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Traditional funding for development was insufficient due to the global economic and trade slow-down as well as persistent natural hazards, especially in small, vulnerable and highly indebted economies, Jamaica’s representative told the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) today, as it continued its general debate.
The current financing gap to achieve Sustainable Development Goals in low and middle-income countries was between $3 and $5 trillion per year, he noted. Bilateral net official development assistance (ODA) reached $142.6 billion in 2016, but that included humanitarian and disaster relief, technical assistance, cultural exchanges and other Government-related activities. Moreover, middle-income countries like Jamaica were deemed too well-off to warrant official development assistance (ODA) and lost access to certain financing windows.
The representative of Zimbabwe lamented that ODA was declining and most development partners were failing to fulfil their commitments. If developing countries were to stand a better chance of implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, international public resources had to be significantly increased. Development partners should avoid using domestic resource mobilization to escape ODA commitments.
Papua New Guinea’s delegate underscored the need for multilateral financial institutions like the World Bank to expand the definition of fragility when considering financing, especially for small island developing States. He also emphasized that United Nations reforms and improved cost effectiveness must not come at the expense of countries in special situations.
Similarly, the representative of the Maldives said his country would need more foreign investment to move from its current upper-middle income country status. But the lending framework of international financial institutions failed to favour small States, even if projects in the pipeline were sound and bankable.
The current imbalance in the development system should be corrected to ensure equal access to sufficient and predictable funding, stressed Morocco’s delegate. Since ODA, often a catalyst for partnerships, was still essential to many countries, international commitments must be respected to maintain development momentum.
Speakers also focused on the need to reduce developing country debt, which seriously impeded implementing the Goals, especially in least developed States. They also stressed the importance of open, transparent and inclusive international trade, as it played a vital role in economic growth and development.
Also speaking were representatives of China, Paraguay, Japan, Italy, Switzerland, Georgia, Mongolia, Philippines, Dominican Republic, Mexico, South Africa, San Marino, Chile, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, United Republic of Tanzania, Qatar, Sudan, Kuwait, Brazil, Yemen, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Honduras, Slovenia, Saudi Arabia, Romania, Iraq, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Nigeria, Argentina, Venezuela, Croatia, Zambia, Armenia, Nepal, Libya, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Eritrea, Kenya, Tunisia, Turkey, Fiji, Senegal, Serbia, Algeria, Andorra, Solomon Islands, Ireland, United Arab Emirates, and Timor-Leste, as well as the Sovereign Order of Malta, Holy See and State of Palestine.
Representatives of the International Criminal Court, Common Fund for Commodities, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) also spoke.
The Committee will meet again on Thursday, 5 October at 10 a.m. to take up macroeconomic policy questions.