Sustainable Development Investment Fair “Covid-19 and Beyond: Building Forward by Scaling Long-Term Investment For Sustainable Development”

GISD Alliance Members,
Distinguished speakers, 
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my honor to provide closing remarks for the 2021 SDG Investment Fair. We have heard stimulating ideas from representatives of governments, private investors, multilateral development banks and think tanks. 

This year’s Fair witnessed the economic and social devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. SDG progress has been dramatically set back, with the most vulnerable segments of societies disproportionately affected. 

It is therefore critical to redouble our efforts to recover better, and to bridge the financing gap necessary to achieve the SDGs. For this to happen, both public and private actors need to act in tandem. And, governments should put the SDGs at the center of their recovery effort. 

Achieving the SDGs will entail a major scaling up of investment in areas such as:

-    infrastructure,
-    health,
-    education,
-    green economy, and
-    enterprise development.

Public finance remains essential. But it will need to be complemented by a large-scale mobilization of private sustainable investment. 

This requires efforts to:

-    Develop pipelines in investable projects,
-    Design innovative financial instruments and investment platforms,
-    Employ blended finance mechanisms, and
-    Implement institutional and regulatory reforms that facilitate long-term investments in sustainable development.

All of these issues have been discussed during the past two days at this Fair. They are also closely linked to the work of the Global Investors for Sustainable Development Alliance. The GISD Alliance’s work has focused on three key areas: scaling-up long-term investment; shifting the incentives towards the long-term; and developing and implementing SDG-related metrics. 

The highlight of this Fair has been the four countries that presented a range of SDG-enhancing projects to interested investors. Government officials from Ghana, Kenya, Jamaica, and Pakistan presented concrete investment opportunities in sectors as diverse as:

-    transportation infrastructure,
-    clean energy,
-    healthcare, and
-    science and technology.

I encourage countries and investors to continue the dialogue. We will also redouble our efforts to facilitate these countries’ engagement with investors. Their projects will be incorporated into the SDG Investment Platform that UNDP soft-launched earlier today – and which the GISD Alliance will support. We also invite additional countries to participate in this continuous effort.

The policy spotlight sessions at the SDG Investment Fair produces useful recommendations in these areas:

First, innovative instruments, platforms and policies that can be utilized to catalyze finance and investment flows, for sustainable infrastructure projects in developing countries.

Second, measures to shift the incentives of key actors across the investment chain towards long-term investment. 

And third, ways to support the development and implementation of a clear set of SDG related metrics that can be widely adopted, and integrated into existing reporting frameworks. 

    Dear Colleagues

UN DESA is committed to working with all stakeholders to promote investment in a sustainable, resilient and equitable recovery. 

We strongly believe that the private sector and development finance institutions need to be powerful partners in advancing the urgent priorities set out in the 2030 Agenda. 

In closing, I thank the government representatives and the GISD Alliance for their active engagement in this event. I also thank the experts from multilateral organizations and academia. 

Please be assured that I, along with my colleagues in DESA’s Financing for Sustainable Development Office, remain committed to ensuring the continued success of this important annual event. 
As we move from response to recovery from the pandemic, we should be emboldened in our objective to scale up the finance and investment to achieve the 2030 Agenda. We have brought together the necessary actors. Now is the time to act boldly.

I thank you.


File date: 
Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Mr. Liu