‘Critical moment’ for sustainable development, UN chief tells major financing forum

World Bank/Steve Harris Student riding to school on rainy day in southwest China.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


“Uneven growth, rising debt levels, possible upticks in financial volatility, and heightened global trade tensions” are hampering progress on reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), UN chief António Guterres told the Forum on Financing for Development on Monday, during what he called “a critical moment” to “accelerate action for sustainable development”.

Ministers, senior UN officials, high-level finance officials, civil society, business representatives and local authorities, are meeting at UN Headquarters for the four-day FfD Forum, as it is known for short.

Mr. Guterres said climate change, greenhouse gas emissions and technologies disrupting labour markets, were a major challenge, saying “We are here today as part of an effort to coordinate an urgent global response to reverse these trends”.

“Simply put,” he spelled out “we need more money to implement the Sustainable Development Goals”.

Noting that development aid remains essential, “especially for the poorest countries”, the UN chief shone a light on the importance of countries themselves generating more funding, including by increasing tax revenue and the impact of investment.

“National policy frameworks are key to reducing risks, creating an enabling business environment, incentivizing investment in public goals, and aligning financial systems with long-term sustainable development”, he stated.

‘Broad transformation’ needed

Inga Rhonda King, President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) opened the meeting by highlighting that while progress has been made, “we have not seen the broad transformation that we need, to achieve the SDGs by 2030”.

Pointing to economic and other risks, she homed in on “climate change, from the Caribbean to the Sahel”, which has actively reversed development gains; rising debt levels, which stifle investment in sustainable development; and increasing trade tensions dampening economic growth and inequalities within countries.

To address these risks, Ms. King stressed the need to: renew commitments to global multilateral cooperation; align financing frameworks to integrate the 2030 Agenda into national development strategies; and accelerate the financing of sustainable development.

“This Forum represents a critical milestone that sets the tone for the year ahead” she said.

Wanted: 600 million ‘decent jobs’

María Fernanda Espinosa, President of the General Assembly, noted that while global economic growth has remained steady, it was not enough just to support the 2030 Agenda.

She underscored the need to generate “600 million new decent jobs” up to 2030, which requires policies to take advantage of public and private SDG funding; mobilizing national resources by targeting tax policies, and more international tax cooperation to deal with tax evasion.

“A sustainable development future requires investing now, in the present”, she maintained. “Now it is time to act, to take decisive steps to make the promise to ‘free the human race from the tyranny of poverty’ a reality and contribute to make our Organization more relevant for all”.

‘A delicate moment’ for the economy

“The world economy right now is at a delicate moment”, said the Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Tao Zhang, echoing the outcome of the World Bank and IMF’s spring meetings in Washington last week.

While global expansion continues, he stated that it was at a slower pace than anticipated.

“We need to do better”, he spelled out, noting that stronger medium-term growth will be “essential for developing countries” to achieve the SDGs.

He detailed three “complimentary and reinforcing areas of policy action” to address this, namely, domestic policies to build resilience and promote inclusion; upgraded international cooperation; and the commitment to work together on broader global challenges.

Actions required today

From the World Bank, Mahmoud Mohieldin, Senior Vice President for the 2030 Development Agenda, UN Relations, and Partnerships, said that “business as usual, simply put, will not get us into ending extreme poverty by 2030”.

“There will be hundreds of millions of people will be suffering from extreme poverty by 2030 if business remains as we do it today”, with nine-out-of-ten of those affected, in Africa. “Actions are required today”, he exclaimed.

As an outcome of the spring meetings he said “we need bold and urgent reforms in development policies and financing” to achieve job growth opportunities and sustainability in the next decade.

Youthful demographics

Delivering a keynote address, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore and Chair of the G20 Eminent Persons Group on Global Financial Governance highlighted the importance of mobilizing young people.

Noting that the size of the “youthful bulge” in our populations “vastly exceeds what we’ve seen before”, he said “the largest challenge” was that “we are not prepared to create the jobs required” for them.

We are ill-prepared by “every measure” of education, skills development and ability to provide young people with decent jobs”, he lamented.

Mr. Shanmugaratnam painted a picture of a failure to create jobs intersecting with other global challenges, such as climate change, loss of the world’s biodiversity and the spread of infectious disease, as having consequences that would surpass just economic costs.          

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

How to get young people in Europe to swipe right on voting

EU Commission: Growth first then fiscal consolidation

Brexit effect: Public opinion survey shows that EU is more appreciated than ever

Forty-two countries adopt new OECD Principles on Artificial Intelligence

Innovation can transform the way we solve the world’s water challenges

Israel @ MWC14: Israel The Start App Nation

Globalization 4.0 must build a better world for working people

Take medical use of cannabis seriously, say MEPs

Facebook wins EU approval for WhatsApp acquisition; just a sign of the times

What lessons to draw from the destruction of Syria

The Fourth Industrial Revolution must not leave farming behind

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “We need more Schengen but reinforce control!”, France’s Minister of Economy Emmanuel Macron emphasises from Davos

Can the EU last long if it cuts Cyprus out?

5 ways blockchain can transform the world of impact investing

Seize the opportunities of digital technology to improve well-being but also address the risks

Breaking news on European Youth Employment: European Youth Forum Guide tackles poor quality internships!

Turkey caught in a vicious Syrian circle bringing terror and war at home

The Parliament rejects cultivating the wrong seeds of the Commission

EU free-trade agreements with Canada and US: imagine the fallout if put to national referendums

Half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14

Gender Equality as a platform to improve Medicine

Hydrogen isn’t the fuel of the future. It’s already here

Prosecution of Paraguay judges over peasant ‘massacre’ ruling could undermine rule of law: UN expert

EU migrant crisis: Germany, France and UK to show the way. Will the rest of the EU follow?

Eurozone: Even good statistics mean deeper recession

These patients are sharing their data to improve healthcare standards

In Washington D.C., Guterres signs pact with World Bank, meets US President Trump

Why today’s leaders need to know about the power of narratives

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: hate speech, dementia, Libya and Yemen, human rights in Brazil and Lebanon

Health conditions for citizens of Yemen’s key port city ‘remain critical’ says UN agency

Cancer research put at risk by General Data Protection Regulation? The possible dangers of a data privacy EU mania

Latin America is a mass-transit powerhouse. But it needs fine-tuning

Clean energy will do to gas what gas has done to coal

The ITU Telecom World on 14-17 November in Bangkok, Thailand

Migration: Better travel safe than sorry

Margrethe Vestager, EU Commissioner in charge of competition policy, during a recent press conference in Brussels / Berlaymont. (Copyright: EU, 2018 / Source: EC - Audiovisual Service / Photo: Jennifer Jacquemart)

EU opens investigation into Qatar Petroleum over potentially restrictive gas contracts

Why exchange programs are essential for the medical students of the 21st century

DRC ‘calm but tense’ as country awaits presidential election result

Trump’s trade wars: Aiming at long term gains for America

Refugee crisis update: EU fails to relocate immigrants from Greece and Italy

A Valentine’s Special: we can never overdose on love

Brexit update: Leave campaign leads race but undecided voters will determine the outcome of the EU referendum

Western Balkans: European Parliament takes stock of 2018 progress

The miserables and the untouchables of the economic crisis

UN chief urges India and Pakistan to dial down tensions in wake of Kashmir attack

Climate change and its adverse impacts on health

“ASEM: Global Partners for Global Challenges”, a Sting Exclusive by China’s Ambassador to the EU

FROM THE FIELD: Rohingya babies conceived out of ‘incomprehensible brutality’

Egypt is building one of the world’s largest solar parks

The EU Parliament sidesteps the real issues about banks, while the US target the Eurozone lenders

The unpleasant truth of plastic straws

Social Committee slams the 28 EU leaders for false promises

UN chief condemns suspected Boko Haram attacks targeting Eid al-Fitr celebrations in Nigeria

The historic accomplishment of a seamless EU patent and intellectual property space

The Syrian knot cannot be cut without devastating consequences

Who is culpable in the EU for Ukraine’s defection to Russia?

Civilians ‘must never be a target,’ says UN in Afghanistan, amid troubling number of casualties during Ramadan

Can the US-Iran rapprochement change the world?

UN chief calls for Security Council to work with Myanmar to end ‘horrendous suffering’ of Rohingya refugees

Energy Union: EU invests a further €800 million in priority energy infrastructure

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s