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World agrees on trillions of dollars for post-2015 development

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Staff writer ▼ | July 17, 2015
Representatives of the 193 member states of the United Nations gathering in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa for a four-day meeting agreed on a series of bold measures to generate trillions of dollars needed by the world.
Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa   The Addis Ababa Action Agenda
This is particularly needed by the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), to achieve sustainable development goals for the next 15 years.

The Addis Ababa Action Agenda, an outcome document of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, contains more than 100 concrete measures. It addresses all sources of finance, and covers cooperation on a range of issues including technology, science, innovation, trade and capacity building.

Even as the developed countries re-committed to invest 0.7 percent of their gross national income, a far cry from today's average of 0.29 percent, for foreign aid as the Official Development Assistance (ODA) with 0.15 to 0.2 percent allocated to the LDCs, the UN says domestic resource mobilization is central to the agenda.

The ODA from members of the OECD reached 135.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2014 but experts and officials have said the amount is far from enough for developing countries achieve sustainable development. Tax revenue and the private sector represent the two key areas to tap into for development funding.

In the Addis Ababa outcome document, countries agreed to an array of measures aimed at widening the revenue base, improving tax collection, and combatting tax evasion and illicit financial flows. Countries also reaffirmed their commitment to official development assistance, particularly for the least developed countries, and pledged to increase South-South cooperation.

In taxation, countries agreed to consider taxing harmful substances to deter consumption and to increase domestic resources. They agreed that taxes on tobacco reduce consumption and could represent an untapped revenue stream for many countries.

In infrastructure, countries agreed to establish a Global Infrastructure Forum to identify and address infrastructure gaps, highlight opportunities for investment and cooperation, and work to ensure that projects are environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.

Governments also aim to operationalize the technology bank for the low-income countries by 2017, according to the documents.

Countries also agreed to establish a Technology Facilitation Mechanism at the Sustainable Development Summit in September to boost collaboration among governments, civil society, private sector, the scientific community, United Nations entities and other stakeholders to support the sustainable development goals.