The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development aims at a fundamental transformation of society, and its patterns of production and consumption. On 24 September 2018, in the occasion of a UN High-level Meeting, the UN Secretary-General has released a four-year strategy for financing the 2030 Agenda. The strategy underscores the UN’s critical role in supporting and accelerating the mobilization of finance and focuses on three objectives to accelerate progress from global to local levels.
The first objective is to align global financial and economic policies with the 2030 Agenda. The strategy argues that, when public policies are “firmly and consistently formulated to achieve sustainable development,” such policies can realign incentives and alter market perceptions of risk. The UN is working with global policymakers and regulators to increase understanding on the role of public policy in developing a sustainable financial system, including through framing discussions on definitions, principles and guidelines and developing standards to facilitate the deepening of markets for sustainable finance.
The second objective aims to enhance sustainable financing strategies and investments at country and regional levels. The UN will support the development of such strategies, by providing advice and support for creating investible projects and building enabling environments. UN country offices and regional teams will also provide capacity building support for domestic resource mobilization (DRM), in countries that need assistance. The United Nations, in collaboration with other international institutions, will help developing countries address challenges in international taxation that complicate their domestic resource mobilization efforts.
The third objective focuses on seizing the potential of financial innovations, new technologies and digitalization to provide equitable access to finance. The strategy identifies access to finance as a prerequisite for sustainable and equitable development, noting that the digitalization of finance has facilitated “major progress in financial inclusion” in recent years. Despite this progress, large gaps remain and in order to close these gaps, the UN will bring together policymakers, financial regulators and innovators in the space of digital finance and fintech (financial technology) to exchange experiences and best practices on innovative financial instruments.
To execute the Strategy, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will provide a three-year roadmap of actions and initiatives. The roadmap will build on key stakeholders’ current and future activities to mobilize investments and support for financing the 2030 Agenda.