Closing remarks Special Meeting of ECOSOC

Excellencies,Distinguished Delegates,Ladies and gentlemen,

I would like to thank His Excellency Frederick Shava, President of the Economic and Social Council, for spearheading the Special Meeting, and the related preparatory work.

As the contributions from speakers today made clear, economic growth and job creation are largely dependent on enhanced productivity and upgraded industrial sectors.

Productivity and upgrading are held back by persistent gaps in infrastructure. This further curtails countries’ opportunities for progress on poverty eradication and sustainable development, especially developing countries.

An interesting point emerging from the discussion is that both “hard” infrastructure – such as energy, transport and industrial networks – and “soft” infrastructure – such as institutions and capacities – are mutually supportive and reinforcing. This underlines the importance of taking integrated action in pursuit of the 2030 Agenda.

Advancing progress in these areas requires innovation. This will involve improving and adapting how we respond to the current context, as well as addressing new, more complex challenges and opportunities in our economies and societies.

As the recent report by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Financing for Development has demonstrated, investments in the productive sector and sustainable infra¬structure – among other areas – can spur growth, support climate-smart energy and move us closer to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

We know a lot about what works in each of these areas. The challenge we face is the sheer scale and breadth of resources and technical know-how needed for delivering on the promises of infrastructure, industrialization and innovation.One of the important findings from the IATF report was the need to better align investment incentives with longer-term funding. To do this, we need to bring together all actors, including long-term investors, rating agencies, Governments, civil society, norms-setting bodies and, of course, international organizations such as the United Nations.

The concrete initiatives announced today by FAO and UNIDO give some indication of how the incentives for funding and technical assistance can be better aligned to the new demands of the 2030 Agenda. The potential of these two initiatives at the national level is very exciting, and I look forward to hearing about their further development, implementation and results.

Ladies and Gentlemen,I was very encouraged to see Member States, experts and the UN system come together to devise solutions to the challenge of achieving the SDGs, particularly SDG-9.

This is what we do at the United Nations. It is my belief that the multi-stakeholder dialogues and partnerships in support of sustainable development are growing stronger every day. Your engagement with these ideas ensures that we move closer and closer to the achievement of SDG-9, as well as the 2030 Agenda more broadly.

This is in no small way because of the groundwork laid by this ECOSOC initiative. I am confident that we are on a path to expanding opportunities for all through building resilient infrastructure, promoting sustainable industrialization and fostering innovation.

We look forward to continuing to tend the path started, working in collaboration with the UN system, Member States and other critical partners including from the private sector.

Thank you.
File date: 
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Mr. Wu