Policy Briefing 10/2014
“Universal Goals – Innovative Financing?"
The EU’s contribution to the funding of a future global sustainable development agenda
07 October 2014, Brussels
Conference language English
Around the world, intensive efforts are under way to craft a universal sustainable development agenda as the follow-up to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Rio+20. The recent publication of the first zero draft by the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals was an important step. It contains a list of, currently, 17 proposed sustainable development goals, which will be binding on all the countries of the world.
Over recent months, the 30-member Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing has undertaken the task of drafting proposals on the funding of this ambitious agenda, and will report to the United Nations General Assembly in 2014. Although the substance of its deliberations has not been revealed to the public, some key elements are already emerging. For example, there is agreement among the experts that substantial additional funding is required. While they acknowledge that official development assistance (ODA) will continue to be crucially important in eliminating extreme poverty, particularly in the least
developed countries (LDCs), ODA is not a suitable vehicle for implementing an enhanced development agenda with universal applicability.
To provide the substantial resources required, funding must be accessed from public, private, national and international sources. The developing countries should also make a greater contribution, for example by increasing their tax revenue and/or curbing illegal financial flows, thus improving the sustainability of their budgets. Furthermore, other alternative approaches and mechanisms to finance the new agenda will be required, such as those proposed by the Intergovernmental Committee to fund sustainable development. In addition to the straightforward provision of funding, the manner in which the funds are deployed to improve support
for transition processes and, ultimately, to generate fresh resources is important. Other policy areas, such as international trade and financial market policy, must also be considered and, if necessary, reformed.
The Development and Peace Foundation (sef:) wishes to explore the Intergovernmental Committee’s proposals with experts from politics, civil society and business at a policy briefing in Brussels. Key issues to be addressed are as follows:
- Which of the funding options proposed by the Intergovernmental Committee, aside from ODA, are relevant to the EU as a development policy actor?
- How can the EU contribute to their success?
- In which areas can fresh money best support the “transformative shifts” which are foreseen by a new agenda?
- How can and must the EU fulfil the principle of common but differentiated responsibility in relation to the future financing of universal sustainable development goals?