If rich countries had consistently met the 0.7 per cent target since 2002, then developing countries would have been $2 trillion better off, said Mr. Mukhisa Kituyi United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, UNCTAD, Secretary-General today while launching this year’s Development and Globalization: Facts and Figures publication .
The UNCTAD 14 session, kicked off yesterday at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, KICC, Nairobi and is expected to push through to Friday, 22nd July.
The Secretary General also announced a first major effort to measure progress in achieving the new Goals.
“The Sustainable Development Goals represent the outcome of long, serious discussions on how we want our world to look in 2030, but this vision needs serious finance,” he said.
“The 0.7 per cent target will be a hard sell for many rich Governments, but these are a daring, ambitious set of Goals, and they require an equally ambitious response,” he said.
UNCTAD, is a permanent intergovernmental body established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1964. The body, mandated with the integrated treatment of trade and development and interrelated issues in the areas of finance, technology, investment and sustainable development, helps equip developing countries to deal with the potential drawbacks of greater economic integration, through its three pillars of research and analysis, consensus-building and technical cooperation.
The UNCTAD mandate is updated every four years when UNCTAD member States meet in a conference to agree on the body’s work programme.
With the tagline “From decision to action”, this year’s Conference has extra importance as the first one since the global community established the Sustainable Development Goals and mandated – via the Addis Ababa Action Agenda – UNCTAD as one of five international entities to mobilize financing for development. The other four organizations are the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization and the United Nations Development Programme. This mandate was passed in 2015.
By focusing on the Sustainable Development Goals, this year’s report reflects the international focus on the new Goals, putting numerical values on roughly a third of the Goals’ 230 indicators. It also generated the $2 trillion figure and highlighted some of the challenges in measuring progress on achieving the Goals.
The Goals have four times the number of indicators as their predecessors, the Millennium Development Goals, UNCTAD Head of Statistics Steve MacFeely said. But even for the Millennium Development Goals, the global community was able to measure only 70 per cent of the indicators.
“The global community has major gaps in its data and must find ways to use the existing data much better,” Mr. MacFeely said, adding that this year’s report would help to move measurement forward. “This report is online and interactive and has already thrown out some interesting results,” he said.
Only six countries have ever reached this target, which was first proposed by UNCTAD in 1968, then agreed to by the global community in 1970 and later reconfirmed at the International Conference on Financing for Development that was held in Monterrey, Mexico, in March 2002.