The huge UN development conference you should be tracking on Twitter

Opening of Financing For Development Conference. Election of the President of the Conference. Prime Minister of the host country, H.E. Hailemariam Desalegn..(Photo by UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe)
Opening of Financing For Development Conference. Election of the President of the Conference. Prime Minister of the host country, H.E. Hailemariam Desalegn. (Photo via UN / Eskinder Debebe)

Addis Ababa is buzzing this week as 5,000 participants have convened there for the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FFD3).

Leaders from the UN, IMF, World Bank, civil society organizations and government delegates from around the world have come together to set a new phase for the global agenda for development and poverty eradication.

One major goal of the conference is to identify and commit financial resources to protect the achievements of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG‘s) over the last 15 years and accelerate them through the new Sustainable Development Goals (SGD’s) over the next 15 years.

The heart of the negotiations hinge on how the additional finances can be raised from public and especially private sectors, and the proportion of the money that is to be spent on public services and business.

There’s also a big climate change element. The World Bank estimates the world economy will require $93.1 trillion in infrastructure investment over the next 15 years to slow climate change to agreed upon levels. This is in addition to the $100 billion that developed countries have already promised to commit by 2020 “for climate mitigation and adaptation in developing countries.” Negotiations at FFD3 this week are meant to decide where all of this money will come from.

So yeah, the stakes are pretty high.

An op-ed co-authored by the U.S. Treasury Secretary, and the Finance Ministers of Ethiopia and Mexico warns:

“Climate change, civil unrest and terrorism can rapidly undo hard-earned progress even as demands increase: people around the world rightly want more than access to basic services — they want an equal shot at opportunities to thrive, not merely to survive.”

The first FFD in Mexico, in 2002, produced the Monterrey Consensus  followed by the second FFD of its review the Doha Declaration in Qatar, in 2008. The third FFD should result in completion of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, (aka Addis Accord), replacing Monterrey Consensus.

However, many relief and development NGOs are skeptical and are really pushing for more commitment from the Addis Accord:

“It is important that this Addis Accord is a real commitment, setting the tone for an ambitious and transformative agenda that will tackle the structural injustices in the current global economic system, as well as ensuring that all development finance is people-centred and protects the environment.”

In fact, they’ve already used strong language to express alarm after first day of the plenary meeting: “It is deplorable that a conference on financing has so far failed to scale up existing resources and commit new financial ones.”

Want to follow along and see what delegates decide about your planet’s future?

The UN is live streaming the meetings. But it’s all a little overwhelming, so we’ve identified five hashtags that you can follow to keep your eye on the crucial developments in Addis:


This is the main hashtag on both Twitter and Facebook. Follow it for specific developments that are happening in Addis. An alternative hashtag is #fin4dev.



Probably the most contentious part of the negotiations will address finance for Climate adaptation and resilience. What happens here will determine agreements during the coming UN Climate Change Conference, which will be from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11. Searching #Climate is also good way to find more general context.


At the heart of discussions is the push for more control on multinational companies to prevent tax-dodging. Twitter users are using the hashtags #Maketaxfair and #Taxjustice to cover this topic.



The 17 proposed Sustainable Development Goals ( SDGs) that will be agreed upon in September, will replace the seven Millennium Development Goals MDGs expiring at the end of this year. The hashtag #MDGs provides some historical context.



Behind this hashtag is a coalition of more than 1,600 organizations from around the world claiming “we can end poverty, inequality and climate change.” This coalition is monitoring a number of events include the FFD3, the UN General Assembly in September, and the UN Climate Change Conference in December. If you want to get involved in a year-long action to end poverty and inequality, you can use #Action2015 to find out what your local organizations are doing.