The mobilization of domestic and external resources, both public and private, is a key pillar for financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, approved by United Nations member countries in 2015, and it requires new partnerships between the public and private sectors. That is what Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), indicated today during the second retreat of the Friends of Monterrey Group, which is being held in Mexico City.
“The 2030 Agenda is a civilizing agenda. It calls on us to make a paradigm shift to propose a new development pattern in which no one is left behind,” the senior United Nations official stated.
“To achieve its goals, we need a major mobilization of resources: we must get away from ‘business as usual’ and incorporate the private sector in this task as partners in the global agenda, because we share a common future,” Bárcena indicated.
She explained that the strategies for mobilizing resources should be integrated into the broader context of a favorable international environment, since national policies alone are not enough. “This requires a profound shift in the means of implementation, including the international trade system and the conditions that govern the transfer of knowledge and technology from developed countries to developing nations,” Bárcena added.
At the two-day gathering, government authorities, senior international officials from the United Nations system, and experts from multilateral bodies will analyze the challenges of implementing the 2030 Agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, adopted in 2015 in the framework of the International Conference on Financing for Development.
ECLAC’s Executive Secretary was one of the main speakers at the meeting’s opening session, which was led by Ambassador Ulises Canchola, Acting Director of the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (AMEXCID). The other participants were Michael Gerber, Switzerland’s Special Envoy for Global Sustainable Development; Stephan Reichert from Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ); Ambassador Marie Chatardova, the Czech Republic’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC); and Ambassador Dian Trianyah Djani, Indonesia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
In her speech, Alicia Bárcena stressed that meeting the challenges of the 2030 Agenda – the priorities of which are ending extreme poverty, achieving sustainable development and creating a global financing and trade system that is inclusive and equitable – will require a strong commitment to fostering dialogue and multilateral cooperation at a global, regional and national level.
“Countries will continue to have limited fiscal space and availability of resources to finance these challenges. For that reason, public finances must ensure fiscal solvency, protect investment, preserve gains made in the social arena, and increase tax resources,” Bárcena explained.
In this area, she specified that the region’s taxation systems must be improved to increase collection and reduce fiscal evasion and avoidance, estimated at 6.7% of the regional GDP in 2015 (some $340 billion dollars), along with illicit flows. “All of these resources must return to the countries to help finance development,” Bárcena insisted.
In addition, ECLAC’s Executive Secretary highlighted the situation of middle-income countries, a designation given to the majority of nations in Latin America and the Caribbean, which has prompted a relative decline in access to traditional forms of financing, such as Official Development Assistance (ODA). The emergence of innovative mechanisms and new actors, funds and financing instruments necessitates that the financial architecture for development be reorganized, she indicated.
“The conclusions of this gathering will be crucial for future meetings of great importance, such as the High-Level Political Forum of the United Nations (HLPF), the discussions in the ECOSOC, and the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development, which we will hold this week here in Mexico,” Bárcena said.
“You will have the support of the United Nations regional commissions for this task. We are sitting where you live. We are the eyes and ears of our member States. The 2030 Agenda is the only option that we have to get out of the situation in which we find ourselves, without leaving anyone behind,” Alicia Bárcena concluded.