The Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD-3) held in Addis Ababa, July 13-16, adopted the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, expressing a strong political commitment to creating an enabling environment for financing an ambitious set of sustainable development goals in the spirit of global partnership and solidarity. The Agenda is a culmination of months of negotiations among member states of the United Nations covering sevenareas of action indomestic public resources; domestic and international private business and finance; international development cooperation; international trade; debt sustainability;systemic issues; and science, technology, innovation and capacity building. The Action Agenda is of particular significance as it precedes the UN Summit in September for the adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda as well as the UN Climate Change Conference in December.It, therefore, sets the stage for several global development milestones over the next 15 years.
The Nepali delegation to the Conference was led by the Hon’ble Dr. SwarnimWagle, Member of the National Planning Commission. Addressing the conference, Dr. Waglebegan by referring to the Nepal earthquake of April 2015 to illustrate the relevance of themes being discussed as part of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. He shared with the international community the country’s aspiration to become a vibrant middle-income nation by 2030 by pursuing a higher trajectory of economic growth within the balanced three-pillar framework of the SDGs. Asserting that capital formation was key to propelling growth at the stage of development Nepal is at, he called for incentives for foreign investors to go to LDCs and create durable value. He stressed the need for integrated support in favour of landlocked LDCs like Nepal to couple preferential access to world markets with the building of supply-side competencies to ease their entry into regional and global value chains.
Stating that the traditional model of aid needs an overhaul, Dr. Wagle said Nepal sought a new kind of ODA that passed the scrutiny of “cost effectiveness, relevance, and the value of debt”and helped fill critical gaps in knowledge, skills and finance. He also emphasized the need for augmenting the value of remittances by lowering the cost of transfers, optimizing use through financial literacy campaigns, and reducing the heavy social consequences of temporary migration.
Speaking on the theme of vulnerability to multiple environmental hazards including climate change, Dr. Wagleurged the international community to commit to creating a global fund aimed at mitigating crisis and building resilience. He noted, “unaddressed risks easily wipe off development gains accrued over decades.” He also expressed support for efforts aimed at reforming international institutions to accommodate voices from the South and enhancing systemic coherence across financial, monetary and trading regimes to serve the post-2015 development agenda.
At the conference, Dr. Wagle engaged in a series of side events and bilateral meetings. On July 14, he participated as a panelist at an event co-hosted by Switzerland, Nepal and UNDP on “Risk and Resilience: Financing for Development in a Volatile and Uncertain World.” Dr. Waglespoke on Nepal’s post-disaster recovery efforts and the future challenge of coping with multiple hazards in the Himalayas.On the same day, Dr. Wagle spoke as a panelist on the theme of “Transformative Financing for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment” organized by UN Women, OECD and the Governments of Brazil, Sweden and Switzerland.Joining five cabinet and state ministers from the UK, the Netherlands, Rwanda, Sweden and Switzerland, Dr. Waglespoke on Nepal’s experience to date in gender responsive budgeting.
Dr. Wagle also participated in a High-level Meeting on Global Partnerships for a Transformative Agenda for the LDCs. He conveyed Nepal’s support to the Declaration issued on behalf of all LDCs at the conference. However, he pleaded that the goals and objectives of LDCs going forward should be more aspirational and avoid the implied rhetoric of helplessness and dependence as if the LDCs were a “perpetual club of the weak.”
On the sidelines of the conference, Dr. Wagleheld a bilateral meeting with the Minister of State for Finance of India, Hon. JayantSinha on July 14. The meeting discussed the future growth strategies of the two countries and possibilities for synergy through stronger physical connectivity between bordering regions of the two countries to boost productivity in agriculture, manufacturing and tourism. On July 16, Dr. Wagle held a bilateral meeting with Tony Pipa, the United States’ Special Coordinator for the Post-2015 Development Agenda, where prospects of implementation and alignment between Nepal’s national development plans and the SDGs were discussed. Dr. Wagle also met Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General. On the occasion, views were exchanged on plans to localize and regionalize the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals in Nepal and South Asia.
The five-member Nepali delegation to the FfD Conference was led by Dr. Wagleand consisted of Mr. Prem Kumar Rai, Secretary of the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers as well as representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Finance and the Permanent Mission of Nepal to the United Nations in New York.
Delegation of Nepal to the Third International Conference on Financing for Development
July 17, 2015
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia