A UN leader begs for “like never before” investment in the SDGs.

Speaking at the end of the two-day SDG Summit held at UN Headquarters, he urged world leaders to accelerate efforts towards achieving the 17 objectives, which are in jeopardy of failing because of the COVID-19 epidemic and other international issues.

We are not on the right road with our goals concerning hunger, health, biodiversity, strong institutions, pollution, and peaceful societies.

Turning words into deeds

“This is the moment to go beyond the words on the declaration and make large-scale investments in development,” he declared.

A commitment to funding developing nations and unambiguous support for an SDG Stimulus of at least $500 billion annually are included in the political declaration.

Presenting a “development to-do list” for the future, the Secretary-General urged nations to capitalize on the momentum from the Summit.

“True investments”

He emphasized the need to turn support for the SDG Stimulus “into real investments in developing countries.” Regarding this, he advocated for the formation of a Leaders Group that will devise precise measures to initiate funding before the close of 2024.

The Summit’s promises must be translated by leaders into tangible policies, spending plans, investment portfolios, and initiatives.

Furthermore, they must bolster backing for initiatives in six crucial SDG domains: food, energy, digitization, education, jobs and social protection, and biodiversity.

He also counseled them to “bring to life” a worldwide program to guarantee that an extra four billion people are covered by 2030 and to “start planning now for massive increases in investments in social protection.”

He went on, “It’s high time for developed countries to meet their Official Development Assistance target of 0.7 percent of gross national income, as the political declaration makes clear.”

Nothing will continue as usual

He cautioned that it cannot be “business as usual” at the next meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

He declared, “We need to see an urgent additional re-channeling of $100 billion in unutilized Special Drawing Rights in addition to recapitalization.”

To help its member countries with liquidity needs and to complement their official foreign exchange reserves, the IMF established Special Drawing Rights as a worldwide reserve asset.

In August 2021, the largest allocation in history—worth $650 billion—took place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic’s devastating effects on the economy.

Climate plans and ideas

The governments in attendance were under pressure from Mr. Guterres to submit ideas for how to “massively leverage private funding in support of developing countries.”

In a similar vein, he pushed them to bring tangible strategies and recommendations to the UN climate summit in Dubai next month in order to prevent the worst consequences of climate change, honor international commitments of assistance, and facilitate the shift of developing nations to renewable energy sources.

“The development to-do list is not just homework,” he stated in closing. I’m hoping that this will work. And hope comes at a cost: action.”

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