UN Members, Private Sector Prepare for Big Development Finance Conference in Ethiopia

FfD

Members of the United Nations are busily negotiating the planned outcome document for the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD3), which will be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from July 13 to 16. This pivotal conference aims to map out the framework for global development finance for the coming years, following upon previous high-level gatherings in Monterrey (2002) and Doha (2008).

Negotiators are tackling a cross-cutting global policy agenda – one that touches on multiple areas of interest to USCIB members and the global business community. These include global tax harmonization, trade and investment policies, climate and energy, intellectual property, food and agriculture, and corporate responsibility issues such as transparency and anti-corruption.

According to Ariel Meyerstein, USCIB’s vice president for labor, corporate responsibility and corporate governance, the potential impact of the Addis Ababa conference is broad. “It’s important the companies view what goes on in the UN holistically,” he said. “Decisions made at FfD3 will directly affect the direction of UN debate over the Post-2015 Development Agenda, as well as the climate change negotiations.”

USCIB is actively working with our members and our global network, including the International Chamber of Commerce, to ensure that the private sector’s voice is heard in Addis Ababa. In mid-May, USCIB members participated in a discussion with the lead U.S. negotiator for FfD3, John Hurley of the Treasury Department, who provided an update on the process and on U.S. priorities. USCIB has reviewed and provided detailed comments on both the first and second drafts of the outcome document. Meyerstein, who serves as co-chair of the Development Subcommittee on the State Department Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy, has also met on several occasions with the co-facilitators of the FfD3 process, the Ambassadors from Norway and Guyana, as part of a delegation of the Business Steering Committee for Financing for Development, chaired by the ICC’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Louise Kantrow.

In addition, USCIB is playing a key role in the Business Steering Committee in helping to organize a Business Forum to be held on July 14, concurrently with the FfD3 Conference. According to Meyerstein, the forum will be a unique platform to demonstrate the value the private sector offers to sustainable development. A key focus will be on the business enabling environment required to attract investment to least developed countries, the role of public-private partnerships and the need for new innovative approaches to financing, such as blended finance, which uses public funds, including Official Development Assistance, to catalyze increased private flows.

“It will provide an opportunity for business participants to interact with senior government officials, business leaders and other experts, and let companies and other stakeholders showcase their initiatives related to development and development finance,” he said.

There is still time for companies to nominate high-level business representatives to speak at the Business Forum and during the intergovernmental roundtables at the FfD3 Conference itself. In addition, high-level representatives will be invited to a special dinner hosted by the government of Ethiopia for business leaders and heads of state.

 

Staff Contact:   Gabriella Rigg Herzog

VP, Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs
Tel: 212.703.5056

Gabriella Rigg Herzog leads USCIB policy and programs on corporate responsibility, international labor standards and corporate governance. She manages USCIB engagement with its affiliated organizations, U.S. government agencies, and United Nations agencies on international corporate responsibility principles, codes of conduct and multi-stakeholder initiatives, as well as international and transnational regulatory activities on labor and employment policies, sustainable development and corporate governance.
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