The sustainable development goals, (SDGs) are a global agenda that will replace the Millennium Development Goals after 2015. The SDGs will include economic, environmental and social dimensions and be applicable by all the countries of the world. According to estimates, the necessary infrastructure investments alone amount to USD 5-7 trillion worldwide. The means to cover this enormous need for financing exist. What is needed are appropriate framework conditions and effective instruments for the mobilisation of public and private resources at the national and international levels.
The UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the United Nations Development Group for Europe and Central Asia will hold regional preparatory consultations on 23 March 2015. The outcome of the discussions will inform the debate at the International Conference on Financing for Development, to take place in Addis Ababa from 13 to 16 July 2015. Agreements and commitments will be made at the conference towards the achievement of the sustainable development goals by 2030.
SDC Director-General Manuel Sager will head the delegation in Geneva and open the conference on behalf of Switzerland. The conference will be chaired by Ambassador Michael Gerber, the Swiss Special Representative for Global Sustainable Development and Switzerland's lead negotiator for the post-2015 agenda and financing for development. Other prominent participants include Amina J. Mohammed, the UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning and Wu Hongbo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs.
During the regional conference, Switzerland will work in particular for the mobilisation of domestic financial resources, increasing private investment in sustainable development, a more prominent role for the private sector in the implementation of the sustainable development goals and combating illicit financial flows. These and other aspects will then be included in an outcome document – the “Chair’s Summary" – which will add the regional perspective of Europe and Central Asia to the negotiations.
The regional consultations in Geneva are intended as a multistakeholder meeting to allow specialists from governments, civil society, business, international organisations and academia to pursue exchanges. As an important financial centre and the European seat of the UN, Geneva also facilitates the participation of representatives from UNCTAD, the WTO, the WEF and numerous other international organisations and companies.
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