By Aniket Shah | July 24, 2015

The Addis Ababa Conference on Financing for Development, held 13-16 July, was a political success yet a practical disappointment. Though an outcome agreement was reached, the 193 U. N. member states were unable to put together a bold agreement for how to finance the new Sustainable Development Goals and related agenda.

The narrative of the agreement — the Addis Ababa Action Agenda — is broadly correct. Development finance will increasingly be driven by domestic resources, private investment and targeted overseas development assistance (ODA), all topics that are mentioned in the agreement.

In addition, curbing illicit financial flows and improving tax systems, also both addressed in the action agenda, remain critical to achieving the SDGs. Likewise, capital markets will need to be redesigned so that a far more substantial level of financing can be channelled to sustainable infrastructure and clean energy. There is much work to be done, and the document highlights many of the important sectors.


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