Policy Brief 24, March 2016

Five Points on the Addis Ababa Action Agenda

The outcome of the Third International Financing for Development Conference held in Addis Ababa on 13-16 July 2015 exposes the waning state of multilateral development cooperation today.  In the outcome, which was nevertheless grandly called the “Addis Ababa Action Agenda” (AAAA), there were no new commitments and no proposed actions that can properly be deemed responsive either to (1) the flimsy state of international financing today or (2) the financing requirements of the UN’s new development agenda based on the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Instead, the most important outcomes of the conference, arrived at with great difficulty in the face of determined resistance on the part of developed countries, are two new processes:  a proposed technology facilitation mechanism (TFM) and a follow up mechanism in the Economic and Social Council to monitor progress on financing for development (FfD) issues.  These two, plus another process decision to set up a global infrastructure forum (paragraph 14) and a call to reduce illicit financial flows in an outcome officially intended to revitalize the global partnership for development (as asserted in paragraphs 10 and 19), suggest that the most concrete promises that are possible today are only those that merely startup other intergovernmental processes.

The analysis of the AAAA is organized around five main points.

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