The ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development follow-up (FfD Forum) is an intergovernmental process with universal participation mandated to review the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (Addis Agenda) and other financing for development outcomes and the means of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
While continuing the review of all action areas of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the Forum will place an emphasis on the following issues:
a) Emerging trends and risks: Financing the SDGs is taking place in a dynamic environment. Emerging mega trends and rising risks maximize the negative impact of the structural impediments to financing for development. The Forum will highlight such trends and risks as well as policy implications for international financial, monetary and trading systems in relation to financing the SDGs.
b) Promoting inclusive growth and reducing inequalities: Inequality is a drag on growth, undermining faith in the social contract. It is a clear obstacle to the achievement of the SDGs. Underrepresented and marginalized groups—including women and youth, among others-- suffer disproportionately from poverty and are often excluded from basic services, financial systems and work opportunities. National policies and institutions play an important role in shaping inequalities. The Forum will feature policies that can ensure fiscal and financial systems actively promote greater equality, particularly for women, youth, and marginalized groups.
c) National policy space and financing framework: The changing trends pertaining to global trade, investment and debt have implications for policy options at the national level. The Forum will create the opportunity to share national policies, tools and experiences to expand the space to mobilize domestic public and private resources to finance the SDGs.
d) Mobilizing finance for climate action: Climate action and economic growth can be complementary. Mobilizing finance for climate action, including through investments in climate mitigation and low-carbon growth, is critical for building resilience to climate shocks and achieving the SDGs. Such investment is not only an economic choice but also a political one. The “smart” policy choice and “right” balance in this investment (mitigation and adaptation) can vary with country context. The Forum will unpack the nexus with country cases.
e) Mobilizing long-term investment for the SDGs: Achieving the SDGs requires the mobilization of investment at an unprecedented scale. Public investment, while of great importance for a number of countries, will on its own be insufficient to address this challenge which, in turn, necessitates efforts to scale-up private investment. At the same time, there is a need for private investors to a shift towards a longer-term investment horizon and incorporate sustainability into their business models. The Forum will also review the progress of current efforts to better align the financial system with the 2030 Agenda through better incentivizing the provision of long-term finance aligned with sustainable development.
f) Innovation and frontier technologies: The fast-paced financial, business and industrial innovations provide possibilities for developing countries to leapfrog the development ladders. In the meantime, policies and regulations must strike a balance in reaping their benefits while minimizing their negative impact on financing the SDGs. The Forum will feature initiatives and draw conclusions and recommendations. The FSDR of the Interagency Task Force on Financing for Development will inform the deliberations of the Forum.
The Forum will create adequate space to engage the most relevant and influential stakeholders in multi-layered discussions ranging from forward-looking assessment to immediate practical actions. As a result, the 4-day Forum is proposed to include the following distinct but interrelated components: 1) opening/scene setting; 2) peer learning; 3) stock-taking; and 4) way forward.