07.11.2014 | Global Policy Forum

Expert Workshop: The path towards a global strategy for financing sustainable development

On September 19 2014, Global Policy Forum, in collaboration with MISEREOR, hosted an expert panel discussion that raised many strategic questions concerning the financing of the post-2015 sustainable development agenda and the sustainable development goals. Many of the answers to these questions will depend on the outcomes of official negotiations in the run up to the UN Financing for Development Conference in July and the expected UN Summit in September 2015, which will see the adoption of a post-2015 agenda. In the meantime, however, the workshop presented an opportunity for civil society, academia and government experts to reach some consensus on the crucial issues that need to be addressed before any agreements are finalized next year.

The future of development financing is a central topic in discussions around the post-2015 sustainable development agenda. In recognition of this and in the follow-up to the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development, the United Nations established the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing (ICESDF) in June 2013 and commissioned it to produce a report (released in August 2014) on an effective sustainable development financing strategy.

Questions of financing are particularly important in negotiations around the sustainable development goals (SDGs). This is reflected in the fact that the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (OWG) within the General Assembly has not only been discussing proposals for the future SDGs, but also the means required for their implementation. The outcome document of the OWG, officially released in July 2014, not only includes a catalogue of development goals, but also numerous goals related to implementation and financing.

Subsequently, preparations for the Third UN Conference on Financing for Development (FfD) taking place from on 13-16 July, 2015 in Addis Ababa have begun. A diverse range of topics are already on the agenda: from public development financing (ODA) and resource mobilization at the country level, to trade, investment and innovative financing instruments and to the so-called systemic questions relating to the deep and persistent structures affecting the functioning of the global financial system.

The expert workshop provided an important opportunity to re-cap on the different processes currently taking place in the lead up to the FfD conference and the different topics being addressed as part of these processes. It also brought to the fore the diversity in perspectives, wishes and expectations of representatives in the civil society, academic and political community with regards to the results of the FfD processes. Discussions centered around evaluating the report of the ICESDF as well as the proposed goals for the implementation and financing of the SDGs laid out in the OWG’s report. Finally, expectations for the FfD conference and its connection with and potential implications for the post-2015 process were discussed.

Other useful sources of information related to the workshop can be found below:

Report of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing.



Report of the Open Working Group of the General Assembly on Sustainable Development Goals.



CIDSE (2014): Financing Sustainable Development – Are We Up to the Challenge?



ACT Alliance (2014): ACT Alliance position on sustainable development finance towards a post-2015 agenda.



CONCORD (2014): Analysis of the ICESDF Report based on the European CSOs’ 11 critical outcomes from June 2014.



Women’s Major Group (2014):Statement on the outcome document of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals.



Cortés Saenz, Hernán (2014): The Road to Addis Ababa. Brüssel: Eurodad.



Romero, Maria José (2013): A dangerous blend? The EU’s agenda to ‘blend’ public development finance with private finance. Brüssel: Eurodad.