Financing the SDGs: Moving from words to action

The Addis Ababa Action Agenda provides a global framework for financing sustainable development and strengthening collective action to address global challenges. It contextualizes SDG 17 – “Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development” -- with concrete policies and actions.

Aligning financing and all means of implementation for the 2030 Agenda will require significant reshaping of public polices and financial systems in line with sustainable development. The challenge is driven by both the scale of financing needed to achieve the SDGs and the necessary shift in public and private incentives towards long-term horizons for sustainable development. This will require action from the local to global levels, and by diverse stakeholders. In the intergovernmentally agreed outcome document of the 2019 ECOSOC Financing for Development Forum, UN Member States agreed on the need to align a wide range of financing sources and instruments with the 2030 Agenda as part of their implementation of the Addis Agenda.

This session will convene experts to share lessons and make concrete recommendations for how some of the key ideas contained in the 2030 Agenda and the outcome document of the 2019 ECOSOC Financing for Development Forum could be translated into reality, including on sustainable investment, domestic resource mobilization and illicit financial flows.

This session will have a roundtable format.

Background note is available here

Information for Expert Group Meeting on SDG17 is available here

Proposed guiding questions:

  • What are the opportunities for improving the composition and allocation of financing to maximize sustainable development impact at the national and global levels? What concrete initiatives and tools could be used to promote sustainable investments where they are most needed, such as in the least developed countries (LDCs)?

  • What are the key impediments to long-term investments for sustainable development? Which national strategies and policies have proven effective in facilitating long-term and quality investment?

  • How can tax systems be strengthened to ensure that countries mobilize domestic resources more effectively? What policies lead to improved progressivity of fiscal systems to address inequalities in a context of inclusive growth? How can development cooperation be leveraged to better support these efforts?

  • What are the major gaps and challenges hindering global action on stemming illicit financial flows? How can international cooperation strengthen good practices on promoting timely recovery and repatriation of stolen assets to foster sustainable development?

Chair:

  • H.E. Mr. Valentin Rybakov, Vice President of ECOSOC

Presentation:

  • Ms. Yongyi Min, Development Data and Outreach Branch, Statistics Division of UN DESA

Keynote speaker:

  • Mr. Homi Kharas, Interim Vice President and Director of the Global Economy and Development program, Brookings Institution

Moderator:

  • H.E. Mr. E. Courtenay Rattray, Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the UN, and Co-facilitator for 2018 FfD outcome document

Resource persons:

  • H.E. Mr. Zied Ladhari, Minister of Development, Investment and International Cooperation, Tunisia

  • H.E. Mr. Dag-Inge Ulstein, Minister of International Development, Norway

  • Ms. Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary of ECA

  • Mr. Thomas Gass, Head of the South Cooperation Department of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation

  • Mr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, Senior Vice President of the World Bank Group

Lead discussants:

  • Mr. Iñigo Urkullu Renteria, Lehendakari (President) of the Basque Government, Spain (MGoS)

  • Ms. Olivia Prentice, Director, COO, Impact Management Project, Bridges Fund Management

  • Mr. Lubin Wang, Chief Representative Officer ICBC Africa, Non-Executive Director Standard Bank Group

Followed by interactive discussion

Biographies
H.E. Mr. Dag-Inge Ulstein
Minister for International Development, Norway
H.E. Mr. Dag-Inge Ulstein

Minister for International Development, Norway

Mr Dag-Inge Ulstein (b. 1980) is Norway’s Minister of International development since January 2019. He is married with four children.

Mr Ulstein is leading WHO`s ACT-A Initiative (Access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator). ACT-A is set up to lead the efforts to mobilize political and financial support to ensure equitable distribution of corona virus vaccines, medicines and tests. He is also a Board Member of The Global Center on Adaptation to address climate change.

Mr Ulstein is deeply committed to International Solidarity and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

He has previously held the position as Head of Development at Haraldsplass Diaconal Foundation, a specialised hospital. Prior to this position he was the General Manager at Haraldsplass therapy and counselling center (2012-2014).

Previous political positions:
Deputy Mayor in Bergen and Head of Finance, Innovation and Real Estate (2015-2019). Deputy Mayor for Social Service, including Mental Health, Housing, Integration and Refugee work (2013-2014).

H.E. Mr. Valentin Rybakov
Vice President of Economic and Social Council, on the messages from ECOSOC Integration Segment
H.E. Mr. Valentin Rybakov

Vice President of Economic and Social Council, on the messages from ECOSOC Integration Segment

H.E. Ambassador Valentin Rybakov has served as Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Belarus since 2013, prior to which he was Assistant to the President from 2006 to 2013. From 2005 to 2006 he headed the Ministry’s American Division (2005) and from 2003 to 2005 he served as Counsellor/Minister Counsellor in the Embassy of Belarus in the United States.

He has also worked with his country’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, serving as Counsellor from 2001 to 2003.

Having joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus in 1993, Mr. Rybakov is a graduate of the Minsk State Pedagogical Institute for Foreign Languages.

Born in 1958 in Tomsk, Russian Federation, Mr. Rybakov has one son.

H.E. Mr. Zied Ladhari
Minister of Development, Investment and International Cooperation, Tunisia
H.E. Mr. Zied Ladhari

Minister of Development, Investment and International Cooperation, Tunisia

Zied Lahari is Tunisia’s Minister of Development, Investment and International Cooperation. Mr. Ladhari joined his last position after spending more than a year as Minister of Industry and Trade. He is a lawyer and international legal expert. Born March 30, 1975 in Sousse, he is married with one child.

He studied law at the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences of Tunis where he obtained a Master of Laws followed by a postgraduate degree in private law. In parallel with his law studies, he began evening classes in Economics and Finance at the Institute of Higher Commercial Studies (IHEC) in Tunis. In December 2000, he went to France to continue his studies.

In Paris, he graduated from the Sorbonne University with a postgraduate degree focusing on international and comparative law and the law of Arab countries and a second postgraduate degree in banking and finance law. He also holds the Certificate of Aptitude to the Profession of Lawyer obtained at the Training School of Lawyers from the Court of Appeal of Paris. In parallel, he studied political science and international relations at the Institute of Political Studies in Paris, one of the largest specialized institutions in France.

Mr. Ladhari was auditor of the Academy of International Law at the International Court of Justice in The Hague. He also studied comparative law at Columbia University in New York.

He was admitted as a lawyer to the National Order of Lawyers of Tunisia in 2001. He began to practice the profession in international law firms in Paris before passing the examination of access to the profession of lawyer in France. He was also admitted as a lawyer to the Court of Appeal of Paris. Mr. Ladhari specialized in economic and financial affairs, in particular in international economic law and international contract and investment law.

In this capacity, he participated in advising many African States, international organizations and international companies on the implementation of major international development projects in African countries. His practice as a lawyer also includes state defense missions in the settlement of international disputes, particularly in the context of resolving disputes between states and foreign investors.

Mr. Courtenay Rattray
UN High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States
Mr. Courtenay Rattray

UN High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today announced the appointment of Courtenay Rattray of Jamaica as High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States. He will succeed Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu of Tonga to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for her dedication and commitment to the United Nations.

Mr. Rattray is an accomplished diplomat with a distinguished career in the Jamaica Foreign Service. He brings to the position broad-based managerial and leadership experience of working within and across multi-cultural settings with a focus on addressing the developmental challenges faced by countries in special situations, particularly in the area of development finance.

Currently Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the United Nations in New York, Mr. Rattray also serves as Co-chair of the Group of Friends of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Financing; Children and the SDGs; as well as the Group of Friends of Decent Work. He has served as Chairperson of several key initiatives, including the 52nd session of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD52) in 2019, Co-facilitator for the Conclusions and Recommendations of the 2018 Financing for Development Forum, Chair of the United Nations Permanent Memorial Committee to honour the victims of slavery and Chair of the Intergovernmental Negotiations on UN Security Council Reform. He is also a past Chair of the UN Committee on Disarmament and International Security (First Committee), and co-facilitated negotiations for the Ministerial Declaration of the High-Level Political Forum of the UN Economic and Social Council and chaired the 6th Biennial Meeting of States on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons.

Prior to his current position, he was Ambassador of Jamaica to the People’s Republic of China in Beijing (2008-2013); Director, Bilateral Relations Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade in Kingston, Jamaica (2005 -2008); Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Jamaica, Washington, D.C. (2001-2005); Special Adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kingston (2000-2001) and Special Adviser to the Minister of Industry and Investment, Kingston (1999-2000). Before he joined the Jamaica Foreign Service, Mr. Rattray was Executive Director of the Jamaica Marketing Company in London (1990-1997) and Director of Marketing and Promotions of the Jamaica National Export Corporation in Kingston (1987-1988).

Mr. Rattray holds a Master of Arts degree from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University; a Master of Arts in International Business from the London South Bank University; and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from West Virginia Wesleyan College. He has been awarded Doctor of Humane Letters (Honoris Causa) by West Virginia Wesleyan College.

Mr. Homi Kharas
Interim Vice President and Director of the Global Economy and Development program, Brookings Institution (co-author of report ‘Sustainable Financing for Development’, March 2019)
Mr. Homi Kharas

Interim Vice President and Director of the Global Economy and Development program, Brookings Institution (co-author of report ‘Sustainable Financing for Development’, March 2019)

Homi Kharas is the Interim Vice President and Director of the Global Economy and Development program. In that capacity, he studies policies and trends influencing developing countries, including aid to poor countries, the emergence of the middle class, and global governance and the G-20.

He has served as the lead author and executive secretary of the secretariat supporting the High Level Panel, co-chaired by President Sirleaf, President Yudhoyono and Prime Minister Cameron, advising the U.N. Secretary General on the post-2015 development agenda (2012-2013). The report, “A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty and Transform Economies through Sustainable Development,” was presented on May 30, 2013.

His most recent co-authored/edited books are "From Summits to Solutions: Innovations in Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals" (Brookings Press, 2018), "The Imperative of Development" (Brookings Press, 2017), "The Last Mile in Ending Extreme Poverty" (Brookings Press, 2015), "Getting to Scale: How to Bring Development Solutions to Millions of Poor People" (Brookings Press, 2013), "After the Spring: Economic Transitions in the Arab World" (Oxford University Press, 2012), and "Catalyzing Development: A New Vision for Aid" (Brookings Press, 2011). He has published articles, book chapters, and opinion pieces on global development policy, global trends, the global food crisis, international organizations, the G20, the DAC, and private philanthropy.

Mr. Iñigo Urkullu Renteria
Lehendakari (President) of the Basque Government, Spain (MGoS)
Mr. Iñigo Urkullu Renteria

Lehendakari (President) of the Basque Government, Spain (MGoS)

Mr. Iñigo Urkullu Renteria has been the Lehendakari (President) of the Basque Govenment since the 15th of December 2012, the day on which he took his oath of office. Mr. Urkullu has been involved in politics from a young age. He was chairman of the National Executive Committee of the Basque Nationalist Party (EAJ-PNV) between 2007 and 2012. He had previously chaired the Bizkaia Territorial Executive (BBB) for eight years. During his four terms as a member of parliament for Bizkaia in the Basque Parliament (1994-2007), he sat on different committees, including the Education and Culture Committee, the Special Committee on Self-Government, and the Committee on Legislative Urgency, Regulations, and Government. For three terms in office, he chaired the Human Rights Committee (1998-2008). He was also a member of the Basque Language Advisory Board (1994-2001), and previously, a member of the University of the Basque Country (EHU-UPV) Social Council. President Urkullu is a teacher by trade. He studied a Degree in Teacher Training, specializing in Basque Philology. He taught at the Asti-Leku Ikastola Basque language school in Portugalete and at the Félix Serrano School in Bilbao, after obtaining his tenured position in the public education system. Born in Alonsotegi (Bizkaia) in 1961, Urkullu is married and has two sons and a daughter.

Mr. Lubin Wang
Chief Representative Officer ICBC Africa, Non-Executive Director Standard Bank Group
Mr. Lubin Wang

Chief Representative Officer ICBC Africa, Non-Executive Director Standard Bank Group

Lubin Wang is the chief representative officer of the ICBC African Representative Office. He has held several positions within ICBC, including deputy manager of the Finance Management Division, senior manager of the Overseas Financial Management Division within the Finance and Accounting Department as well as head of the Accounting and IT Department in the ICBC Sydney Branch.

Mr. Mahmoud Mohieldin
Special Envoy on Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
Mr. Mahmoud Mohieldin

Special Envoy on Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Dr. Mohieldin, is an economist with more than 30 years of experience in international finance and development. He is the United Nations Special Envoy on Financing the 2030 Agenda.

He was the former Minister of Investment of Egypt from 2004-2010, and most recently, served as the World Bank Group Senior Vice President for the 2030 Development Agenda, United Nations Relations and Partnerships. His roles at the World Bank also included Managing Director, responsible for Human Development, Sustainable Development, Poverty Reduction and Economic Management, Finance and Private Sector Development, and the World Bank Institute; World Bank President's Special Envoy on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Post-2015 Development Agenda (later, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)), and Financing for Development; and Corporate Secretary and Executive Secretary to the Development Committee of the World Bank Group's Board of Governors.

Mr. Mohieldin also served on several Boards of Directors in the Central Bank of Egypt and the corporate sector. He was a member of the Commission on Growth and Development and selected a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum in 2005. His professional experience extends into the academic arena as a Professor of Economics and Finance at the Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University and as a Visiting Professor at several renowned Universities in Egypt, Korea, the UAE, the UK and the USA. He is a member of the International Advisory Board of Durham University Business School. He also holds leading positions in national, regional and international research centers and economic associations.

Mr. Mohieldin holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Warwick, United Kingdom; a Master’s in Economics and Social Policy Analysis from the University of York, United Kingdom; a Diploma of Development Economics from the University of Warwick; and a B.Sc. in Economics from Cairo University. He also participated in high-level certification programmes at Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown University. In 2018, the American University in Cairo conferred upon him the honorary degree of doctor of Humane Letters “in recognition of renowned attainments and achievements”.

He has authored numerous publications and articles in leading journals in the fields of economics, finance and development in English and Arabic.

Mr. Thomas Gass
Head of the South Cooperation Department of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
Mr. Thomas Gass

Head of the South Cooperation Department of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation

Thomas Gass was appointed by the Secretary-General as Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs in UN DESA and he took office on 3 September 2013. He brings with him wide-ranging experience in bilateral and multilateral development cooperation. From 2009 to 2013, he served as Head of the Mission of Switzerland to Nepal (Ambassador and Country Director of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation), where he established the Embassy of Switzerland in Nepal, and ensured the delivery of a development cooperation programme of up to 33 million dollars a year. He also chaired the Donors of the Nepal Peace Trust Fund, the main instrument for international support to Nepal’s peace process.

Before his posting to Nepal from 2004 to 2009, Mr. Gass was Head of the Economic and Development Section at the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the UN in New York, where he represented Switzerland’s interests, in particular in the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), its subsidiary Commissions, the General Assembly and the Executive Boards of the major UN Funds and Programmes. During this time, Mr Gass was the Chair of the Donor Group of the UN Global Compact.

In 2006, he was the Vice-President for Western European and Other Group (WEOG) of the Commission on Population and Development, and in 2008 he was the Vice-President (WEOG) of the Executive Board of UNDP/UNFPA. In 2007, he successfully facilitated the landmark TCPR/QCPR Resolution, the periodic review of the General Assembly operational system for development.

Mr. Gass also served as Policy and Programme Officer for the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, as Deputy Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Guyana, and as Regional Director for Europe with the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute in Rome.

Born in 1963, Thomas Gass holds a PhD in natural sciences from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and a MSc and engineering diploma in agricultural sciences from the same Institute. He is married and father of three adult children.

Ms. Olivia Prentice
Director, COO, Impact Management Project, Bridges Fund Management
Ms. Olivia Prentice

Director, COO, Impact Management Project, Bridges Fund Management

Olivia is a Director for the Impact+ team. She is currently on secondment as the Chief Operating Officer of the Impact Management Project, responsible for content and operations. She is based in New York.

Prior to this, she led Bridges’ impact management strategy internally across all fund types (growth equity, social impact bond, social businesses and and property), which included developing and implementing tools and software for investment selection and impact accounting. She specialises in helping financial institutions, investors, corporates, policymakers and entrepreneurs design and enhance their impact measurement and management practices, working across multiple geographies and diverse strategies.

Before joining Bridges, Olivia worked for CDC, the UK’s Development Finance Institution, assessing and measuring the development impact of their investments across Africa and South Asia. She also supported the DFID Impact Fund in the initial stages of its strategy to make impact investments benefiting the poorest people in developing countries.

Olivia has an MA in International Relations from King’s College London, and a BA (Hons) in History from Durham University.

Ms. Vera Songwe
Executive Secretary of ECA
Ms. Vera Songwe

Executive Secretary of ECA

Vera Songwe is the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). Upon her appointment, she became the first woman to lead the institution in its 60-year history.

As Executive Secretary, Songwe’s reforms have focused on “ideas for a prosperous Africa”, and have brought to the fore critical issues of macroeconomic stability, development finance, private sector growth, poverty and inequality, the digital transformation, trade and competitiveness.

She was listed as one of Africa’s 50 most powerful women by Forbes in 2020 and named as one of the ‘100 Most Influential Africans’ by Jeune Afrique in 2019. In 2017, New African Magazine listed her as one of the ‘100 Most Influential Africans’ and the FT named her one of the ’25 African to watch’ in 2015.

Prior to ECA, she held a number of senior leadership roles with the International Finance Corporation and World Bank.

Statements
Statements
H.E. Mr. Dag-Inge Ulstein, Minister of International Development, Norway
Jose Viera
Mr. Belgacem Ayed - Opening Remark
Women's Major Group
Presentations
Mr. Homi Kharas, Interim Vice President and Director of the Global Economy and Development program, Brookings Institution
Ms. Yongyi Min, Development Data and Outreach Branch, Statistics Division of UN DESA
United Nations