11 May 2017
Governments Negotiate 2017 FFD Forum Outcome
UN Photo/Manuel Elías
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In the first round of intergovernmental negotiations on the outcome of FfD Forum, governments exchanged views on the zero draft.

The Forum will convene from 22-25 May 2017, at UN Headquarters in New York, US.

5 May 2017: Ahead of the UN Economic and Social Council’s (ECOSOC) second Forum on Financing for Development Follow-up (FfD Forum), UN Member States began discussions of the conclusions and recommendations to be adopted, with informal consultations on the zero draft. The FfD Forum will convene from 22-25 May 2017.
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 co-facilitators for the negotiation process, Marc Pecsteen de Buytswerve, Permanent Representative of Belgium, and Jerry Matthews Matjila, Permanent Representative of South Africa, issued the draft conclusions and recommendations of the Forum on 27 April 2017, and the first round of intergovernmental consultations took place on 2, 4 and 5 May 2017 at UN Headquarters in New York, US.

Ecuador for the Group of the 77 and China (G/77-China) called to strengthen several areas of the text, including: the reference to providing adequate and predictable financial resources for developing countries; the references to official development assistance (ODA) and the fulfillment of ODA commitments; and the references to increased international cooperation. Cameroon for the African Group requested including the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) in the document and adding emphasis on strengthening cooperation on tax matters and illicit financial flows (IFFs), as well as on support for infrastructure projects. Brazil proposed strengthening the language on trade and adding language on strengthening the UN Committee of Experts in Tax Matters.

Maldives for the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) said the climate finance aspects of the text should be “significantly strengthened.” Bangladesh for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) stressed the importance of meeting the commitments in the AAAA to reverse the decline in ODA to LDCs. He also suggested adding a reference to special and preferential treatment for LDCs under the World Trade Organization (WTO), and to duty-free quota-free market access for LDCs products, in the paragraph on trade.

Zambia for the Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) called to identify more sources to support LLDCs’ development needs, emphasizing the need for investment to cover the infrastructure gap, as well as the importance of trade facilitation and enhancing market access for LLDCs. Cabo Verde proposed including language on: improving access to technology transfer, capacity building and finance, especially for the most vulnerable countries; reviewing the eligibility criteria for concessional financing to address vulnerabilities of countries, as measured in ways that go beyond GDP; and mixed solutions that combine ODA and other financial sources.

The EU expressed concern regarding the absence of the principle of leaving no one behind and of a focus on the most vulnerable. He proposed adding references to the Paris Agreement on climate change and the transition to a low-carbon economy, as well as to peace and security, rule of law, peaceful societies and human rights.

Noting that the FfD Forum’s outcome should only provide technical assessment of progress towards implementing the AAAA, the US stressed that the zero draft crosses many of its “red lines” including on IFFs, climate change, trade, the role of the UN in tax matters and CBDR. Canada, also for Australia and New Zealand (CANZ), said the text should reflect the urgency of directing private flows towards the SDGs, while emphasizing the need for support to small island developing states (SIDS) and LDCs. Supported by Mexico, he added that the draft should mention links with the HLPF and other processes.

Japan, observing that last year’s negotiation process on the FfD Forum outcome “was a failure” because Member States could not reach agreement and negotiated even during the Forum, which led to a very low participation in the Forum, cautioned against reopening or “cherry-picking” parts of the AAAA, and called for strengthening the references to the private sector. Switzerland supported Japan’s call to “avoid last year’s scenario of having empty rooms at the Forum” by avoiding attempts to renegotiate the AAAA, stressing that the outcome should focus on progress achieved and the challenges and gaps discovered in implementing the AAAA.

China identified “obvious gaps” in implementing the AAAA and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, such as the need for capacity-building support for developing countries, especially in infrastructure, industrialization and technology transfer, and fulfillment of developed countries’ ODA commitments. India called for adding more emphasis on poverty eradication.

Norway welcomed the reference to international cooperation on IFFs but suggested adding language on decisive national action. He also called to mention “important” existing partnerships on health and education, in addition to those on infrastructure.

India called for adding more emphasis on poverty eradication. Brazil proposed strengthening the language on trade and adding language on strengthening the UN Committee of Experts in Tax Matters.

The second round of negotiations convenes from 10-12 May 2017. [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Zero Draft] [FfD Forum Website] [IISD Sources]

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