Permanent Mission of Portugal to the United Nations

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Statement by H.E. the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Mrs. Teresa Ribeiro, at the Economic and Social Council - Forum on Financing for Development follow-up (23-26 April 2018)

New York, 24 April 2018

Mr. Chairman

Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen.

At the outset, let me take this opportunity to join other delegations in congratulating the Permanent Representatives of Jamaica and Portugal as the co-facilitators of the FfD process and to express my full trust that they will both lead us to an ambitious and balanced outcome.

Portugal aligns itself with the statement made by the European Union and would like to express its full support to ensuring proper and effective follow-up of the Financing for Development outcomes.

Let me also take this opportunity to thank the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) team for producing the 2018 Report, which is a good instrument for inter-agency collaboration on financing for development issues and a comprehensive monitoring framework for our wider discussion in this Forum.

We are now into the third year of implementing the SDG Agenda and the Adis Abeba Action Agenda and yet challenges remain significant, particularly in what regards eradicating poverty worldwide, building resilient societies, addressing the mass movement of migrants and refugees, fighting the critical effects of climate change and putting the world on a sustainable development path.

There are many SDG-related activities happening in our world today, in governments, companies, communities, universities and in thousands of civil society-led groups and partnerships all over the planet. And this is a true expression that a transformational process is really going on, with its implications on development cooperation and on aid architecture itself.

This requires, among other things, looking to a range of different means of implementation: domestic, international, public and private, to support the Sustainable Development Goals and related targets.

It also emphasizes the importance of good governance, inclusive and safe societies, trade, private sector engagement, gender equality, hence, an enabling domestic and international environment.

 In order to implement this comprehensive and transformational agenda we have also recognized the need to be innovative when it comes to leveraging resources and financing for development, going beyond traditional forms of development finance. Of course, ODA will continue to be important, particularly for countries most in need, SIDS and conflict-affected and fragile States, but our follow-up plan must include a broader and coherent strategy to unleash new forms of finance, from all possible sources, and in volumes that far exceed ODA.

Countries need to set their own national development strategies and priorities and evaluate the opportunities to engage with different stakeholders, namely the private sector, the civil society, the academia, foundations and other development actors, building on those multi-stakeholder partnerships in different areas of intervention.

This doesn’t necessarily imply the creation of new mechanisms and processes, but rather adapting our national structures and mechanisms to the level of ambition that the 2030 agenda entails.

Last year I had the privilege to present, at the 2017 HLPF, Portugal´s National Voluntary Review, as part of the 2030 Agenda follow-up and review mechanism, where I explained how my country is coping with this challenge and mobilizing efforts and partnerships for the implementation of the sustainable development goals.

We are giving greater attention to policy efficiency and coherency, while emphasizing on results at all levels. On this, we continue working closely with our main development partner countries and have already started a new generation of Strategic Cooperation Programs, within the spirit of country’s ownership and in line with the SDG agenda.

Portugal is also engaged in identifying new forms of collaboration in the context of our development policy, while adapting our own institutions and instruments to the challenges stemming from this new international development paradigm, based on inclusive partnerships, with mutual benefits and responsibilities.

Blended finance is a window of opportunities and an interesting way to increase the participation of the private sector in areas where it is difficult for the public sector to operate. We are also increasing partnerships with other State actors and institutions, drawing on European funds and financial mechanisms from multilateral institutions, as well as involving the academia and the NGO community in a more systematic manner.

In this regard, Portugal is implementing several projects through delegated European funding, always seeking close coordination and partnership with local authorities, civil society and the private sector. These projects are being implemented in areas such as training and agricultural development, education, health, justice and financial management, with the ultimate aim of strengthening national capacities and long-term sustainable development in our main partner countries.

Moreover, we are looking to other geographies and searching for new opportunities and synergies, as far as development cooperation is concerned. We are particularly ready to share experiences, success stories, but also to learn from other countries and actors.

In this context, Portugal has been exploring new opportunities through triangular cooperation with other development agencies, mostly in Latin America, Europe and North Africa. In this sense, we are not only engaged in the traditional N/S cooperation, but also stimulating S/S cooperation, building on different experiences, capacities and resources.

We are, in fact, strong advocates of the need for a truly global partnership and more engagement from and with emerging donor countries in the pursuit of sustainable development and poverty eradication.

Last week, Lisbon hosted a meeting on Triangular Cooperation, jointly with the OECD, with the objective of bringing together the views and experiences of representatives from all regions of the world, from international organizations, civil society and the private sector, which allowed a clear and consensual message on the role Triangular Cooperation, has to play in the new development landscape.

We need to keep this momentum going.

All the initiatives we have heard and will continue to hear along this Forum tell us that we can really make a difference globally and within our own countries, as we strive to attain our goal of ensuring that no one will be left behind.

There will surely be vast hurdles along the way but our presence in this opportune forum expresses our seriousness and commitment to collaborate as we face the challenges and opportunities in the next years.

You can count on Portugal to be a fully committed partner in this endeavor.

Thank you very much.