Global leaders gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on July 13-16, 2015 for the United Nations Third International Conference on Financing for Development, a pivotal conference to launch a renewed global partnership for financing people-centered sustainable development.
Country representatives reached a groundbreaking agreement, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA), which includes a series of measures to overhaul global finance practices and generate investments to address a range of economic, social, and environmental challenges. The AAAA sets the foundation for the implementation of the global sustainable development agenda, and, among other pledges, invites businesses to engage as partners in the development process.
Philip Morris International (PMI) welcomes the adoption of the AAAA and the recognition of the role businesses can, and must, play in financing development. In the words of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “this agreement is a critical step forward in building a sustainable future for all since it provides a global framework for financing sustainable development”. We share this view and believe that public-private partnerships, along with the development of concrete regulatory frameworks to better align private sector incentives with public goals, can deliver meaningful results.
We also recognize that taxes consumers pay when purchasing tobacco products represent an important revenue source for financing development around the world. However, challenges such as tax avoidance, corruption, smuggling, and illicit trade continue to deprive countries of much needed revenues. Addressing these challenges and strengthening the countries’ ability to secure and further develop their economies, requires a collaborative approach and joint efforts by governments, the private sector, and civil society.
The AAAA can serve as a powerful tool to mobilize governments and private sector to fund what people want most – better health, quality education, decent jobs and a greener and cleaner world. To reach this collective objective, businesses, including PMI, have a role to play and should stand ready to invest in innovation, research, and the development of new technologies and products.
PMI remains committed to playing our part to contribute to sustainable development and will seek further opportunities for fruitful dialogue within the framework set by the AAAA and the post-2015 agenda. We are convinced that an open and transparent collaboration will be key to creating strong partnerships and resilient infrastructures for development.