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ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development Follow-up (CELAC)

Intervention by the Permanent Representative of El Salvador, Amb. Rubén Escalante, on behalf of Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) 

April 23-26

 

Mr. President,

  1. I have the honor to speak on behalf of the 33 Member States of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.

 

  1. We commend the Presidency of the Economic and Social Council for convening the third Forum on Financing for Development and we also take note of the second substantive report of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Financing for Development.

 

  1. We believe this Forum constitute a valuable tool in helping to assess progress, identify obstacles and problems encountered in applying the results of financing for development and the way to provide means of implementation, to promote the exchange of lessons drawn from experiences at the national and regional levels, to examine new issues relevant to the implementation when necessary and to provide normative recommendations for action by the International Community.

 

  1. We welcome the second regional forum of the Latin American and Caribbean countries on Sustainable Development and its document on recommendations and conclusions. We recognize the importance of the regional level in the implementation of Agenda 2030, including its means of implementation and the financing for development process at the regional and sub-regional levels.

 

Mr. President,

 

  1. We reaffirm the importance of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda which is an integral part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, serving as a support and complement to it, for the implementation of concrete policies and measures, and reaffirm the resolute political commitment to achieve a greater mobilization of financial resources, including the generation of new, predictable and stable financial flows and creating an enabling environment for sustainable development, in a spirit of global alliance and solidarity.

 

  1. We reaffirm our commitment to promote gender equity and equality, as well as the advancement of women, as necessary conditions to achieve full exercise and enjoyment of fundamental freedoms, as well as human rights in order to achieve the goals and targets for Sustainable Development of the 2030 Agenda, implementing actions for its incorporation as central and cross-cutting axes of the policies, strategies and actions of the States. We also recognize the need to maintain gender equality and equity in the debate on development, and to move towards the elimination of structural gender inequalities that perpetuate the circle of poverty, marginalization and inequality.

 

  1. CELAC countries note with concern that, despite some improvement in the global and regional economy, this recovery has not been shared among all countries and sectors; and that there are still specific challenges faced and structural problems aggravated by the reduced access to concessional finance, particularly for middle-income countries and countries in transition which have recently crossed the middle-income threshold but still have structural gaps and vulnerabilities. In this regard, we emphasize the importance of Official Development Assistance (ODA) for countries of the region, we call the developed countries to fulfill their ODA targets, and reiterate the importance to increase climate financing, which is additional to ODA; and we further recognize the necessity of concrete and immediate action to create the necessary enabling environment at all levels for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda, including national efforts, international and regional cooperation that supports policies and programmes to increase investment in sustainable development; taking into account that every country has, and shall freely exercise, full permanent sovereignty over all its wealth, natural resources and economic activity.

 

  1. CELAC reiterates the need and importance of implementing multidimensional methodologies agreed on between governments, to measure a country’s level of development with the aim to define adequate criteria to allocate Official Development Assistance (ODA) by developed countries. We encourage shareholders in multilateral development banks and international forums, such as the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to develop graduation policies that are sequenced, phased, gradual and adapted to the particular situations of each country. We also encourage multilateral development banks to explore ways to ensure their assistance best addresses the opportunities and challenges presented by the diverse circumstances of developing countries, including those in Latin America and the Caribbean region. In this regard we reiterate the call on the United Nations system, in consultation with the international financial institutions to develop transparent measurements of progress on sustainable development that go beyond per capita income, building on existing initiatives, as appropriate. These should recognize poverty in all its forms and dimensions and the economic, social and environmental dimensions of domestic output and structural gaps at all levels.

 

  1. We emphasize that the allocation criteria of International Development Cooperation, in its different modalities, including Official Development Assistance (ODA), must be based on a multidimensional perspective that allows building a global architecture of cooperation, in which all developing countries receive support in accordance with their challenges, vulnerabilities, structural and particular gaps, including capacity building and technology transfer. In a complementary manner, the countries of the region support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development according to our capacities, through South-South and Triangular Cooperation.

 

  1. We strongly stress the critical role of science, technology and innovation in achieving the SDGs. We acknowledge the positive transformative potential of technology, both existing and emerging, as well as its challenges and risks, which should be addressed by appropriate policy and regulatory frameworks.

 

  1. We also recognize the important role of middle-income countries (MICs), which constitute the vast majority of our region, in promoting development, and the importance of consolidating South-South cooperation as a shared principle of the region, acknowledging it as a complement and not as a substitute for North-South and Triangular Cooperation based on the principles of horizontality, respect for national sovereignty, equality, non-conditionality and mutual benefit. We also acknowledge that ODA and other means of concessional finance are still important for a number of Middle-Income Countries and have a role to play for targeted results taking into account the specific needs of these countries. We will strengthen international cooperation to support efforts to build capacity in developing countries, including through ODA, in line with existing commitments. And in this regard we look forward to a successful outcome of the Second High-Level UN Conference on South-South Cooperation to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina from 20-22 March 2019.

 

  1. We reaffirm that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development also acknowledges that the implementation of sustainable development will depend on the active engagement of both the public and private sectors, and recognizing that the active participation of the private sector can contribute to the achievement of sustainable development, encourage to align private sector incentives with national public goals towards long-term investment according to national realities and capacities, including innovative financing instruments and approaches, to bridge the region’s structural inequality gaps and eradicate poverty in all its forms and dimensions.

 

Mr. President,

 

  1. We recognize the serious problem that indebtedness represents for developing countries and its negative impact on the mobilization resources oriented towards the attainment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in this regard, we urge the international financial institutions to consider these effects in the elaboration of their financing schemes, and we further welcome the proposal of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, of debt swaps for climate adaptation that address the unsustainable debt burden of the Caribbean economies affected by disasters, while creating a resilience fund to facilitate investment in climate adaptation thereby reducing their vulnerability.

 

  1. We reiterate that it is urgent and critical to anticipate, plan for and reduce disaster risk in order to more effectively protect persons, communities and countries, their livelihoods, health, cultural heritage, socioeconomic assets and ecosystems, and thus strengthen their resilience.

 

  1. We stress that developing countries should attach importance to scaling up international tax cooperation and combating illicit financial flows in order to mobilize domestic resources for the Sustainable Development Goals. CELAC recognizes the importance of eliminating safe havens that create incentives for the transfer abroad of stolen assets and illicit financial flows. We further stress the importance of disclosure practices and transparency in both source and destination countries, including in financial transactions between Governments and companies for relevant tax authorities. We also stress the importance of appropriate regulatory frameworks at all levels to further increase public and private transparency and accountability.

 

Mr. President,

 

  1. We express our rejection to the enactment and unilateral application of economic, financial or commercial measures incompatible with international law and the Charter of the United Nations that hinder development finance and prevent the full achievement of economic and social development, particularly in developing countries.

 

  1. We also highlight that trade is an engine for growth and sustainable development. In this regard, we express our deep concern at the increase in protectionist rhetoric and tendencies. We emphasize our commitment to continue to promote a universal, rules-based, open, transparent, predictable, inclusive, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system under the World Trade Organization (WTO).

 

 

Mr. President,

 

  1. CELAC recognizes the positive contribution of migrants for inclusive growth and sustainable development in countries of origin, transit and destination. Remittances from migrant workers cannot be equated to other international financial flows, such as FDI, ODA or other public sources of financing for development. We call on countries to ensure that adequate and affordable financial services are available to migrants and their families in both home and host countries, and to further reduce remittance costs to less than 3 per cent of the amount transferred.

 

Mr. President,

 

  1. We recognize that efforts have begun at all levels to mobilize resources and align financing flows and policies. Although progress can be reported in all seven action areas of the Addis Agenda, we note with concern that a difficult global environment has impeded individual and collective efforts, and therefore, many implementation gaps still remain.

 

  1. We conclude Mr. President by highlighting the commitment of the CELAC Member States in working together to seek for common solutions to our global economic challenges.

 

Thank you.

 

Fondo argentino de cooperación sur-sur y triangular