New York

29 January 2021

Deputy Secretary-General's video message at the Second Breakfast Meeting on the Sustainable Infrastructure Investment Facility

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I thank the President of ECOSOC for the opportunity to address this second Breakfast Meeting on Sustainable Infrastructure.

The scale of the world’s infrastructure needs is enormous, if the world is to achieve the 2030 Agenda. With roughly $90 trillion in infrastructure investments expected over the coming decades, we have a major opportunity to shift the dial towards sustainability while ensuring recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and tackling climate change.

And as many have echoed in the previous working breakfast, a major challenge for many countries is that there are inadequate resources and mechanisms to develop prefeasibility studies, implement and manage infrastructure plans and pipelines and connect with potential investors - particularly the private sector. Existing initiatives and programmes are trying to address this gap, but still asymmetry of expertise and knowledge puts many governments at a disadvantage.

With a growing demand for a new type of infrastructure that is green, inclusive and digital, we need to accelerate investment on sustainable infrastructure and do it at scale. That is how we will deliver on our promise to recover better and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

The decline in private investment in the past decade is cause for grave concern, with transactions involving the private sector dropping from $156 billion in 2010 to $106 billion in 2019. We need to reverse this trend.

As we look to support countries in their socio-economic response to COVID-19 and green transitions, the UN is well placed to help transform an investment idea into an investment "ask". We are stepping up our capacities to help countries navigate the ecosystem of financing opportunities and UN-sponsored alliances of investors.

I look forward to the discussions today and having your steer to leverage a crucial opportunity to support countries realizing their infrastructure and needs for Agenda 2030.

Thank you.