Last week, governments met at the United Nations in New York for the Financing for Development Forum, and the challenge is very clear. Too little progress has been made towards achieving the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs), which to a large extent is the consequence of lacking finance. The 2015 Addis Ababa Action Agenda, a UN framework adopted at the same time as the SDGs, which is supposed to ensure money flows toward development and the achievement of the SDGs, is not fulfilling its objective.
Political differences at the Addis Summit meant that fundamental institutions, such as a multilateral debt workout mechanism to prevent and resolve debt crises, could not be agreed upon. Developing countries have repeatedly called for developed countries to engage in a negotiation about setting up such a mechanism. It would fill a gaping hole in the international financial architecture, by providing an effective insolvency framework for states. So far, developed countries have refused to negotiate about this, causing it to become a highly pressing issue.