Discorso pronunciato dal Min. Plen. Luigi De Chiara, Capo Unità per la strategia, i processi globali e le organizzazioni internazionali – Ministero degli Affari Esteri e della Cooperazione Internazionale, al Forum ECOSOC su “Financing for Development” —
Thank you Chair,
Italy wishes to align itself with the statement by the EU.
As many other delegations, we too are grateful to the IATF for the report, which is a very comprehensive and useful instrument of analysis on the global evolution of financing for development.
We would also like to congratulate the President of ECOSOC, the Bureau and DESA for having organized such an articulated Forum and for having been able to attract so many high level participants. The presence of several Finance Ministers is a very important sign of the relevance of this meeting.
While yesterday the EU joined the consensus on the outcome document, containing many positive elements on gender, climate and other issues, we are aware that the IATF Report – notwithstanding overall moderate growth – shows that inequalities and many other negative factors are increasing as well, calling for a more bold and urgent action. It is now more clear than ever that only through a holistic vision and integrated financing policies will we be able to achieve sustainable, equitable and inclusive development.
Many interesting reflections have resulted from our discussions so far. I would simply like to add a few elements of information on Italy’s progress in implementing the main items of Financing for Development.
On ODA, Italy keeps realigning by increments its financial commitment to funding the development of partner countries. As recently certified by OECD-DAC, Italian ODA increase of 10.2 % in 2017 was among the four highest among Donor countries. Part of the increase is due to in-donor costs for refugees. This should not come as a surprise, considering the extraordinary pressure of human mobility across the Mediterranean that Italy, my country, is facing, but funds for development cooperation programs also have increased quite a lot. Increasing ODA, however, is not enough. We are also enhancing evaluation capacities of our projects in order to optimize the use of our resources.
On DRM, we are increasing our commitment in a number of areas: supporting instruments such as sectoral taxes in the heath sector, providing bilateral assistance in fiscal, tax and public spending policies, contributing to develop global tax cooperation in the appropriate fora and also funding specific initiatives like the elaboration by DESA of the “UN handbook on protecting the tax base of developing countries” which aims at strengthening the capacity of developing countries in the fiscal sector.
On the Private sector. Following the reform of Italian Development Cooperation, we are continuing the process of innovation of blending models and innovative financial instruments especially in key sectors, such as infrastructure, water and sustainable energy, where public-private partnerships are essential. We are also trying to engage the private sector to increase its commitment towards being more active and accountable with respect to promoting a development that is really sustainable.
My last point is on the case of financing sustainable development for a developed country like Italy. I would like to highlight here the reform of the Italian Budget Law that, shifting away from using only traditional macroeconomic indicators, has introduced well-being and equality indicators that will soon be complemented with the inclusion of sustainability indicators derived from the 2030 Agenda. The budget allocation of the Italian public sector in the future will be increasingly dependent on the evaluation of the effect on well-being of citizens and on overall sustainable development.
One final word on the UN Development System, which is at the cornerstone of effective financing sustainable development. Italy is supporting the reform proposals put forward by the Secretary-General for a system more fit for purpose. We believe the UN System needs to develop a more integrated approach and modalities of joint action. Italy is a convinced provider of voluntary multilateral financial contributions. In the future, we will base these contributions more and more on each UN institutions’ ability to embrace reform and review its activities in line with the vision of the 2030 Agenda.
The transition from billions to trillions will not be accomplished in one day. It will be a gradual process and this Forum is confirming itself to be a very valid setting in which to direct and possibly increase the speed of that evolution.