The co-facilitators for the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Forum on Financing for Development (FfD Forum) have commenced informal consultations on the outcome of the Forum, which will hold its first session in April 2016.
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 issued its first report, and the UN Secretariat has provided the tentative programme for the inaugural Forum.
23 March 2016: The co-facilitators for the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Forum on Financing for Development (FfD Forum) have commenced informal consultations on the outcome of the Forum, which will hold its first session in April 2016. 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 issued its first report, and the UN Secretariat has provided the tentative programme for the inaugural Forum.
The first 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 Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA).’ The duration, dates and theme of the inaugural forum were agreed on 14 March 2016, after extended consultations among Member States.
Consultations on the Forum’s conclusions and recommendations are being led by Jean-Francis Regis Zinsou, Permanent Representative of Benin, and Vladimir Drobnjak, Permanent Representative of Croatia. ECOSOC President Oh Joon appointed Benin and Croatia as co-facilitators for the process on 25 February 2016, and they convened the first informal consultations on 23 March 2016, which addressed the content and format of the Forum’s outcomes, as well as modalities for reaching intergovernmental agreement.
On 21 March, the UN Secretary-General issued an advance unedited version of a Note, titled ‘Monitoring commitments and actions in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development.’ The Note highlights the main findings of the IATF’s first report, prepared for the inaugural session of the FfD Forum. The report offers proposals for how the IATF could monitor implementation of commitments in future years, when more data should be available for 2015, the base year against which progress will be measured. The report notes the different structures of the 2030 Agenda and the AAAA, explaining that the 2030 Agenda is organized around the SDGs, or goals and outcomes, while the AAAA follows the Monterrey Consensus, and is structured around various financial and non-financial means of implementation. The Task Force suggests that this could make it difficult to track similar targets across the two agendas. It concludes that the multidimensional expertise of the IATF could help provide the FfD Forum with reliable and balanced assessments of the state of play on “newly arising issues” that have an impact on implementing the AAAA. It proposes a three-pronged approach for future IATF reports, namely: brief discussion of the global context and its implications for implementation of the AAAA and the follow-up process; a concise overview of each chapter of the full agenda, including updated data and pertinent issues as well as updates on new initiatives called for in the AAAA (such as the Global Infrastructure Forum and the Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM)); and a discussion of specific thematic issues, drawing on inputs from across the seven action areas of the AAAA, if requested by UN Member States.
On the proceedings of the inaugural FfD Forum, the UN Secretariat has issued a tentative programme. It notes that one day 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). In past years, this special high-level meeting was organized annually under ECOSOC, but it is now included as part of the FfD Forum, as mandated by the AAAA (paragraph 132). The high-level meeting with take place on 18 April 2016, and will include: statements by heads of relevant intergovernmental bodies (such as International Monetary Fund (IMF), WTO and UNCTAD); statements by Ministers and other high-level officials; and an interactive dialogue between UN ambassadors and the World Bank/IMF Executive Directors.
The two other days of the Forum (19-20 April 2016) will comprise: a briefing for civil society and the business sector; interactive roundtables on action areas of the AAAA, and a panel discussion on the Global Infrastructure Forum; statements by ministers and other high-level officials (general debate); and presentation and adoption of intergovernmentally agreed conclusions and recommendations.
Side events will complement the official programme. The application process for side events is open until 8 April 2016. Side event organizers will be asked to submit a report of their event for a publication to be issued following the Forum. [Note by UN Secretary-General] [Co-Facilitators’ Letter on Informal Consultations] [FfD Forum Website] [Tentative Programme] [Side Events] [IATF Website] [IISD RS Story on Dates and Theme] [IISD RS Story on IATF and Co-Facilitators’ Appointment]