Having subscribed to the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, the Arab regions' ambitions were compounded as much as they were frustrated by ever fiercer global competition over development finance. The socio-economic fabric of many countries continues to be strained beyond malleable limits as global and regional challenges unravel exposing national vulnerabilities. Sustainable development aspirations are falling out of reach, yet defying the multiple crises that are having a toll on efforts to mobilize all means possible (financial and non-financial) to finance sustainable development. Regional contexts and country-specific realities are consistently testing and contesting the viability of the new global Financing for Development (FfD) framework.
Two years following the adoption of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the financing for development outlook of the Arab region remains turbulent. It is within this context that ESCWA convened the twelfth session of the Committee on FfD to provide a first-hand regional assessment of merits of the new global financing for development framework. The Committee reviewed progress achieved in implementing key Arab action priorities articulated in the lead-up to the Third International Conference on Financing for Development. It also sought pathways to advance Arab FfD joint action taking into account the outcomes of regional and global mandates and processes.
At the twelfth session, ESCWA showcased the findings of the Arab Financing for Development Scorecard that has been developed to serve as a regional FfD monitoring tool-box. The Committee reviewed the findings of the first ESCWA report on curbing illicit financial flows and trade misinvoicing. The twelfth session provided an opportunity to review ESCWA’s strategy on FfD as well as discussed the means to advance regional FfD priorities and strategies, including through the possible establishment of an Arab financing for development forum.