Following are UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohamed’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, to the launch of the “Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond” discussion groups, in New York today:
Welcome to all of you. I want to express my gratitude to Canada and Jamaica for co-convening the “Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond” initiative.
The current pandemic has wreaked havoc on the socioeconomic conditions of our world and has put a great strain on the health and economic structures of our countries. And it has shown the glaring inadequacies in our financial architecture to support the Sustainable Development Goals, build resilience and address the concerns of people, particularly the most vulnerable and especially in times of crisis.
The high-level event on 28 May was a definitive call for action to address the significant stress placed on nations and people and to course-correct. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to recover better for sustainability, jobs, efficient public services delivery and social and economic inclusion, including our financial structures.
The response to the high-level event was most encouraging. More than 50 Heads of States and Government, the heads of major international financial institutions and international organizations, and high-level representatives from the private sector and civil society attended, demonstrating solidarity and calling for a comprehensive global response to confront the emergency, and in doing so, reshape the frame for building back better for people and planet, and for prosperity that lifts everyone.
But, we have to do the hard work, open to the priorities, needs and perspectives of our diverse global community to craft an effective and durable multilateral response.
Today ensures we keep the momentum and pace that emergency conditions spawned by this massive human crisis demand. We are launching six Discussion Groups on the core issues discussed at the high-level event with Heads of State and Government, leaders of international financial leaders, and other critical stakeholders — the private sector, civil society and independent experts — who are critical to this task.
The discussion groups will be an open space to creatively tackle issues of external finance for inclusive growth and jobs; global liquidity and financial stability; debt vulnerability, including the role of the private sector creditors in finding solutions; illicit financial flows; and recovering better for sustainability, and look towards a set of policy recommendations.
The outcome of each discussion will be a menu of options, solutions and policy proposals to address each of the issues. These will be shared with all countries and participants at a meeting of finance ministers on 8 September.
I want to encourage all the members of the discussion groups to think “outside of the box”, lean forward and look at innovative solutions that address immediate needs and resilience, inclusivity and sustainability. It is important that we work effectively in ensuring that changes are made that adequately address the unique nature of the pandemic and its fallout and begin to close the gaps between where we are and where the world needs to be as framed in the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, our global blueprint for a sustainable world.
As we will hear about more details on the plans for each of the discussion groups in a few moments, I would like to conclude my welcoming remarks by reiterating my appreciation to Canada and Jamaica for leading this process and their unwavering efforts to bring timely solutions to this health and development crisis and to put us on a path to recover better.