By Lara Palmisano

Photo: In these days, a very important conference is taking place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to discuss how to pay for global development, for the well-being of all people and the health of the planet.

It is gathering high-level political representatives, institutional stakeholders, NGOs and private sector to negotiate and agree outcome, which should constitute an important contribution to the post-2015 development agenda.

This September in New York world leaders plan to convene at the United Nations to commit to a set of Sustainable Development Goals (or Global Goals), successors to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Among the other goals to be reached by 2030: eradicate extreme poverty in all its forms everywhere, end hunger, stop all preventable deaths of newborns and children, and halt epidemics of diseases such as AIDS and malaria.

Achieving such an ambitious agenda is going to require mobilizing some equally impressive funding. This week in Addis Ababa, leaders are kicking off that effort.

Amina Mohammed, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning, said this conference also marks an important milestone: all sides in the discussion recognize that government aid dollars are not going to be enough. “The billions that we’ve had from official development assistance is insufficient,” said Mohammed.
“We need trillions for this menu.”

So a lot of the discussion at this conference is about unlocking other forms of funding and how to make it easier for private companies to invest in development projects. Another large portion of the conference is on tax debates.

Great news during the yesterday’s conference by Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS’ executive director: the AIDS targets of MDG 6—halting and reversing the spread of HIV—have been achieved and exceeded and the world is on track to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.
However, he warned that this will be impossible without responsible and inclusive financing for development.

With the right financing and the right policies, we can achieve our aspirations to end extreme poverty by 2030.

The conference will continue until tomorrow, July 16, 2015. In December, the attention of the international community is fixed on United Nations climate talks in Paris, and aims to sign off a global deal on climate change.