The many weeks of discussions with our international partners have borne fruit: today the Third International Conference on Financing for Development has agreed on the “Addis Ababa Action Agenda”.
I welcome this accord, which puts in place very robust foundations to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will be agreed in September in New York and the climate agreement to be adopted in December in Paris.
I am delighted that together we have been able to decide on an ambitious vision. It reflects the changed world we live in and addresses the full range of what we call “means of implementation”: the tools, policies and resources that need to be in place to ensure that the future agenda can be implemented.
Today’s agreement acknowledges that all actors have to mobilise all resources to come to a success.
The Sustainable Development Goals cannot be achieved without domestic revenue mobilisation. Ownership, built on responsibility, accountability and own strength is key. Putting in place fair and efficient tax systems is a priority and we will need to address challenges such as tax avoidance and illicit financial flows together.
Official Development Assistance (ODA) will continue to play an important role in the overall picture and today’s agreement rightly highlights the EU leadership in this: We are the world's largest donor by far and have reaffirmed our taken a particularly ambitious commitment to achieve the UN 0.7% target within the timeframe of the post-2015 agenda. This includes a specific effort for countries most in need (0.15-0.20% to Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in the short-term, 0.20% within the timeframe of the post-2015 agenda).
The document also rightly identifies the private sector as a key driver for inclusive growth and job creation. It builds a genuine partnership with the private sector, enabling private engagement in line with our common development policy goals. The right regulatory environment needs to be in place for this, and innovative ways of financing, such as blending, will play an important role in leveraging resources - an area in which the EU has been a pioneer, expecting to mobilise €100 billion by 2020.
International trade features prominently in today’s agreement as an engine for development and I am proud to say that the EU is already the world's most open market for developing countries' exports. The EU has granted LDCs duty free and quota free market access, resulting in over €35 billion annually of LDC exports to the EU. We are also the world’s main donor of aid for trade.
The important roles of migration, and also science, technology and innovation for growth and sustainable element are also addressed in our agreement.
In addition, I am personally delighted to see that women and girls receive particular attention and have a central role across the board of our thinking on the means of implementation.
The true value and strength of the Addis Agenda is its comprehensiveness. It brings together aid, investment, domestic resources and good policies. No one element can be singled out and taken as measure of success or failure. It is only by implementing them all together that we can succeed in our common fight against poverty, inequality and exclusion.
I'm proud to say that the EU and its Member States were instrumental in building the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. We will actively work together with all our partners to make it real.
Link to the “Addis Ababa Action Agenda” adopted by the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, 16 July 2015