The GISD Alliance participated in a range of panel discussions and roundtables during the UN General Assembly High-level Week. Senior GISD representatives from Citi, CDPQ, PIMCO, and Aviva took part in the discussions along with representatives from UN DESA and partners including UNDP, UN Global Compact, UNCDF, UNEP-FI, UNPRI, World Bank, and IFC.
The GISD Alliance kicked off the week with two side-events during the SDG Action Weekend (17 September). One panel, organized in collaboration with UNCDF, UNOHRLSS and Convergence, on "Scaling Blended Finance to Mobilize Private SDG Investments in LDCs and Other Vulnerable Countries" showcased how selective, targeted blended finance efforts can contribute to increasing SDG investments in LDCs and vulnerable countries.
The second panel, titled "SDG Stimulus: Scaling Up Long-term Affordable Financing for the SDGs," was one of twelve high-impact initiatives highlighted during the SDG Action Weekend. The session brought together Ministers and representatives of multilateral development banks (MDBs), the private sector, and high-level UN representatives to discuss (i) how governments can advance the key tenets of the SDG Stimulus and realize a concerted investment push in the SDGs; and (ii) how MDBs and private investors can scale up the financing needed for the SDGs through better coordination and innovative approaches.
On Tuesday (19 September), GISD partnered with Sida to lead two panel discussions on the topics of blended finance and sovereign SDG bonds at the CFA Society in New York. During the first discussion on blended finance, GISD representatives outlined the potential for blended finance while also recognising challenges and suggesting conditions under which blended finance is the most suitable solution. Speakers highlighted appropriate risk-sharing mechanisms, developmental additionality (i.e., not crowding out the private sector), the role of MDBs, project pipelines, data, and partnership as key to scaling up blended finance. While discussing the role of MDBs, GISD's recommendations for MDBs and DFIs were reiterated as short-term measures that can be implemented to scale private capital mobilization.
In the second discussion on sovereign SDG bonds, the panelists highlighted the challenges around scaling up the SDG bond market, including risks around SDG-washing. Speakers agreed that to mitigate this risk, there is a need for harmonised principles and standards (i.e., a common language) that enhance transparency and reporting. The practical guidance being produced by GISD in partnership with UNDP will focus on lessons learnt from recent examples of issuances with the objective of enhancing the quality of the sovereign SDG bond market.
In the middle of the week (20 September), GISD members participated in a breakfast roundtable on innovative financing for the SDGs hosted by the Permanent Mission of Sweden to the UN and the Minister for International Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade of Sweden. The meeting, moderated by UN DESA/FSDO's Acting Director Ms. Shari Spiegel, convened representatives from Indonesia, Kenya, the World Bank, Sida, UNDP, and GISD for a frank and open discussion on increasing private capital flows toward the SDGs, particularly in developing countries. Participants discussed topics including blended finance, project preparation, sovereign debt, domestic capital markets, and the critical role of partnership between the public and private sectors.
GISD was also invited to address the High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development (20 September), which was opened by the President of the General Assembly and the Secretary-General. It featured interventions from seventeen Heads of State, four Vice-Presidents and Deputy Prime Ministers, forty-four Ministers and ten Vice-Ministers, as well as the heads of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank Group, and the World Trade Organization. GISD's representative provided important input from the private sector on the financing for development follow-up process.
To conclude the week, GISD together with UN Global Compact, UNPRI, UNEP-FI and the UN Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative supported the SDG Investment Forum hosted by the CFO Coalition for the SDGs at the New York Stock Exchange. This event convened Chief Financial Officers and other key actors in the investment community to showcase how corporate investments and finance contribute to the 2030 Agenda. UN DESA/FSDO Acting Director Ms. Shari Spiegel provided the closing remarks and highlighted the work of the GISD Alliance in contributing to the mobilization and alignment of finance and investment towards the SDGs.
Images from the breakfast roundtable on innovative financing for the SDGs courtesy of Fouad Juez.
Images from the SDG Investment Forum courtesy of NYSE Group.
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