; international trade as an engine for development; debt and debt sustainability; addressing systemic issues; and science, technology, innovation (STI) and capacity building.

The AAAA comprises a number of concrete deliverables, such as: a technology facilitation mechanism (TFM), which will be officially launched at the post-2015 Summit in September 2015 and which comprises a UN inter-agency task team and a multi-stakeholder forum on STI for the SDGs, as well as an online platform; a global infrastructure forum to improve alignment and coordination among established and new infrastructure initiatives, multilateral and national development banks, UN agencies, and national institutions, development partners and the private sector; an Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Forum on Financing for Development (FfD) follow-up that will discuss the follow-up and review of the FfD outcomes and the means of implementation (MOI) of the post-2015 development agenda; and an inter-agency Task Force convened by the UN Secretary-General to report annually on progress in implementing the FfD outcomes and the post-2015 MOI.

The AAAA also decides to work to further enhance the resources of the UN Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters by increasing its meetings to two four-day sessions per year. It indicates that Committee members shall be nominated by governments, act in their expert capacity, represent different tax systems, and be appointed by the UN Secretary-General, in consultation with UN Member States. In addition, based on the AAAA, official development assistance (ODA) providers reaffirm their respective commitments, including the commitment by many developed countries to achieve the target of 0.7% of ODA/Gross National Income (GNI), and 0.15 to 0.20% of ODA/GNI to least developed countries (LDCs).

Several delegates praised the AAAA during the closing plenary, with some calling it a “very good outcome,” while others said further work was needed on some elements, and listed reservations on specific components.

Commenting on the Outcome Document, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the AAAA: is a major step forward in building a world of prosperity and dignity for all; revitalizes the global partnership for development; establishes a strong foundation for implementation of the post-2015 development agenda; and points the way for all stakeholders for smart investments in people and the planet “where they are needed, when they are needed and at the scale they are needed.”

Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and Secretary-General of the Conference, remarked that the AAAA is a “historic agreement” that marks “a turning point in international cooperation” and features a comprehensive set of policy actions with a package of over 100 concrete measures.

Sam Kutesa, President of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), noted that the AAAA provides a comprehensive framework for financing sustainable development that supports the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda. He called on all delegations to fully implement it.

Achim Steiner, UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director, stated that the AAAA has the potential to use and unlock significant resources for development. He called for channeling annually trillions of dollars from multiple sources, including private finance, into more sustainable and equity oriented investments, and “away from resource-depleting and carbon-intensive investments.”

Sean Nolan, Deputy Director of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Strategic Policy and Review Department, indicated that the IMF decided to expand access to all of its concessional facilities by 50%. He added that the Fund intends to increase its focus on energy pricing, environmental tax issues and carbon pricing schemes, and on helping countries build up their infrastructure. [IISD RS Coverage of FfD3] [Outcome Document of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development – Addis Ababa Action Agenda] [UN Secretary-General Statement on AAAA] [UN Press Release, 16 July 2015] [UN Press Release on IMF at FfD3, 16 July 2015] [DESA Press Release] [UNEP Press Release] [UNEP Finance Initiative Reaction on AAAA] [UNDP Administrator Statement on FfD3 Outcome] [UN Industrial Development Organization – UNIDO Press Release] [UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction – UNISDR Press Release] [UN Women Press Release] [UN Global Compact Press Release]