There is an urgent need to define new rules for financing sustainable development in the world, participants in the side event Regional Perspectives on Implementing an Ambitious, Transformative Sustainable Development Agenda agreed. The event was hosted on Tuesday, July 14 by the five United Nations regional commissions, of which ECLAC is one, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
During the event—which took place in the framework of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, being held through July 16 in Ethiopia—the U.S. economist and Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz called for “rewriting the rules for sustainable and inclusive development.” Financial markets only work for themselves, which means that the role of an institution such as the United Nations is key for discussing matters such as a global tax reform, he said.
International fiscal cooperation, in the framework of the UN, is crucial for Latin America and the Caribbean, according to Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). The senior official said that the region’s countries not only should make more efforts to increase their fiscal footprint but also to reduce illicit flows, which exceed $150 billion dollars. In this way, they could confront some of their main problems, such as inequality, vulnerability to climate change, the lack of governance of natural resources, and informality in the labor market, she said.
In addition to Bárcena, other speakers included: Rima Khalaf, Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA); Shamshad Akhtar, Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP); Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA); and Christian Friis Bach, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Europe.
The senior representatives contended that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are currently in the process of being defined, will require a great mobilization of resources at a global level, a task in which rich countries should support developing nations.
The meeting was also attended by Hany Kadry Dimian, Egypt’s Minister of Finance; Imad Fakhoury, Jordan’s Minister of Planning and International Cooperation; Jeanette Sánchez, Advisor to Ecuador’s Vice President; Mohammad Benssaid, Morocco’s Minister of Economy and Finance; Wayne Swan, former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia; and Michael Gerber, Swiss Special Envoy for Global Sustainable Development.