ESCWA is organizing an International Conference on ‘Financing Sustainable Development ~ Curbing Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs)’ on 28-29 November 2018. The Conference offers an important milestone ahead of the 2019 High-Level Dialogue on Financing for Development and the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.
Taking cue from the United Nations Secretary General’s recently launched ‘Financing the 2030 Agenda’ Strategy (2018-2021), the Conference aims to support the mobilization of long-term development finance and propel the transitioning from ‘funding to financing (F2F)’ transformative change, as well as lead the path towards deploying the necessary measures to combat Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs), especially as these flows continue to evolve, both in scale and sophistication, undermining national and regional propensities to finance sustainable development.
The Arab region has been witnessing discernible progress across all levels of implementing the 2030 Sustainable Development and Addis Ababa Action Agendas’. Nonetheless, there are mounting concerns that financing is not happening at the pace that can turn conflicts, inequalities and other socio-economic hardships into an issue of the past, let alone achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
The benefits of the global economic and financial recovery are asymmetrically percolating across regions and countries prompting a race to the bottom to counter underinvestment in critical social infrastructure. The situation is fueling beggar-thy-neighbor dispositions breeding harmful tax competition and fiscal conjectures. Domestic resource mobilization efforts remain hinged on regressive taxonomy. Equally pervasive, informal sectors remain insulated from the overall planning and implementation of the SDG reform agenda.
The challenges facing the Arab region are no longer confined to the traditional factors influencing economic frailty rather, today they involve a broader stream of factors, including foreign direct investment reflux; private capital constraints and reversals; debt distress; subdued trade growth and increased exposures to illicit finance.