16 October 2019

Deputy Secretary-General, at Launch of Global Investors for Sustainable Development Alliance, Stresses Its Role in Increasing Resources, Capital to Needed Areas

Following are UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohamed’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, at the Global Investors for Sustainable Development Alliance launch, in New York today:

Thank you for joining us for this very important launch of the Global Investors for Sustainable Development Alliance.  We have an impressive coalition of 30 Chief Executive Officers of large private sector companies from both financial and non-financial sectors and from every corner of the world.

The Secretary-General established this Alliance for a simple reason:  to accelerate much‑needed action on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — our globally agreed blueprint for people and planet.

This Alliance has come together to help drive financing for the 2030 Agenda as we enter a crucial decade of action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — and in particular, to help forge concrete solutions for securing the long-term finance and investment necessary to achieve the SDGs.  Together, the Alliance represents the complete investment chain.

I thank every member for joining with the United Nations to help secure a prosperous, healthy and sustainable future for all, leaving no one behind.  I also thank the Government of Sweden for their support, as well as so many members of the United Nations family.

Our world has a number of crucial agreements to tackle poverty, inequality and the climate crisis.  These include the Addis Ababa Action Agenda for Financing for Development, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

As the Alliance put it in their joint statement today, the Global Investors for Sustainable Development can be instrumental in helping to deliver on these agreements, focusing advocacy and action on facilitating the scale-up of long-term finance and investment in sustainable development.

As we heard earlier this morning, the Alliance could help bring forward a number of solutions and take concrete actions to increase the supply of resources available for investment in sustainable development, channelling capital to countries and sectors where it is most needed.

The potential is enormous.  For example, green bonds grew from zero to over $200 billion in a decade.  Two out of three institutional investors factor sustainability in investment decisions.  Environmental, social and governance funds are rising rapidly.

And we know, demand is only growing.  Three quarters of individual investors — particularly millennials and women — have expressed interest in sustainable investing.  Every day, more and more asset owners are linking their investments to sustainability criteria.

But, there is much more to do.  We know it is both ethical and good business sense to invest in sustainable development.  Shareholders and individuals want their funds to be invested sustainably.  Young people across the world are demanding action and shaping preferences.  And more and more businesses are committing to make the transformation to sustainability, understanding that it is good for people, good for planet and good for the bottom line.

Now is the time to massively scale up those actions.  We also count on Member States to play their part in securing the enabling environment for long‑term investment in sustainable development.

This is a very important day.  But it is only the beginning.  Over the next two years, the Global Investors for Sustainable Development Alliance will help drive the Decade of Action towards success and report back to the Secretary‑General on a regular basis.

I look forward to today’s discussion between the Alliance and Member States.  I challenge all of you to be bold and concrete in offering recommendations for the Alliance to unlock long-term financing for the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly in developing countries.

Let us commit to invest in hope, invest in sustainable development, and invest in a better future for all people on a healthy planet.

For information media. Not an official record.