United Nations Report 2019: Financing for Sustainable Development

Mobilizing sufficient financing remains a major challenge in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Despite signs of progress, investments that are critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) remain underfunded. Interest in sustainable financing is growing, but the sustainability transition in the financial system is not happening at the required scale. Systemic risks are rising and parts of the multilateral system are under strain.

This 2019 Financing for Sustainable Development Report, produced in collaboration with over 60 agencies of the United Nations system and Partner international organizations (the Interagency Task Force on Financing for Development), recognizes the scale and urgency of the challenge. But it also sees opportunity for revisiting national and global approaches to sustainable finance.

The Report begins its assessment of progress with an analysis of the global macroeconomic context, including sustainable growth, inequality and climate change. The thematic chapter presents four building blocks to operationalize implementation of the Addis Agenda at the country level though integrated financing frameworks. The remainder of the report discusses progress in the seven action areas of the Addis Agenda. Each chapter gives updates on implementation, and lays out challenges and policy options on both the national level, including links to integrated financing frameworks, and for international cooperation.

Six key messages emerge from this year’s analysis:
(i) While global growth is steady, it has peaked; debt risks are rising; and climate change continues apace. These global challenges put our aspirations at risk and raise the urgency of action.
(ii) In this difficulty lies opportunity. The multilateral system is under strain, but as we revisit existing arrangements in trade, debt, tax cooperation and other areas, we open the door to making them fit for purpose for sustainable development.
(iii) Rather than retreating from multilateralism, the international community must recommit to the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and strengthen collective action to address global challenges.
(iv) Global approaches need to be complemented by national actions. Countries should consider developing integrated national financing frameworks to support national development strategies.
(v) Achieving sustainable development requires a long-term perspective. Public and private incentives need to be aligned with sustainable development so that all financing decisions incorporate sustainability as a central concern.
(vi) We must harness the potential of innovation to strengthen development finance. Yet such innovations do not eliminate financial and sustainability risks, which policy makers and regulators need to manage carefully.

More information: https://developmentfinance.un.org/fsdr2019