Secretary-General highlights civil society role in financing for development

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the Civil Society Organization Forum in Addis Ababa. UN Photo/E. Debebe.

Civil society organizations (CSOs) from around the world have been urged to pressure governments and the business sector to ensure they make investments that are long-term and sustainable.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made the call in an address to a forum for these groups held on Sunday in Addis Ababa.

It came as Ethiopia's capital prepares to welcome global heads of state to the Third International Conference on Financing for Development which opens on Monday.

Priscilla Lecomte is in Ethiopia and filed this report.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon thanked civil society organizations for their engagement and advocacy efforts in pushing countries to be more ambitious towards financing the development agenda.

Speaking on Sunday at the closing ceremony of the CSO Forum Mr Ban said civil society organizations play a crucial role in making governments accountable for funding the post-2015 development agenda.

The Secretary-General highlighted four areas in which CSOs can play an important role:

" First, domestic resource mobilization. This is critical. The Action Agenda takes a small but important step in improving international cooperation on tax matters. Second, donor countries need to fulfill their commitments on Official Development Assistance as well as climate finance. Third, the quantity of private investment is crucial, but so, too, is the quality."

Mr Ban said civil society must put pressure on governments and businesses to ensure long-term and sustainable investments.

He finally insisted on the need to take into consideration trade, debt and systemic issues beyond financial flows.

Members of the CSO forum have expressed their concern about the outcome of the Addis Ababa conference saying that it should be more ambitious in order to meet the needs of sustainable development and climate finance. 

They have specifically asked for an international tax body that should be put under the authority of the United Nations.

Priscilla Lecomte, United Nations, Addis Ababa.

Duration: 1’41

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