SDGs

Time for a Big Money Makeover to Save the SDGs – Let’s Make Some Big Bucks, y’all!

Financing for sustainable development is at a crossroads and without urgent investment, global efforts to achieve a more just and equitable world by 2030 will fail, the UN deputy chief warned on Tuesday. 

Presenting the latest UN report on the issue, Amina Mohammed called for “a surge in investment” and reform of the international financial system to rescue the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which are woefully offtrack. 

World leaders adopted the 17 SDGs nearly a decade ago and they include ending extreme poverty and hunger, ensuring availability to clean water and sanitation, and reducing inequality within and among countries.

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‘Finance is the crux’ 

“At our current rates, we estimate some 600 million people will still be living in extreme poverty beyond 2030. And as the report shows, finance is the crux of the problem,” Ms. Mohammed said, speaking at UN Headquarters in New York.

The 2024 Financing for Sustainable Development Report says urgent steps are needed to mobilise financing at scale to close the development financing gap, now estimated at $4.2 trillion annually, up from $ 2.5 trillion before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, rising geopolitical tensions, climate disasters and a global cost-of-living crisis have hit billions of people, battering progress on healthcare, education, and other development targets. 

Drowning in debt 

Staggering debt burdens and rising borrowing costs are large contributors to the sustainable development crisis. 

Estimates are that in the least developed countries, debt service will be $40 billion annually between 2023 and 2025, up more than 50 per cent from $26 billion in 2022. Stronger and more frequent climate related disasters account for more than half of the debt upsurge in vulnerable countries.  

Deputy Secretary-General Mohammed said roughly 40 per cent of the global population, some 3.3 billion people, live in countries where governments now spend more on interest payments than on education or health.  

Meanwhile, the global economy is not supporting investment and development as it should, she noted. Average growth rates have steadily declined over the last 25 years, from over six per cent before the global financial crisis more than 15 years ago to around four per cent today. 

Reform outdated financial system 

The report calls for scaling up public and private investment in the SDGs, highlighting the importance of reform of the development bank system.   

In this regard, donors also need to make good on commitments on Official Development Assistance (ODA) and climate finance. 

Secondly, the current international financial architecture – established nearly 80 years ago – must also be remade as it is “no longer fit for purpose”, she said, and developing countries should have a greater voice in global economic governance. 

Close ‘credibility gaps’ 

Finally, world leaders must close “credibility gaps” and trust deficits. This is especially the case for wealthier nations, which have made promises on global governance reform, aid delivery, and domestic reforms to tackle corruption and inequality, including gender inequality. 

Stating that the report’s message could not be clearer, Ms. Mohammed said “we must choose now either to succeed together or we will fail together,” stressing that “failure is not an option.” 

The report also encourages governments to make the most of “significant opportunities ahead”, she added, pointing to major conferences such as the Summit of the Future at UN Headquarters in September and the Fourth International Conference on Financing for Development scheduled for next year. 

The Summit has been described as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to enhance cooperation on critical challenges and address gaps in global governance, and to reaffirm commitments, including to the SDGs. 

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12 Comments

  1. Finance is indeed the crux of the problem. Without massive investment and financial reform, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 will be a daunting task. Urgent action is needed to close the development financing gap and ensure a more just and equitable world for all.

  2. Finance is indeed the crux of the problem when it comes to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Without a significant increase in investment and reform of the financial system, we risk failing to create a more just and equitable world by 2030. Urgent action is needed to bridge the development financing gap and ensure that no one is left behind in the pursuit of ending poverty and reducing inequality.

  3. It’s clear that urgent action is needed to address the financing gap and ensure that the SDGs are achieved by 2030. The current situation is alarming, and without significant investment and reform, millions will continue to live in extreme poverty. Let’s prioritize sustainable development and make the necessary financial changes to create a more just and equitable world for all.

  4. Finance is crucial in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. It’s time for a significant increase in investment to address the pressing issues highlighted in the UN report.

  5. It’s crucial for world leaders to take action now and prioritize investing in sustainable development goals. The current financial system needs a major overhaul to address the urgent funding gap and ensure a more equitable future for all.

  6. It’s crucial that we take immediate action to address the financing gap for sustainable development. Without significant investment, achieving the SDGs by 2030 will be impossible. The urgency cannot be overstated, and world leaders must prioritize reforming the international financial system to ensure a more equitable world for all.

  7. Is there a detailed plan outlined in the article on how to attract the necessary investment for achieving the SDGs?

  8. Is there any specific plan outlined in the article on how to attract the needed investments to save the SDGs?

  9. It’s about time we prioritize and allocate more resources towards sustainable development. The urgent need for investment and reform cannot be overstated if we are to make any progress towards the SDGs by 2030. Let’s get serious about closing the financing gap and ensuring a more just and equitable world for all.

  10. I completely agree with Ms. Mohammed that finance is indeed the crux of the problem when it comes to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Urgent investment and reform of the international financial system are crucial to rescue the SDGs and create a more equitable world by 2030.

  11. As a financial advisor, I completely agree that a big money makeover is necessary to ensure the success of the Sustainable Development Goals. Without significant investment and reform in the financial system, we will not be able to address the challenges of extreme poverty, inequality, and climate change by 2030. It is crucial for world leaders to take immediate action to mobilise financing and close the development financing gap. The time for action is now!

  12. It’s crucial for global leaders to prioritize investments in sustainable development to steer us towards achieving the SDGs by 2030. Without immediate action, the goals will remain out of reach, leaving millions in extreme poverty. A financial overhaul is imperative to address the widening gap and ensure a more equitable world for all.

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