Sustainable Development Goals

Third International Conference on Financing for Development

Third International Conference on Financing for Development


Building on the Monterrey Consensus (2002) and the Doha Declaration (2008), the Addis Ababa Conference on Financing for Development resulted in an intergovernmentally negotiated and agreed outcome which should constitute an important contribution to and support the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda.

The Addis Ababa Action Agenda establishes a strong foundation to support implementation of the post-2015 development agenda. It provides:

  • A new global framework for financing sustainable development that aligns all financing flows and policies with economic, social and environmental priorities.
  • A comprehensive set of policy actions by Member States, with a package of over 100 concrete measures that draw upon all sources of finance, technology, innovation, trade and data in order to support mobilization of the means for a global transformation to sustainable development and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Action Agenda also serves as a guide for further actions by governments, international organizations, the business sector, civil society, and philanthropists. Deliverables announced at the sidelines of the Conference, along with additional initiatives to be launched in the coming months, will further contribute to reaching our global goals. Together, they support a revitalized and strengthened global partnership for sustainable development that can end extreme poverty and deliver sustainable development for all.


The financing needed to achieve the post-2015 development agenda is extremely large, on the order of trillions of dollars annually. But the challenge is not insurmountable. Global public and private savings would be sufficient to address them – but only if financial resources are invested in and aligned with areas of greatest global need.

The Action Agenda presents a policy framework to realign financial flows with public goals. Official development assistance (ODA) remains crucial, particularly for countries most in need, but aid alone will not be sufficient. The Action Agenda addresses all sources of finance: public and private, domestic and international. As in the Monterrey Consensus, it recognizes that finance is not just about financing flows; it depends as well on public policies that strengthen the national and international enabling environments. The Agenda reiterates the principle that countries have primary responsibility for their economic and social development, while committing the international community to create an enabling environment.

But the Action Agenda also goes beyond Monterrey to fully take into account the regulatory and other policy requirements for realizing the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development and the universal nature of the post-2015 development agenda. It supports the implementation of the SDGs, including poverty eradication and inclusive, equitable and sustainable growth.

To address larger and more diverse financing needs, the Action Agenda offers a more nuanced understanding of the benefits and the risks associated with different types of finance. It puts forward specific public policies and regulatory frameworks to encourage private investments that support the SDGs, including more sustainable consumption and production patterns. It stresses the importance of long-term investment, and that all financing must be aligned with sustainable development. It spells out the potential contributions of public finance, highlighting the growing role of national and international development banks. It emphasizes that development and dissemination of technology, as well as capacity building, are key means of implementation for the post-2015 development agenda. And it incorporates each of the means of implementation identified by the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals.


As part of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, governments commit to:

  • A new social compact to provide social protection and essential public services for all
  • A global infrastructure forum to bridge the infrastructure gap
  • An ‘LDC package’ to support the poorest countries
  • A Technology Facilitation Mechanism to advance to the SDGs
  • Enhanced international tax cooperation to assist in raising resources domestically
  • Mainstreaming women’s empowerment into financing for development

A new social compact to provide social protection and essential public services for all

Over 2.4 billion people still lack clean water and sanitation, 57 million of the world’s children are not enrolled in school, and more than half the world’s population lack any social security coverage. As part of the social compact, Governments commit to provide fiscally sustainable and nationally appropriate social protection systems, including social protection floors, and are also encouraged to set nationally appropriate spending targets for quality investments in essential public services for all, including health, education, energy, water and sanitation. To this end, Governments agree to mobilize additional domestic public resources, and commit to strong international support for these efforts.

A global infrastructure forum to bridge the infrastructure gap

Financing needed for basic infrastructure investment in developing countries is estimated to be between $1 trillion and $1.5 trillion annually. To address this financing gap, Member States agree to launch a global infrastructure forum, building on and better coordinating existing infrastructure initiatives. The forum will encourage a wider range of voices to be heard, particularly from developing countries. It will identify and address infrastructure and capacity gaps, with the aim to ensure that no country or sector is left behind and that the commitment to the social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development is respected.

An ‘LDC package’ to support the poorest countries

While official development assistance (ODA) has risen, the share allocated to least developed countries (LDCs) has fallen by 16 per cent in recent years. As part of the Action Agenda, developed countries commit to reverse this trend. Developed countries are encouraged to increase to the target for ODA to the world’s poorest nations to 0.2 per cent of national income, with the EU promising to do so by 2030. Countries also agree to adopt or strengthen LDC investment promotion regimes, including with financial and technical support. Governments also aim to operationalize the technology bank for the LDCs by 2017.

A Technology Facilitation Mechanism to advance to the SDGs

The Action Agenda recognizes that the technology divide across a wide range of economic sectors makes it difficult for developing countries to achieve sustainable development. To help facilitate development, transfer and dissemination of technologies relevant for achieving the SDGs on mutually agreed terms, Member States agree to establish a Technology Facilitation Mechanism, consisting of a United Nations Interagency Task Team, an annual collaborative Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs, and an on-line platform.

Enhanced international tax cooperation to assist in raising resources domestically

Additional tax revenues are required to deliver the new social compact and finance sustainable development. Both improved domestic tax administration and strengthened international tax cooperation are essential to ensure that adequate finance is available. To aid in these efforts, countries agree to strengthen capacity building, including through ODA. They also agree to support and strengthen existing international initiatives for tax cooperation, with a focus on increased participation of developing countries. In this regard, Member States agree to strengthen the United Nations Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters.

Mainstreaming women’s empowerment into financing for development

While much has been achieved over the past decade in terms of gender equality, such as in primary school enrolment and access to healthcare for women and girls, more remains to be done. There are significant differences in pay for equal work, women remain underrepresented in government, and violence against women remains unacceptably common. The Action Agenda integrates gender consideration across all of its chapters. It emphasizes that women’s empowerment can make a significant contribution to economic development for all. To this end, it commits countries to undertake legislation and administrative reforms to give women equal rights, and promotes gender-responsive budgeting and tracking among other measures.


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