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General Debate in Financing for Development Forum

Statement on behalf of Norway by DPR May-Elin Stener in a General Debate in Financing for Development Forum, 23 April 2018.

| Trusteeship Council

Thank you, Chair/President.

Poverty continues to dominate the lives of billions of people. Let me highlight four points.

First, trade is a prerequisite for development. The multilateral trading system is a global common good that we must protect and strengthen. We must not jeopardize the progress we have made – we must do all that we can to support a predictable multilateral trade system.

Second, domestic resource mobilization. Aid will continue to be important; Norway will continue to provide 1% of its GDP to development - and urge others to deliver on their promises to provide 0,7 %. But aid will never be enough. We need to improve tax policy and tax collection. The potential is enormous. Fair and predictable taxation regimes is not only good for government revenue. It is also good for business. Increased public revenue collection combined with good and democratic financial management – makes good societies. Improving global tax policy is necessary if we are to succeed. In this regard, we support the OECD efforts. We will also support a strengthened UN engagement, as the only truly universal body that can manifest global norms.

Third, stop the leakages. As we work for domestic resource mobilization, we must also focus on the other side of the development equation. Illicit Financial Flows and related corruption are probably the most serious impediments to sustainable financing for development. Cross-border corruption and crime, mis-invoicing of trade and services, and tax evasion threatens to derail the entire development process. There is not a definitive definition of illicit financial flows, but there are definitive ways of curtailing them. That is an urgent task.

Fourth, understanding gender dimensions of financing for development. If we neglect the need to empower women, we pay by weakening our country’s performance. In my country, women’s inclusion in the economy has added more to growth then all the oil we have extracted.

The IATF report rightly calls on governments to ensure that revenue and expenditure are more gender responsive. When we consider revenue generation, we must understand how it affects gender equality. When we decide on public expenditure, we must make sure gender equality is a key concern.

Chair, we have within our power to honor the ambition we set 3 years ago. But only if we make progress on these four areas – trade, domestic resource mobilization, illicit financial flows and women’s inclusion. Public-private partnerships and multi-stakeholder initiatives will be crucial for success. Norway will do what is in our power to make it happen.

Thank you