ECOSOC: Operational Activities for Development Segment, 13th Meeting

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SIX OFFICIAL 01-Mar-2017 02:58:15
Blending traditional, innovative financing will advance gains of 2030 agenda, delegates tell Economic and Social Council as operational segment continues with 13th meeting.
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Securing predictable, sustainable financing required traditional and innovative systems, involving partnerships to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, delegates in the Economic and Social Council said today, calling for burden sharing and resource mobilization at all levels.

Introducing the report of the Secretary-General on funding for operational activities for development, Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary‐General for Economic and Social Affairs, said it consolidated financial data on the contributions and expenditures of 34 United Nations entities. Total funding in 2015 had amounted to $26.7 billion, an increase of some 4 per cent in real terms compared to the previous year.

He went on to say that in the 15-year span between the declaration of the Millennium Development Goals in 2000 and that of the Sustainable Development Goals at the end of 2015, the volume of funding had more than doubled, with non-core funding growing six times faster than core funding. However, that analysis indicated little evidence that the donor base of United Nations entities was broadening.

In 2015, he continued, about 80 per cent of total funding of organizational activities for development had come from Governments directly and 20 per cent from non-governmental organizations, public-private partnerships and other multilateral entities. Concerning transparency and accountability for funding flows, he said several entities had developed publicly accessible online systems that mapped data on donor contributions and expenditures.

He emphasized the critical importance of good governance and strong Member State ownership of the strategic plans and integrated budgets of United Nations entities. The report analysed the quantity and effectiveness of joint funding mechanisms, he said, stressing that well-designed pooling of interagency funds could address the negative effects of earmarked non-core contributions.

Some of those issues were debated in three related panel discussions held during the day-long meeting. The panels focused on improving the governance and coordination of the United Nations development system, moving the quadrennial comprehensive policy review forward at field level and rethinking the funding and financing strategies of the United Nations development system to deliver on the 2030 Agenda.

During the latter discussion, panellists and delegates debated how the system could incentivize more contributions to existing funding modalities and the role of financing strategies to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals. Panellist Admasu Feyisa, interim Director of the United Nations Agencies and Regional Economic Cooperation Directorate at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development of Ethiopia, said the very ambitious, cross-cutting Sustainable Development Goals required trillions of dollars to achieve and a comprehensive approach to financing, with the United Nations development system transforming itself accordingly. However, predictable financing would require both traditional and innovative financing systems, involving a range of partners, he said.

Echoing that sentiment, panellist Daovy Vongxay, Deputy Director‐General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lao People’s Democratic Republic, emphasized that to achieve the 2030 Agenda, current funding trends must change. Noting that there had been dynamic changes and differences in financing among countries within a region, he said that leveraging development cooperation mattered more now than ever before. The crucial question was how cooperation could be used to address the real obstacles to development.

Speaking during the general debate were the Minister for Social Development of Chile and the representatives of Ecuador (for the “Group of 77” developing countries and China), Malta (for the European Union), Maldives (for the Alliance of Small Island States), El Salvador (for the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States), Trinidad and Tobago (for the Caribbean Community), Honduras (for Like-Minded Countries Supporters of Middle Income Countries), Nauru (for Pacific Small Island Developing States), Australia (also for Canada and New Zealand), Bangladesh (for least developed countries), Brazil, South Africa, Peru, China, Burkina Faso, Viet Nam, Tajikistan, Lebanon, Norway, Czech Republic, Sweden, United States and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

The Economic and Social Council will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Thursday, 2 March, to continue its operational activities segment.
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