Wednesday, 22 November 2017

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Addis Ababa Action Agenda set in historic agreement

Press conference by SG in Addis Ababa

16.7.2015 – Countries today reached a historic agreement to generate financing for the new sustainable development agenda at the United Nations Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FFD3), being held in Addis Ababa.

Concluding of months of negotiations between countries, the agreement marks a milestone in the creation of an enhanced global partnership aiming to overhaul global finance practices and generate investments for tackling a range of economic, social and environmental challenges. The ‘Addis Ababa Action Agenda’ is made up of more than 100 concrete measures that aims to achieve advancement in the areas of technology, health, social protection, infrastructure, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, foreign aid, taxation and climate change.

Opening of Third International ConferenceWith this groundbreaking agreement now in place, the UN observes that it “…provides a foundation…that world leaders are expected to adopt in New York this September and for reaching a binding agreement at the UN climate negotiations in Paris in December to reduce global carbon emissions.”  

In an exclusive interview with UNRIC, Mogens Lykketoft, the incoming president of the UN General Assembly noted that “no one would have thought five years ago that the UN could agree on 17 so far-reaching goals, but it seems like we can.” However he stressed that “what is happening here in Addis; to commit to the funding models, and what happens subsequently; in getting countries to follow up and act on their commitments – this is absolutely crucial.”  

Contentious areas included taxation and aid, but the UN reports that “in the outcome Lykketoftdocument, countries agreed to an array of measures aimed at widening the revenue base, improving tax collection, and combating tax evasion and illicit financial flows”, in order to boost revenues for development. In terms of aid, countries are recommitted to achieve the target of 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) and 0.15 to 0.20% for the least developed countries. Additionally the EU will increase its pledge to 0.2% of its GNI to the poorest countries by 2030.

The Addis Ababa action agreement paves the way for a comprehensive agreement in December, but as Mogens Lykketoft cautions that when it comes to the SDG’s  “Paris will be a crucial first test on whether the world leaders will act on their commitments.”

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