Highlights Vol 22, No. 09 - September 2018

Seeking innovative solutions to fund ambitious agenda

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is ambitious and will require trillions of dollars of investment, with cost assessments ranging between $5 to $7 trillion per year. Three years into realizing the Sustainable Development Goals, there have been numerous successes – countries have taken concrete steps to mobilize domestic resources and implement national sustainable development strategies, and interest in sustainable investment is growing. But we face growing challenges as well. Although global growth is positive, there are growing risks and wavering commitments on a range of issues – climate change, trade and economic and financial cooperation.  

In many countries, public investment is constrained, while private investment is often short-term and does not flow to where it is most needed. If we want to eradicate poverty and achieve a more sustainable world by 2030, we need to unlock adequate levels of financing and investments for sustainable development.

Focusing on several priority areas could help fast-track progress.

First, making progress requires political support at all levels. Governments can show leadership by taking policy actions that facilitate and attract sustainable finance. This requires steadfast commitment that extends beyond standard political cycles and aims to mobilize the full range of resources – public and private, domestic and international.

Second, engagement with the private sector needs to be stepped up. With funds in global capital markets amounting to around $300 trillion, there is much greater scope for tapping the full potential of private investment. More needs to be done to incentivize greater sustainable investment. This calls for greater partnership between investors, business, governments, development banks, financial institutions and others.

Finally, we need to make the most of innovative solutions to finance the SDGs. The resources needed to finance the 2030 Agenda exist, but innovation is essential to getting them where they are most needed. Technological and financial innovations are creating new tools and opening opportunities to address long-standing deficiencies in access to finance for large parts of the world’s population.

The Secretary-General’s High-level Meeting on Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, taking place on 24 September at UN Headquarters, aims to put the spotlight on these priorities. It will identify key actions and initiatives by Governments, business and the international community to accelerate implementation of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the 2030 Agenda. And, it will call on stakeholders to act and report on progress to the General Assembly’s High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development in 2019.

While substantial gaps remain, the evidence indicates strong potential to scale up progress on financing the SDGs — acting urgently and collaboratively on the basis of strong, national commitments and new coalitions of actors who can catalyze investments and innovation in support of sustainable development.

For more information:

High-level Meeting on Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Financing for sustainable development

“We are all in this together” – meet the new ECOSOC President

Earlier this summer, Rhonda King of the Caribbean island nation of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, was voted in as the 74th President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Upon her election on 26 July 2018, Ms. King said that she intended to make the year ahead “a defining” one for the body that leads the UN’s ambitious drive for sustainable, economic, social and environmental development.

“It promises to be a defining year, which could help set a new course for the work of the Council and the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) held under its auspices,” said Ms. King.

Calling it an honour to serve, she thanked the Council members and asked for their help moving forward so that ECOSOC and the HLPF could live up to its expectations.

She paid special tribute to the Council’s outgoing President, Marie Chatardova, “whose leadership and vision” Ms. King said she would continue to rely and build on, with its emphasis on inclusion and participation.

She cited the HLPF as “the centerpiece” of her priorities, saying that when it meets in the General Assembly, Heads of State and Government will review the entire 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

She also listed a revived ECOSOC as one of her main priorities. “You heard me correctly,” she said, “with your committed participation, we will revive the ECOSOC using in full, the hard-won innovations introduced by the General Assembly.”

“There has been some dissatisfaction with the functioning of ECOSOC over the recent few years. But in the coming 12 months, let us work together to restore the ‘deliberative function’ of ECOSOC,” she underscored.

“We will have to think of ways to strengthen the conduct of the next cycle of reviews” while looking towards the early targets of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, that are set for 2020, she said.

For her part, former President Chatardová recapped the “unprecedented engagement” of many groups during her year in office, calling it “very encouraging” towards achieving the 2030 Agenda.

She recalled 240 side events and special events, focused on partnerships, education, business, SDG Learning and Training, and local and regional government. Additionally, a film festival and a number of exhibitions enriched the official meetings, added Ms. Chatardova.

“I am sure when next year HLPF also meets under the auspices of the General Assembly, it will reaffirm the political will at the highest level to continue implementing the 2030 Agenda and lifting the obstacles,” she said.

For more information: President of the UN ECOSOC

Follow Us