Financing for SDGS
By: Patrick Liu
- Financing for SDGs - Breaking the Bottlenecks of Investment from Policy to Impact
The President of the General Assembly, Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, hosted the event. The PGA identified sustainable development as a priority for his tenure on the GA. The PGA brought representatives from the World Bank, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), regional development banks, and businesses. The event also provided a platform for stronger public-private partnerships. Additionally, it aimed to explore what the United Nations can do to better to align itself with the rapidly-changing world of international finance, and to support the 2030 Agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.
- Statements Overviews
There were many introductory speeches that emphasized the importance of financing in maintaining the platform of the sustainable development goals. Bill Gates, on behalf of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, spoke to the dual objective of “saving lives and providing opportunity”. As a major proponent for SDG fulfillment, Gates emphasized the capabilities of the “efficient and innovative” private sector.
Other presenters, such as , such as the, Ms. Namita Vikas, the Executive of YES Bank, touched upon the current work being done towards financing renewable energy investments.
She stated: “What is possible is not going to be enough. We need to reach for the impossible, and technology allows us the possibility of solving what was previously unsolvable.”
This quote resonated with me because it made me think about all that technology has done so far. It has changed our world, and it will clearly continue to change our world. There are almost no limits as to what we can do with technology, and many like Steve Waygood from Aviva Investors have “more hope than ever that we will achieve sustainable development”. Although this positive outlook is comforting, financing these technologies and innovations is an imperative.
In the first panel on “Building Fertile Soil for Business: Providing Concerted Leadership,” Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, truly emphasized this financial issue. Sachs argued that millionaires and billionaires have responsibilities to provide funding towards implementing the SDGs. He further asserted that “although the world is richer than it ever is, we cannot forget how poor some areas are.”
- Personal Statement
Although Sachs properly addressed this financial issue to SDGs, I personally do not believe that it is the fundamental issue. I believe that even if we had billions of dollars for SDGs, sustainable development would continue to be an issue. The issue is not fundamentally money. The issue is public exposure and education. Instead of focusing these conversations on the private sector, we need to find ways to encourage the people to become active advocates for sustainable development. We need to motivate the public to demand for SDG-aware businesses. We need to refocus our efforts on the 99% of the world population that are not billionaires or trillionaires, and educate these peoples on living sustainably. Only then will this movement have the traction and the attention of the world to truly fight for sustainable development goals.