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Remarks by AOSIS at the Informal informal consultations for the preparation of the Draft Outcome of the Forum on Financing for Development Follow-up - 24 March 2016

Remarks by AOSIS (Alliance of Small Island States)

At the Informal Informal consultations for the Preparation of the Draft Outcome of the Forum on Financing for Development Follow-Up

24 March 2016, New York

Co-facilitators,

I have the honor to speak on behalf of Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and would like to align ourselves with the statement made by the Group of 77 and China.

At the outset, allow me to congratulate you on your appointment as co-facilitators to prepare the draft conclusions and recommendations of the 2016 inaugural ECOSOC Forum on FFD Follow-up and to facilitate conclusions among member states with a view to reaching intergovernmental agreement on this draft. We are certain that your able leadership will help us achieve a strong and successful outcome document. I also take this opportunity to thank you for convening this consultation. With only 2 months to go before its launch, there is much to be discussed.

Co-facilitators, we appreciate your proactive and inclusive approach in guiding this discussion. We also note with appreciation the report released by the Inter Agency Task Force (IATF) earlier this week.  However, since the report has been delayed and was only circulated 2 days back, our intervention today is of a preliminary nature. We will need more in-depth discussion on the findings of the report and we trust that you will give us another opportunity to present the same, either in another informal meeting or in written form.

The main objective of the outcome document will be to address the purpose and scope of the ECOSOC Forum on FFD Follow-up. The outcome document, in our view should do two things, Firstly, identify the "lay of the land" in terms of the commitments made, as well as outline the work that has already been done towards the implementation of the major commitments. For example, the document could look at the preparations underway for the STI Forum, the Infrastructure Forum, and preliminary work being done at the national and regional levels.

Secondly, it must have a forward looking approach wherein the outcome document could identify key challenges and gaps towards the implementation of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, while presenting recommendations. The outcome document should play a critical role in outlining and deliberating options for a monitoring framework for the follow-up and review of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. Our initial reaction to the proposed assessment framework of IATF to approach assessment with a chapter-by-chapter analysis sounds like a good departure point.

On ensuring how the outcome document will provide a meaningful input into the overall follow up and review in the HLPF, AOSIS believes that the starting point would be to outline the relationship between the outcome document of the follow-up to the FFD process and the HLPF. We also take note of the IATF report where it states that since the SDGs and Addis Agenda have different structures, it might be difficult to track similar targets across them. We therefore think there is a need to flesh out this relationship in more detail. We must also bear in mind, that FFD forms a critical part of the means of implementation to the 2030 Agenda, however, the breadth of issues it covers goes beyond the SDGs.

In addressing major progress and implementation gaps for corrective action on implementing the FFD outcomes, the outcome document should be guided by the work of the IATF. We understand that since the first report has come only 6 months after the adoption of the Agenda,this report will focus not on identification of challenges but to formulate methodologies for future monitoring. Once the IATF is in a position to provide more substantive findings, the outcome document must focus attention on them.

On the question of reaffirming the most critical dimensions of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, AOSIS believes that it is critical for the outcome document to not cherry pick issues. All issues should be given equal weightage for implementation and every effort must be undertaken to ensure that no renegotiation takes place.

Co-facilitator,

AOSIS would like to reiterate that although this year's FFD Forum will be held for 3 days owing to the convening of two other equally important high-level events, this must not set a precedent for future meetings of the Forum. The IATF report itself, in paragraph 65 states that the scope of Addis covers a wide range of issues, and the complexity of the issues addressed will require in depth discussions every year. We must therefore make all efforts to ensure that the FFD Forum fulfills its mandate of monitoring all commitments made under this very important process.

Finally, we believe that the outcome document should provide guidance on the dates, modalities and substantive focus of the future Forums to facilitate a clearer pathway and roadmap for our work, which will in turn help make the process more transparent and focused. It would also ensure that the IATF is properly equipped to prepare its reports. In closing, I would like to assure you of our group's full support to the process and we look forward to further discussions on the same.

Thank you.

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