18 April 2017, New York – Statement delivered by Adebayo Babajide on behalf of the European Union and its Member States at the 71st United Nations General Assembly: PGA High Level SDG Financing Lab
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
At the outset we would like to thank you, Mr President, for arranging today’s meeting, which puts the spotlight on the efforts required to mobilise the resources needed to finance Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA), which is an integral part of the 2030 Agenda, supports and complements it and helps to contextualize its means of implementation targets with concrete policies and actions, provides the framework for supporting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Generating the necessary resources required to move from “billions to trillions” will require a mix of financial and non-financial means from the wide range of public and private sources identified in the Addis Agenda. The European Union is committed to playing its part to fully implement the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We will also assist others in their efforts in the spirit of a strong global partnership.
Regarding Official Development Assistance (ODA), preliminary Data released by the OECD last week [11 April] shows that Official Development Assistance (ODA) provided by the EU and its Member States has increased by 11% in 2016, reaching 75.5 billion euros, which means that EU collective ODA now stands at 0.51% of GNI [up from 0.47% in 2015]. Only 25% of this growth was due to in-country support to refugees, hence there was growth in EU collective ODA, even if these costs are excluded. I would like to be clear on this issue, which is frequently referenced. ODA is particularly key for Least Developed Countries (LDCs), where it can close financing gaps for social sectors like health and education and for its catalytic effects on other sources of finance. While 2016 data on flows to LDCs will only be available much later in the year, preliminary data suggest that an important share, more than a fifth of these efforts, goes to LDCs.
EU Commissioner for Development, Neven Mimica, stated last week: “I am proud that the EU remains the world’s leading provider of Official Development Assistance – a clear proof of our commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We call on all development actors to re-double their efforts to do likewise. And we do not stop there. Leveraging private sector investments, helping mobilise domestic resources and intensifying joint efforts with EU Member States, we seek to make the most of all financing sources for development.”
Our efforts on financing must take on board the three dimensions of sustainable development, which are mutually reinforcing. Climate finance, for instance, is an accelerator for sustainable development implementation.
Finally, we need the mobilization of all actors, from the public sector, private, at international and local levels, and of different tools, such as innovative financing, to make the SDGs a reality. We need a much more ambitious role for the private sector, ranging from micro-enterprises to cooperatives to multinationals, and for multi-stakeholders partnerships. We also need to work closely with local entities and civil society, which are at the forefront of the SDGs implementation.
Allow me to share that we are encouraged by the advance draft of the first full report of the UN Inter-agency Task Force on Financing for Development released by UN DESA on 31 March and the briefings on the report held by DESA jointly with other Task Force Members, including the IMF, World Bank, WTO, UNDP and UNCTAD, over the last two weeks. We consider that the report strikes a generally balanced tone, is usefully factual and well-evidenced and draws on a number of concrete examples. We expect that the IATF report will be a solid base for discussions on progress and gaps on the wide range of issues covered in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) at the ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development (FFD) Follow-up from 22-25 May 2017.
As regards the “intergovernmentally agreed recommendations and conclusions” of the Forum, we look forward to working constructively with all partners towards a balanced outcome document, based on the IATF report and reflecting all the action areas of the Addis Agenda, as well as the cross-cutting issues. We have assured the co-facilitators, the Permanent Representatives of Belgium and South Africa, of our full support.
If we are to succeed in mobilising the resources required for financing the Sustainable Development Goals, we have to collaborate and come up with recommendations from the Forum that will usefully orient our domestic and international efforts for the crucial years to come and bring true value to implementation on the ground.
I trust that today’s discussions can make an important contribution to this process.
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