Under Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Liu Zhenmin welcomed efforts by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and UN DESA to explore the establishment of a global investor network to advocate for the scaling up of long-term finance and investment for sustainable development.
In the meeting jointly convened by Sida and UN DESA, Mr. Liu emphasized that the bulk of the required investment for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals will need to be long-term. The challenge, therefore, is to scale up long-term finance and investment that are aligned with sustainable development. He noted that long-term institutional investors like pension funds are potential sources of financing, but that more needs to be done to engage these actors, as well as other parts of the financial and corporate sectors, to facilitate larger volumes of sustainable investment.
To address this challenge, the objectives and activities of the proposed global network will be aligned with the Secretary-General’s Financing Strategy. The proposed global network will moreover complement the activities of the newly-launched SDG Investment Fair and the ECOSOC Financing for Development Forum.
Enormous resources are required to implement the SDGs. At the global level, total investment needs are in the order of $5 to $7 trillion per year. As pointed out by Mr. Liu, existing levels of investment – public and private – are inadequate to fulfil these needs. Public investment levels are not enough. Private investment does not always flow to where it is most needed and is inadequate in terms of levels and term horizons.
This initiative will be a key part of DESA’s work on ‘Closing the Investment Gap’ for the SDGs. Towards this end, DESA’s activities include policy analysis, capacity building and the establishment of partnerships that will, together, assist national and international efforts to mobilize sufficient investment for sustainable development.
Mr. Liu stated that the aim is to launch this initiative at the time of the ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development follow-up, in April 2019. He underscored that this will be an important step in supporting efforts to finance the SDGs.