Meeting the 2030 Agenda will require unprecedented investments in areas such as health and education, environmental protection, infrastructure and sustainable energy, rural development, peace and security and actions to tackle climate change. Every dollar will also need to be used effectively in support of sustainable development, and in particular reach those communities and peoples furthest behind. While financing needs for the new agenda are unquestionably high, there are also more opportunities for countries to mobilize new and additional sources of finance (public and private, domestic and international) as well as experiment with innovative new financing approaches. The development financing landscape is dynamic and constantly changing. Many countries are now able to mobilize more domestic resources for development. Foreign direct investment (FDI) flows are on the rise combined with increased capacities to leverage finance from domestic and international capital markets.

New development partners like our cooperation and development finance institutions, public-private ‘single issue’ vertical funds, philanthropic organizations and private ‘impact’ investors have also emerged or expanded their activities in recent years and now work actively alongside traditional donors. These new sources of finance and expertise increasingly complement traditional development cooperation and create opportunities for new partnerships and collaborations which can leverage the finance, expertise and networks of each partner.

How to finance the 2030 Agenda at the country level has emerged as a key issue since world leaders adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September 2015. Governments’ abilities to mobilize, sequence and make effective use of a wide variety of both financing sources and financing instruments and strategies will be central to their ability to achieve the ambitious new sustainable development agenda. This is reflected in SDG 17, “strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development” which tasks countries to strengthen domestic resource mobilization, meet aid commitments and mobilize additional financial resources for development from multiple sources.

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We must rise higher to rescue the Sustainable Development Goals – and stay true to our promise of a world of peace, dignity and prosperity on a healthy planet.

António Guterres
Secretary-General, United Nations

The Sustainable Development Goals – a roadmap out of crisis

As the world faces cascading and interlinked global crises and conflicts, the aspirations set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development are in jeopardy. With the COVID-19 pandemic in its third year, the war in Ukraine is exacerbating food, energy, humanitarian and refugee crises – all against the background of a full-fledged climate emergency. Using current data, The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2022 provides evidence of the destructive impacts of these crises on the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The world is facing a confluence of crises that threaten the very survival of humanity. All of these crises – and ways to prevent and navigate them – are addressed holistically in the SDGs.

The severity and magnitude of the challenges before us demand sweeping changes on a scale not yet seen in human history. We must start by ending armed conflicts and embarking on a path of diplomacy and peace – a precondition for sustainable development. We simply cannot tolerate war and the senseless loss of precious lives and resources it entails.

Second, we must adopt low-carbon, resilient and inclusive development pathways that will reduce carbon emissions, conserve natural resources, transform our food systems, create better jobs and advance the transition to a greener, more inclusive and just economy. The road map laid out in the SDGs is clear. Just as the impact of crises is compounded when they are linked, so are solutions. When we take action to strengthen social protection systems, improve public services and invest in clean energy, for example, we address the root causes of increasing inequality, environmental degradation and climate change.

Third, nothing short of a comprehensive transformation of the international financial and debt architecture will be required to accomplish these aims and to avoid a two-track recovery, with developing countries left behind. The stakes could not be higher. If humanity is to survive, we must survive together, leaving no one behind.

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