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

Minister of International Development, Norway

Dag-Inge Ulstein was a member of the Bergen City Council with responsibility for finance, innovation and real estate from 2015 to 2019. Before that, he had responsibility for social services, housing and local area development on the City Council from 2013 to 2014. He has also worked as general manager and counsellor at the Haraldsplass discussion therapy center in Bergen from 2012 to 2014. Mr Ulstein is deeply committed to the work to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), international solidarity and justice.

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

Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the UN, Co-facilitator for 2018 FfD outcome document

Ambassador E. Courtenay Rattray is the Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the United Nations, a post to which he was appointed on 1st June 2013. Prior to this appointment, he served as Jamaica’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, from December 2008 until May 2013. Ambassador Rattray has chaired several UN intergovernmental negotiating processes and high-level meetings, including on financing for sustainable development, non-communicable diseases, implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the reform of the UN Security Council. He currently co-chairs with the Ambassador of Canada, a UN Group of Friends comprised of 60 Ambassadors that works with the private sector to mobilize the trillions in capital required to implement the SDGs. He is also a co-chair of the UN Group of Friends of Children, which works closely with UNICEF to advance the interests and well-being of children around the world.

Ambassador Rattray was also the chair of the UN’s Permanent Memorial Committee, which spearheaded efforts to erect a memorial at the UN in 2015 to the victims of the transatlantic slave trade. Ambassador Rattray holds a BA in International Studies from West Virginia Wesleyan College, a MSc. in International Business from South Bank University in London, and a MA (Global Master of Arts Program) from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, Boston, where he gave the Commencement Address to the Graduating Class of 2015. He has also been conferred with an Honorary Doctorate from his alma mater, West Virginia Wesleyan College at which he gave the Commencement Address in May 2017.

He is married to Tanya and has four children.

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. 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
World Bank Group Senior Vice President for the 2030 Development Agenda, United Nations Relations, and Partnerships
Mr. Mahmoud Mohieldin

World Bank Group Senior Vice President for the 2030 Development Agenda, United Nations Relations, and Partnerships

Mahmoud Mohieldin is the World Bank Group Senior Vice President for the 2030 Development Agenda, United Nations Relations, and Partnerships.

Before joining the World Bank, Mohieldin held numerous senior positions in the government of Egypt, including minister of investment from 2004 until 2010. He also served on several boards of directors, including the Central Bank of Egypt and the banking and corporate sector. He was a member of the Commission on Growth and Development and selected a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.

He is a professor of economics and finance at Cairo University, an honorary professor at Durham University and a member of the Advisory Board of the Durham Business School. He also held leading positions in national and regional research centers and think tanks. He has authored numerous publications and articles in leading journals in the fields of international finance, economics, and development in English and Arabic.

He received his doctorate in economics from the University of Warwick, M.Sc. in economic and social policy analysis from the University of York, and B.Sc. in economics, first in the order of merit, from Cairo University.

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 the Economic Commission for Africa
Ms. Vera Songwe

Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa

Ms. Songwe brings to the position a longstanding track record of policy advice and results oriented implementation in the region, coupled with a demonstrated strong and clear strategic vision for the continent. She is currently Regional Director Africa covering West and Central Africa for the International Finance Corporation (since 2015) and non-resident Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institute: Global Development and Africa Growth Initiative (since 2011). She was previously Country Director for Senegal, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau and Mauritania at the World Bank (2012-2015), Adviser to the Managing Director of the World Bank for Africa, Europe and Central Asia and South Asia Regions (2008-2011) and Lead Country Sector Coordinator and Senior Economist, Philippines (2005-2008). She joined the World Bank as a Young Professional.

Born in 1968, she holds a Ph.D. in Mathematical Economics, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics, a Master of Arts in Law and Economics and a Diplôme D'Etudes Approfondies in Economic Sciences and Politics from the Université Catholique De Louvain, and a Bachelors of Arts degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Michigan. She is also a graduate of Our Lady of Lourdes College in Cameroon.

Statements
Statements
H.E. Mr. Dag-Inge Ulstein, Minister of International Development, Norway
Jose Viera
Mr. Belgacem Ayed - Opening Remark
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