Mr. Liu Zhenmin Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs

Opening Remarks
‘Investors’ role in promoting and supporting the Sustainable Development Goals’

Mr. Johannes Oljelund, Director General for International Development Cooperation,
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I wish to thank SIDA and the Permanent Mission of Sweden for hosting this important meeting on the role of investors in promoting and supporting the Sustainable Development Goals.

As we are all aware, implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development requires considerable resources. At the global level, total investment needs are in the order of $5 to $7 trillion per year.

Existing levels of investment – public and private – are inadequate to fulfil these needs.

Public investment levels are not enough and subject to cuts.

Private investment does not always flow to where it is most needed. It is inadequate in terms of both levels and term horizons.

The bulk of the required investment will need to be long-term. The challenge, therefore, is to scale up adequate amounts of long-term finance and investment that is aligned with sustainable development.

Long-term institutional investors like pension funds have been seen as potential sources of financing for sustainable development. But more needs to be done to engage with these actors and other players in the financial and corporate sectors, to facilitate larger volumes of sustainable investment.

In this regard, I would like to commend SIDA for establishing a network of Swedish Investors for Sustainable Development (SISD). This has played a successful role in encouraging institutional investors in Sweden to align their activities with the Sustainable Development Goals.

I welcome SIDA’s efforts to engage with my Department, the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, to replicate SISD at the global level. This network will be unique in going beyond corporate social responsibility and advocating the scaling up of long-term finance and investment.

The objectives and activities of the proposed global network will be aligned with the SG’s Financing Strategy. This global network has to be inclusive and driven by the UN values and norms. It will complement the activities of the newly-launched SDG Investment Fair and the ECOSOC Financing for Development Forum.

Indeed, this initiative will be a key part of DESA’s work on ‘Closing the Investment Gap’ for the SDGs. Our endeavors in this area include policy analysis, capacity building and the establishment of partnerships that will – together – aim to assist national and international efforts to mobilize sufficient investment for sustainable development.

We hope, through this meeting, to gauge your views on this initiative. The comments and suggestions you make will be taken on board as DESA and SIDA jointly finalize the details of this initiative.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

My Department stands ready to partner with you all to make meaningful progress in our quest to advance sustainable development.
I thank you for your attention.

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