On July 13th, 2015, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) organized a side event named “Financing for Transformation: From Agenda to Action on Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific” during the Third International Conference on Financing for Development. 2015 is a milestone year, when the international community is expected to adopt a transformative sustainable development agenda for a more inclusive and sustainable future. This requires equally ambitious, credible and forward-looking strategies for resource mobilization. In the Asia-Pacific region, the member States are uniquely placed to implement a transformative post-2015 development agenda because of its vast financial resources.
The objective of the ESCAP in partnership with ADB and UNDP, side event on “Financing for a transformative society in Asia and the Pacific Region” was to provide a focused discussion on innovative financing sources, modalities and priorities in Asia and the Pacific region for the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda. The side event was moderated by Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Executive Secretary of ESCAP, and included finance ministers from the region, private sector representative and the officials from the ADB and UNDP. Helen Clark, the Administrator of the UNDP, stated, “gains could also be made through strengthening efforts to curtail illicit financial flows. These were estimated at $474 billion in 2012 in Asia-Pacific, accounting for almost half of all such flows from developing countries that year.” She further stated, “fraudulent trade misinvoicing is the largest form of illicit flows, $354 billion dollars in Asia-Pacific in 2012 alone.”
During the event, ESCAP launched a book “Financing for Transformation: From agenda to action on sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific”. The publication calls for the Asia-Pacific region to work together to raise and channel more substantial financial resources to invest in the social sector, infrastructure development and efforts to tackle climate change in order to ensure a transformative change to bring about inclusive growth and sustainable development.