13 April 2015, New York – European Union statement delivered by Vincent Grimaud, European Commission Head of Unit, General Coordination, DG DEVCO, at the second drafting session of the outcome document of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development
On behalf of the EU and its Member States I would like to warmly thank you for the zero-draft you prepared.
As we noted all along, the post-2015 agenda will require the mobilisation and effective use of all relevant means of implementation. Crucially, these will need to be underpinned by sound policies and an enabling environment at all levels. The Addis outcome document will need to clearly reflect this comprehensive vision.
Overall we commend the attempt to craft a tangible action agenda. But more work is needed to better balance the text and make it fit-for-purpose: the Addis outcome should contribute to defining the overarching concept of a new global partnership for the entire post-2015-agenda. The Addis outcome should be conceptualised as the MoI pillar underpinning the implementation of this overarching agenda. Specific and tangible commitments will be needed by all actors.
I will focus my intervention on the areas where the zero-draft falls short of our vision and ambition for Addis as expressed here on several occasions.
As we stressed in January, the Addis outcome should be comprehensive, and address the whole range of Means of Implementation required for the post-2015 development agenda for poverty eradication and sustainable development, including both enabling policy environment and financial resources and instruments.
However, the zero-draft often adopts a narrow financing vision. In particular, the policy dimension of the document should be strengthened significantly by stressing the centrality of stable and enabling environments, sound, effective and coherent policies, effective institutions and good governance. Policy coherence by all countries and at all levels will be key in moving towards poverty eradication and sustainable development. Without a sound policy and regulatory environment, no other means of implementation can have a lasting impact. To fully capture this dimension, we would propose strengthening the policy text under each section and adding a new chapter on the enabling environment upfront. That chapter should highlight the full range of non-financial MoIs and ensure that they are framed as both as means for the mobilization of resources and as ends in themselves. It should also highlight the importance of national sustainable development strategies. It could expand on:
- Sound policy and regulatory environments, including effective legislative and regulatory frameworks, as means to implement the post-2015 agenda.
- The role of good governance and effective and inclusive institutions – at all levels including effective systems for budgeting, monitoring expenditure and tackling corruption – to develop transparent policies based on the rule of law and human rights, fostering non-discrimination, gender equality and women’s empowerment, as well as sustainable management of natural resource and environmental protection, accountability and the involvement of civil society.
- The potential of combining regulatory with economic instruments; other key policy levers include sustainable public procurement, gradual elimination of environmentally harmful subsidies and promoting solutions that respect planetary boundaries, protect ecosystems and biodiversity, are climate-smart and contribute more effectively to poverty eradication and sustainable development.
- The importance of social inclusion and decent work, including implementation of labour standards, adequate social protection floors and, generally, investment in human capital.
- The centrality of policy coherence at all levels by all countries. All policies should coherently contribute to sustainable development, both domestically and internationally; all countries should commit to assessing the impact that their policies have on poorer countries.
The Addis outcome should also be integrated, so that MoIs can serve the post-2015 agenda including the SDGs and as such address all three dimensions – economic, environmental and social – of sustainable development in a balanced and integrated fashion, thereby constituting the MoI pillar of a single post-2015 agenda.
However, the zero draft often appears to run on a parallel track, in abstraction of the broader post-2015 process. A very first step to remedy this would be to rename the opening chapter: “Implementing the sustainable development agenda”.
The Addis outcome should operationalise the principle of shared responsibilities, namely that all actors need to take action and contribute their fair share to reaching global goals in line with respective capabilities.
The zero-draft does not fully capture the paradigm shift towards a universal agenda that has taken place since Monterrey and that the SDGs will concretely reflect, and remains overly premised on an outdated North-South understanding of the world. We will only be able to fulfill the ambition of the post-2015 agenda through joint efforts. In concrete terms, this means commitments from all, reflecting evolving national capabilities and changes in the global economy. All countries need to take the necessary steps in terms of policy action and resource mobilisation. All can contribute meaningfully to achieving the agenda. For its part the EU has consistently accounted for more than half of global ODA and has made ambitious ODA commitments.
The Addis outcome should be underpinned by mutual accountability, namely transparency and accountability of all, at both national and global levels, so as to ensure an effective use of resources and a greater focus on results and impact, with a single framework for monitoring and review.
However, the zero-draft gives an incomplete picture of accountability, focusing on selected financial flows. It would be important that the next draft explicitly frame monitoring, review and accountability as a cross-cutting issue applying to all Means of Implementation and thereby constituting an integral part of the broader post-2015 monitoring, review and accountability framework. We see no place for parallel and duplicative follow-up processes.
We note the fact that the zero draft sheds light on the existing co-benefits for climate and poverty eradication, which are already a reality on the field, but we feel that the document should go further on this issue, considering wider links with sustainable development.
Finally, we believe that the Addis outcome needs to stress the multi-stakeholder character of the global partnership, able to mobilise action by all countries and stakeholders at all levels (sub-national, national, regional and international). In this respect while we welcome the inclusive approach of the zero-draft, we would like to see more on the crucial role of local authorities.
While we will come back during the course of the week with specific comments at this stage we would like to underline a few specific points.
We believe that the introductory chapter should include strong references to national ownership, development effectiveness, mutual accountability and multilateralism as a key factor of success.
Generally, the document should make clear that development effectiveness principles are applicable to all categories of development finance and all means of implementation and these principles should be embraced by all actors. Our objective should be positive sustainable development results.
We consider that the Addis outcome should pay particular attention to the needs of countries most in need, and in particular LDCs and fragile states. Similarly, the text could better recognise and take into account the specific challenges – including humanitarian challenges – faced by fragile and conflict-affected states. We, however, recognize that other categories of countries, such as SIDS, Landlocked Developing Countries and Middle Income Countries also face specific challenges that endanger their future sustainable development. We acknowledge that development policies and instruments, including the degree of concessionality, should be adapted to various countries situations, taking into account debt sustainability considerations.
The Addis outcome should also stress the importance of investing in children that is critical to achieving inclusive, equitable and sustainable human development for present and future generations.
The text should strengthen the narrative around the positive potential of trade for sustainable development. And we would ask the co-facilitators to balance the text on public-private and multi-stakeholder partnerships and innovative finance including blending, guarantees, equity, and other risk-sharing instruments, so as to have a more holistic approach to leveraging funding. Ensuring the right form of engagement by the private sector, and incentivising its positive contribution to sustainable development, will be one of the key challenges for the implementation of the post-2015 agenda.
We believe that science, technology and innovation (STI) are essential components for the Addis outcome as drivers of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and for the SDGs.
We welcome reference to the cross-cutting issues of anti-corruption, transparency and gender equality. But we would like to see those dimensions better mainstreamed throughout the document.
We note that the zero draft includes actions in crosscutting areas (such as infrastructure, energy, social floors, agriculture and ecosystems) which are critical to successfully achieving poverty eradication and sustainable development. But it is important that the FfD framework addresses issues and identifies actions relevant to all goals and targets in a balanced way.
For monitoring, accountability and review, there should be one overarching framework that covers all aspects of the SDGs and targets and all MoIs, including all aspects of financing. This framework should be an integral part of the post-2015 agenda. This should be made clear in the Addis outcome document.
Moving to the format of the document we continue to believe that for credibility, consistency and impact, the Addis outcome should be crafted as the MoI pillar of the post-2015 agenda. As such we do not expect the post-2015 package to include major MoI elements which have not been addressed in Addis. In addition, it is important not to reopen issues settled in Addis.
We continue to support idea that final post-2015 outcome document should consist of four elements: political declaration; goals and targets; global partnership/MoI; and review and follow up.
Clearly, we need to decide how the FfD outcome can become the MoI element of the Post-2015 agenda.
We also need to consider how the Global Partnership and MoI element of Post-2015 pachage would relate to Goal 17 and the MoI targets under each goal. (Of course, the final version of the goals and targets will not be agreed until September – but it is reasonable for the FfD process to assume that final version will be very similar to current draft) Hence, the FfD outcome should be consistent with and support the implementation of all goals and targets, including goal 17 and the MoI targets under the various goals.
In moving forward, we would welcome to hear from you, and the co-facilitators of the post-2015 process, on your ideas on the relationship between the Addis and the Post 2015 outcome documents. We are ready to discuss these matters constructively throughout the joint session.
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