Addis Ababa: Financing the future or financing failure?

By Liana Barcia 20 July 2015

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the podium during the opening ceremony of the third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Photo by: Eskinder Debebe / United Nations / CC BY-ND

As the precursor to the sustainable development goal negotiations in New York and the climate talks at COP21 in Paris, the third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, was supposed to usher in a new era in global development and international cooperation. But while the United Nations hailed the FFD3 outcome as a groundbreaking, “critical step forward in building a sustainable future for all,” many civil society organizations and development leaders did not see it the same way.

The conference’s outcome document — better known as the Addis Ababa Action Agenda — represents the world’s plan to implement and finance the new post-2015 development agenda. And although it expresses global support for an array of measures aimed at helping developing countries achieve self-reliance and sustainable economic transformation by raising domestic revenues and attracting private finance, it lacks the teeth needed to scale up existing resources and draw increased official aid from traditional donors.

“The outcome document was long on good intentions but fell far short on concrete commitments,” Paddy Carter, a tax expert at the Overseas Development Institute, told Devex.

The Addis agenda details a financial plan to address a wide range of issues, including social inequality, climate change, tax evasion and illicit financial flows, but the majority of civil society believe the outcome lacks real actionable deliverables and fails to tackle the problems from a structural level. Below are some of the most important points to come out — or not come out — of the agenda.

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About the author

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Liana Barcia

Liana is a Manila-based reporter at Devex focusing on education, development finance and public-private partnerships and contributing a wide range of content featured in the Development Insider, Money Matters and Doing Good newsletters. She draws from her experience in business reporting and advertising to generate coverage that is engaging, insightful and relevant to the Devex community.


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