Policy Briefing 10/2014

© flickr/Moyan Brenn

“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?



The Development and Peace Foundation (sef:) and the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF) are launching a new publications series: GLOBAL TRENDS. ANALYSIS. The new series aims to identify options for international policy action in an ever more complex world. Furthermore, it presents perspectives from different world regions. The series analyses current developments and challenges against the background of long-term political trends, and it illustrates facts with figures and tables. GLOBAL TRENDS. ANALYSIS is issued by a team of co-editors from different world regions. For more information, see our press release.

:further info here

Cooperation in a Post-Western World


The Western liberal order finds itself in deep crisis. Global power shifts are accelerating. What does this mean for the future of global cooperation? How can the wish for more national autonomy be reconciled with the need to cooperate in a globalised world? Can new forms of governance contribute to sustaining global cooperation? Michèle Roth and Cornelia Ulbert discuss these questions in the first issue of the new publication series GLOBAL TRENDS. ANALYSIS.

:further info here

How to overcome the impasse in UN Security Council reform


The urgently needed UN Security Council reform has been stuck for decades. Without a far-reaching structural change that includes the end of permanent seats and the veto, the Council is fading into irrelevance. But at a time of great power transitions, multipolarity without sufficient multilateralism is a dangerous trend. Therefore, in GLOBAL TRENDS. ANALYSIS 02|2018, Jakkie Cilliers calls for a political and intellectual leap to overcome the impasse in UN Security Council reform.

:further info here

Global Food Governance


After the food riots around the world in 2007/2008, the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) was reformed. Since then, the CFS has developed into an innovative global policy forum that could be a role model for other Global Governance institutions. In the current evaluation process, however, the CFS also faces a number of challenges. What are the main characteristics of the CFS? How can it prove successful in a changing political environment? Nora McKeon answers these questions in the Global Governance Spotlight 2|2018 and exhorts member governments to value and reinforce this unique policy forum.

:further info here