Countries work out differences ahead of the start of development conference

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Civil society representatives meeting ahead of the Financing for Development conference in Ethiopia. UN Photo/E. Debebe.

While a positive air precedes the start of a major global conference on development financing, a few issues critical to its outcome remain unresolved.

That message comes from Alexander Trepelkov, a senior UN official  attending the Third International Conference on Financing for Development which opens on Monday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

He said countries are still working on a draft of the final document for the conference, which follows previous meetings in Mexico and Qatar.

The event aims to strengthen global partnership to secure the resources needed for the well-being of all people and the health of the planet.

Dianne Penn reports.

Mr Trepelkov heads the Financing for Development office in the UN's Department of Economic and Social Affairs in New York.

Speaking in Addis Ababa on the eve of the conference's opening, he said the draft document contains what he characterized as three “contentious areas."

Developed and developing countries are divided on responsibilities related to financing, including to address climate change.

They also differ on international cooperation on taxation, with developing countries wanting a greater presence at the negotiating table.

The final issue, he said, concerns the actual outcome of the conference and how it will relate to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The SDGs comprise the new global development agenda which world leaders will adopt when they meet at the United Nations in September.

"Developed countries see the Addis outcome as the means of implementation of the post-2015 development agenda, while developing countries believe that Addis should, of course, support the implementation of the SDGs but should not preclude additional efforts in this area."

Despite these differences, Mr Trepelkov described the overall atmosphere in Addis Ababa as “very positive and very constructive.”

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’21″

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