Deputy Secretary-General Calls on Governments, Partners to Provide Funding, Incentives for Sustainable Development Targets

DSG/SM/1209-ENV/DEV/1874
27 July 2018

Deputy Secretary-General Calls on Governments, Partners to Provide Funding, Incentives for Sustainable Development Targets

Following are UN Deputy Secretary‑General Amina Mohammed’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, at the informal briefing on the Secretary‑General’s meeting on financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in New York today:

Thank you for joining us for this informal briefing on the Secretary‑General’s high‑level meeting on financing the 2030 Agenda.  As we look ahead together, our focus is clear:  to advance implementation of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the 2030 Agenda and to mobilize the means to turn vision into reality.

Three years in, we face growing challenges.  Despite global growth, we are seeing a waning commitment to international trade, climate, economic and financial cooperation.  In many countries, public investment is constrained, while private investment does not always flow to where it is most needed.  All of this threatens Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) implementation.

We need to act urgently and vigorously to reach our goals.  What can we do to fast‑track progress?  And how will the high‑level meeting on financing on 24 September contribute to such efforts?

Let me make three quick points.  First, we need to build momentum and political support at all levels.  Governments can show leadership by taking policy action to unlock the financing necessary to implement the 2030 Agenda.  That means developing a vision for financing the SDGs that extends beyond short‑term political cycles and aims to mobilize the full range of resources — public and private, domestic and international.

Many countries are leading the way with concrete steps to foster an enabling environment for mobilizing resources for the SDGs.  For example, developing countries are putting in place national development cooperation strategies to enable donors to provide more targeted and tailored support.  More is needed to close the financing gap and leave no one behind, including through support for domestic resource mobilization.

Second, we need to step up engagement with the private sector.  I know this was precisely the focus of last week’s SDG Business Forum.  Interest in sustainable investment is growing, and that is good news.  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, particularly in underfinanced sectors and in least developed countries and other countries in special situations.

Achieving the SDGs will require a shift towards long‑term investment horizons and sustainability as a driving concern of investment decisions.  This will mean improving definitions, standards, measurement and disclosure of environmental, social and governance impact and related finance instruments.  It also calls for greater partnership between investors, business, Governments, development banks and financial institutions and others.

Third, we need to make the most of innovative solutions to finance the SDGs.  Technological and financial innovations are creating new tools and opening opportunities to address longstanding deficiencies in access to finance for large parts of the world’s population.

The programme of the high‑level meeting will closely reflect these three action areas.  The opening address by the Secretary‑General will be followed with three interactive panel discussions.  The opening panel will feature Heads of State and Government and focus on aligning global financial and economic policies with the 2030 Agenda.  It will also highlight actions taken at the national level as well as challenges that lie ahead.  We believe that this panel will spur political momentum to foster the mobilization of resources in support of our shared Agenda.

The second panel will focus on enhancing sustainable financing strategies and mobilizing private investment for sustainable development.  It will include business leaders and high‑level representatives of leading investors from across the globe.  The panel will showcase measures by the private sector to better align activities with the SDGs, as well as possible additional efforts going forward.

The third panel will bring together philanthropists and innovators in the fintech space that work to advance financial inclusion on the ground.  It will aim at seizing the potential of financial innovations, new technologies and digitalization to provide equitable access to finance.

We are confident that the high‑level meeting will provide an ideal context to foster momentum for advancing progress on financing the SDGs and forging a comprehensive strategy for the way forward.  The meeting will identify key actions and initiatives by Governments, business and the international community to accelerate implementation of the Addis and 2030 Agendas.  And, of course, 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.

I look forward to answering any questions you may have.  Let me now invite Assistant Secretary‑General Elliot Harris to further elaborate on preparations for the meeting.

Thank you.

For information media. Not an official record.