Summary: 12 December 2014, New York – Statement on behalf of the European Union and its Member States delivered by John Busuttil, Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, at the 69th United Nations General Assembly Meeting on the Preparatory Process for the Third International Conference on Financing for Development
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the EU and its Member States.
This has been a very useful week. The panel discussions have been informative and challenging and identified useful areas to consider in our future work.
The EU would like to underline a few key issues as we continue our deliberations.
We believe it is very important to see this week’s discussion and the Financing for Development workstream as part of a broad, coherent process of preparing the post-2015 agenda. Issues raised here will be central to the question of how the post-2015 agenda will be implemented. We firmly believe that the Financing for Development Conference next July should cover all means of implementation, both financial and non-financial and therefore that these preparatory sessions should cover this full range also.
The discussions this week have tended to focus on financial issues and international issues, which are important, but in our view adequate attention needs also to be paid to non-financial and domestic issues. All are equally necessary. We consider for example that we need more discussion on how domestic sustainability objectives should factor into decisions on trade, investment, technology and other areas.
We also consider that another important dimension, that of gender equality and women’s empowerment, should be taken into account to a greater extent in the course of our upcoming deliberations.
Countries’ domestic environments are central to successful implementation of the post-2015 agenda. This includes appropriate policies, capable and stable institutions, transparency of public finances, good governance, effective efforts against corruption, and the promotion and protection of human rights.
At the core of public policies are effective fiscal policies which ensure that the necessary resources are mobilised and effectively spent. The third Financing for Development Conference needs to address the need for more international cooperation on tax at technical and legal levels to fight against tax evasion and money laundering and avoid transfer mispricing, including through better coordination between multilateral organisations. It should also consider providing support so that all countries can participate in and benefit from international tax standards. Discussions on debt need to focus primarily on fostering sustainable borrowing and lending practices, in order to avoid as far as possible the need for sovereign debt restructuring. Prevention is always better than cure.
The EU remains fully committed to the WTO, to the Conclusion of the Doha Development Agenda and the implementation of the Bali Ministerial decisions. Each country needs to maximise the potential of trade in support of inclusive growth and sustainable development. All countries should increase bilateral, regional and multilateral cooperation on science, technology and innovation, including strengthening relevant capacities in developing countries. We need to support pro-poor and pro-environment investments and look into ways of replacing counter productive spending.
On data, we also need to consider how data can help implementation of the SDGs and their monitoring. Part of this will clearly be the use and analysis of data on all financial flows for sustainable development.
And on today’s topics, we heard interesting views on possible models for partnerships. We believe that a new set of multi-stakeholder partnerships are required for the implementation of the post-2015 agenda. We clearly need to assess ideas for instance on partnerships for specific parts of the agenda in order to ensure maximum effectiveness and institutional efficiency. The Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation, amongst others, offers relevant experience for future partnerships.
In terms of follow up, we look forward to further upcoming discussions. Given the close integration of the FfD process with post-2015, we believe that monitoring, review and accountability for these processes should also be fully integrated into a single comprehensive framework in order to ensure that progress can be assessed and encouraged both against the goals and targets and in the delivery of the means of implementation.
Thank you, distinguished Co-Facilitators, for this opportunity to speak. May I assure you that the EU is fully committed to playing a constructive role in our future deliberations.
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