3rd International Conference on Financing for Development
Statement by the Head of Delegation, Minister Anrdreas D. Mavroyiannis
Addis Ababa, 16 July 2015
Cyprus aligns itself with the statement of the EU.
In less than two months, world leaders will gather in New York to agree on a single development agenda that must be truly universal and transformative; a rights-based agenda that leaves no one behind. Assuming we achieve this, it is still not enough. We have made pledges and devised global development policies before, but they have not elicited the desired results.
In less than five months we will be in Paris to agree on a new, legally binding agreement to combat climate change and bring average global temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius below pre-industrial levels.
These two events are of the highest significance because they put humans, as well as planetary boundaries, at the centre of development activities. Expectations are high, and not for the first time. We should not be happy with our achievements, either in inhibiting climate change or in meeting development goals.
Indeed, we need a holistic approach, taking into consideration all three dimensions of sustainable development. We need to factor into our approach the fact that all elements of development are interconnected. The connection between development and climate change is particularly apt, and this is my first urgent message. Development simply cannot be sustainable if human activity, with any economic end, is pursued at the cost of environmental degradation. Climate change, in the long run, will not only inhibit development, it will threaten human security and even survival. [Failure to tackle climate change not only multiplies the challenge of development, it simply takes sustainability out of the equation and puts any development goals firmly beyond our reach.]
We need universal application and implementation of a meaningful and equitable agenda. Above all, however, (and this is my second point) we need to ensure that development should only be a means to the end of generating self-sustaining economies that take their own stride, harnessing the human capital and resources of each country, in the context of its own local circumstances and fully respecting its environment.
The Addis Conference and its outcome document are important milestones. They reflect the collective will of the international community to pursue a post 2015 development agenda. But this is only the beginning. Now we need to deliver. And delivering entails choosing wisely the tools that correspond to our pledges and ensuring that there is synergy between them. These tools are not limited to, or even primarily pertain to, government financing and like instruments. They should predominantly be tools and capacities that we will give to people on the ground in order to master their own development.
While the Addis Agreement is reflective of the spirit of Monterrey, it must be noted that, since then, the world has made strides with regard to economic and social development in countries across the world, in all fields and sectors, eliciting significant socio-economic gains. Development cooperation has seen, in the past decade, the emergence of new actors that play an important role in global development efforts. South-South cooperation, the private and business sectors, philanthropic organizations, innovative mechanisms of finance, public-private partnerships are some of the newly emerged development players. They are absolutely indispensable to our efforts and their involvement needs to be further strengthened and enhanced. ODA has undoubtedly played, and will continue to play a crucial role in financing for development. Cyprus as member of the EU, in spite of the economic constraints it currently faces, is committed to deliver in accordance with the Addis outcome document its own share from the EU’s collective ODA commitment.
We are committed to a new Global Partnership, which encompasses all available means of implementation, mobilising action at all levels by all countries and other stakeholders. In this respect, an enabling policy framework at the national and global levels, including coherent policies for sustainable development, is crucial. Capacity building and access to markets, technology and innovation, including technology transfer, are equally important for this global policy framework to underpin progress in all development dimensions. In this context, and towards implementing the Sustainable Development Goals, the role of domestic public revenues, coupled with good governance policies, rule of law and strong and transparent institutions, cannot be overstated.
It is crucial to target aid where needs are greatest and capacity to raise resources is weakest, especially in mobilising alternative sources for financing for development. The international community should pay special attention to the needs of the worlds’ poorer with an increased focus on Least Developed Countries, Africa and countries emerging from conflict. Similarly, small island developing states (SIDS) need our enhanced support in meeting the challenges they face, including climate change, which is an existential issue for them.
Our vision is simple and it is shared: creating an inclusive, prosperous and sustainable common future for all, in solidarity and synergy. The United Nations is not only the best tool to achieve this; it is the only vehicle to achieve this. Comprehensive approach is the key word. Comprehensives in addressing all elements together, poverty, health, education, empowerment of women and girls, environment, human rights, capacity building, democracy, inclusiveness, social cohesion, quality of life, provision of food and water, migratory movements, dignity and humanism, respect for human life and the rights of the children and the vulnerable, promotion of multiculturalism and the freedom of belief, to name just of few of the challenges. Comprehensives in the sense also, of institutional action and funding, NGO involvement, partnerships, full association of the private sector, generosity, anthropocentric approach of globalisation, charity work, bilateral and multilateral assistance, importance of synergy, complementarity and additionality and of local and national ownership, measurable results not just indicators, making the difference on the ground. This is the only way to get it right this time. We owe it to our children, to the youth and the future generations. Let us make the world a more welcoming and hospitable space, to use the English rendering of the ancient Greek words «φιλόξενος τόπος». It is our world, our dignity, our future.
Before concluding, I would like to extend the warmest wishes and greetings of the President of Cyprus Mr. Nicos Anastasiades, to you all, as well as his strong commitment to the lofty cause of global development, to the benefit of humanity as a whole
Let me also express our utmost gratitude to the Government and people of beautiful and historic Ethiopia, our amazing hosts.