United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced today the launch of a new platform for scaling up innovative finance solutions to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 at a meeting with high-level officials from ministries of finance and foreign affairs, together with leaders from major global financial institutions.
The Secretary-General, in an address to the high-level finance gathering, said: “This global initiative can support the identification and piloting of innovative finance instruments that can drive investment and support well thought-out SDG interventions.”
“As well as launching innovative financing solutions,” he added, “the platform would engage key development actors, including Governments, civil society, philanthropic organizations, entrepreneurs, institutional investors, banks, project developers and development finance institutions.”
Mr. Ban said: “I hope the proposed Financial Innovation Platform will provide the best possible know-how to support the incoming Secretary-General as we work to scale up our efforts and ambition.”
There is a broad range of partners involved in this platform, who already have new solutions under development. The focus is on actions and on SDG interventions, ensuring that it will provide financing to the places and people who need them the most.
Many new ideas and solutions are already in play. International Housing Solutions, a global private equity investor, is using both catalytic and commercial capital investors to make green homes affordable to a wide population in sub-Saharan Africa. CEO Michael Falcone said at the meeting that the creation of a United Nations platform will help to expand affordable green homes across the region.
“We are engaged in nothing less than the transformation of global capital markets,” said Mark Wilson, Group CEO of Aviva, an international insurance and investment company. “That demands major change. If business isn’t sustainable then society is at risk, and if society isn’t sustainable then business is at risk. So, it’s just enlightened self-interest for business to support the SDGs.”
"While there are many pathways forward to achieve the SDGs, one thing is clear: business as usual is not an option to close the $2.5 trillion annual funding gap in developing countries alone," said Judith Rodin, President, The Rockefeller Foundation. "To realize the SDGs we need to foster a new era of collaboration and coordination, and the United Nations Secretary-General has unprecedented convening power to do this by bringing together leaders from different sectors.”
The concept of a new multistakeholder forum to help finance progress on the Goals emerged following the 2015 Financing for Development Conference that took place in Addis Ababa. At that conference, world leaders called for creative and innovative solutions by the private sector to scale up investments in activities that contribute to the sustainable development.
It is now clear to many in the finance sector, that there are new demands of the marketplace, as well as shareholders seeking sustainable investments. This is why a new framework for sustainable investing is needed. The know-how that is being made available within the finance sector will be shared and made accessible: the platform will accelerate solutions and encourage scale up.