Financing for development: give cities the power to act

Financing for development: give cities the power to act

The Fourth Forum on Financing for Development, convened by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), was held in New York at the United Nations Headquarters from 15 to 18 April 2019. The objective of this annual meeting of the international community was to take stock of the progress and challenges of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development and to produce recommendations to accelerate the financing of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda on sustainable development.

As in previous years, UCLG was present at this Forum to promote the voice of local and regional governments. On behalf of the Organization, the Mayor of Dori Ahmed Aziz Diallo, recalled that local governments are major actors in the implementation of the SDGs and that the objectives of Agenda 2030 will only be achieved if they were given the real power to act.In their opening remarks to the Forum, the President of the General Assembly and the Secretary-General of the United Nations both stressed the need to accelerate the reform of regulatory frameworks, implement effective redistributive policies, improve fiscal policies and decisively combat tax evasion.

Finance ministers discussed ways to promote inclusive growth and reduce inequalities, increase the mobilization of financing for climate action, develop integrated frameworks for financing sustainable development at the national level, and make the most of new technologies to finance the SDGs. In addition, five multi-stakeholder thematic panels provided an opportunity to exchange experiences and recommendations on the mobilization of domestic public resources; strengthening the participation of the domestic and international private sector; international development cooperation; the role of trade, science, technology, innovation and capacity-building and finally on the issue of debt and its sustainability. The Forum's conclusions and recommendations document is available here.

During the panel on the mobilization of domestic public resources, the Mayor of Dori called on national governments to effectively transfer resources corresponding to the transfer of competences granted under decentralization policies and to create an enabling institutional and regulatory environment for local governments to access capital markets to finance their investments.

At a round table organized by the United Nations Economic Comission for Europe (UNECE) on the role of public-private partnerships in the implementation of the SDGs, the mayor recalled the importance for local governments to be at the heart of the organization of these partnerships at the local level to ensure that the common interest is fully respected. At a breakfast meeting hosted by the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations on the Blue Peace Initiative - Investing in Peace through Water, he stressed how much solving challenge of access to water in the Sahel region was a key condition for conflict prevention. Finally, at a meeting jointly organised by the United Nations Foundation, the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and Development Initiatives on blended finance, he again called for local authorities to be recognised as full actors in local development by all financial partners and for them to have direct access to these innovative financing arrangements.  

More information: 
  • See what happened at the event on social networks with the hashtag #FfDForum.
  • Read the Forum's conclusions and recommendations document here.