25 August 2016 - Ambassador Peter Thomson, President-elect of the United National General Assembly, signaled that unlocking finance for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a key challenge of our times.
At a meeting convened by UN Women and UN Environment in New York yesterday, Ambassador Thomson - currently Fiji's Permanent Representative to the UN - said it was not enough to just wish there were adequate sums of public finance, or wonder why large amounts of private finance are so hard to attract to the right investments.
"Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals will not be possible without adequate financing. We have to be creative in mobilizing finance from every possible source and ambitious in exploring how to work together in aligning our global financial system with sustainable development," he said.
He added that the stakes were high and that the transition to a sustainable low-carbon green economy was required in order to realign the world's financial system to make it an enabler of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
People's Bank of China's Research Bureau Chief Economist, Ma Jun; President of the Brazilian Federation of Bankers, Murilo Portugal; CalPERS Investment Director, Anne Simpson; and the United Kingdom Treasury's Deputy Director of Global Financial Markets, Robert Ward shared their institutions' experiences in boosting sustainable finance.
The meeting's co-host, the UN Environment Programme's Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System - which works to advance systematic action to align the financial system with sustainable development - provided the President-elect with a briefing on progress being made to meet the multi-trillion dollar demand for investment.
"UN Women is deeply committed to addressing the gender gap in access to finance in order to ensure that new financial solutions benefit women and men equally in support of sustainable development," said Yannick Glemarec, Assistant Secretary General, Deputy Executive Director of UN Women and co-chair of the meeting.
"With less than a month to go before the 71st session of the General Assembly, it is extremely positive that the incoming President is willing to take a leadership position around financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development," said Simon Zadek, co-director of UN Environment Inquiry.
NOTES TO EDITORS
United Nations Environment Programme Inquiry
The Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System was established in January 2014 with a mandate to advance policy options that would improve the effectiveness of the financial system in supporting sustainable development. In the course of September 2016, the Inquiry will be supporting the G20 Green Finance Study Group - for which it acts as Secretariat - as well publishing a report about financing for Sustainable Development ahead of the 71st session of the General Assembly. And in late September, the Inquiry will publish its follow-up global report looking at progress being made to align the financial system with Sustainable Development. The Inquiry's first global report, The Financial System We Need, was released in October 2015 and is available at http://unepinquiry.org/
UN Women leads and coordinates the UN system's work on gender equality. It focuses on priority areas that are fundamental to women's equality that can unlock progress across the board. It specifically supports inter-governmental bodies to formulate policies, global standards and norms. In parallel, UN Women helps Member States implement these standards, standing ready to provide suitable technical and financial support to those countries that request it, and to forge effective partnerships with civil society.