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Ethiopia to Host Conference on UN Development Goals

  • Marthe van der Wolf

FILE - A United Nations promotional poster for the Millennium Development Goals.

FILE - A United Nations promotional poster for the Millennium Development Goals.

Heads of state, ministers and representatives from more than 190 countries will gather in Ethiopia next week to decide on a financial framework to realize the new Sustainable Development Goals.

Alessandra Casazza of the U.N. Development Program said the Financing for Development conference, which will begin Monday and draw about 7,000 delegates, "is not going to talk about figures."

"There is not going to be any new money put on the table," she said. "The conference is going to deliver a framework. It’s going to look at various sources of financing all across the board that can actually underpin and support the implementation of the new agenda.”

The U.N. Millennium Development Goals, which started in 2000, expire in December. The World Bank released a report in April saying that to finance the post-2015 agenda, trillions of dollars would be needed.

Casazza said the new development agenda could not be implemented without the finances first being put in place.

“We are talking about international public finance, international private finance, domestic public finance and domestic private finance," she said. "Basically, every single dollar, both private and public, will need to be aligned with sustainable development if we want to make it.”

Civil society organizations such as Oxfam International are concerned about the role of the private sector, saying that the “corporate grip on development finance must be loosened.” Reforming international taxation will be a major point of discussion during the Addis Ababa conference that U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is expected to attend.

Casazza said there was an acknowledgement that the Millennium Development Goals "have done really well, but the business of the MDGs is still unfinished. The SDGs are meant to finish the business of the MDGs but go beyond them. If you look at the SDGs, the first six SDGs are somewhat a repeat of the MDGs.”

The new post-2015 development agenda is expected to be adopted during the U.N. General Assembly in September.

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