The Secretary-General Remarks at the high-level event financing the 2030 Agenda – the role of the United Nations New York, 18 September 2017

[As delivered]


Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is an enormous pleasure to be with you today starting our – I would say – “difficult week,” in which I will do everything possible to make sure that we take advantage of this fantastic gathering of decision makers from all over the world to really give a strong impulse also to the Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals.

We know that globalization has brought extraordinary benefits.  Yet it is also clear that it remains fundamentally unequal and ultimately unsustainable.

Many people around the world are mired in extreme poverty.  Unacceptable inequalities persist.

We see the gap between globalisation’s potential and unequal gains reflected in peoples’ fears, anxieties and outright anger.

The 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals are a blueprint for building an inclusive, sustainable fair globalization and overcoming the resistance that still exists in so many parts of the world.

Finance is pivotal for success.

The Addis Ababa Action Agenda highlights the importance of being innovative when it comes to leveraging resources and financing for development.

This includes tax reform by developing countries themselves – but also international efforts to fight tax evasion, money laundering and the illicit financial flows that have depleted domestic resource bases.

I am convinced that today there is more money leaving a continent like Africa due to money laundering and tax evasion and illicit financial flows than the money that goes in through official development aid, and this is a common responsibility of the international community.

It means donors upholding commitments to Official Development Assistance.  And it means helping developing countries attract innovative finance and gain greater access to financial markets and private investment.

In addition, the world generates trillions in savings every year. But today, almost US$50 trillion of citizens’ savings are earning low or negative financial returns, instead of flowing to finance the 2030 Agenda that will generate inclusive, sustainable growth.

Set against the imperatives underlying the 2030 Agenda, today’s global financial system, which manages some US$300 trillion in financial assets on our collective behalf, is simply not fit for purpose.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

We know the world has the resources to deliver the 2030 Agenda.  We must get these resources to where they are needed most. Building on the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, we are taking forward a three-part strategy for enhancing UN support to financing the 2030 Agenda.

First, I will lead the UN system in an effort to ensure that the objectives of the Agenda are fully reflected in international economic and financial policies that impact the mobilization of financing.

We will enhance our work with key inter-governmental platforms such as the G20, including shared efforts to address illicit financial flows.

Second, we are reforming the UN development system to strengthen UN country teams.  We want to support countries in brokering partnerships for innovative finance, better leverage resources for sustainable development, and create the conditions to attract and manage financial investments and private sector investments.

Third, I will champion key international initiatives that can harness large-scale changes in financing and financial system development, such as in the fields of digitalization and climate finance and in cooperating with major investment initiatives.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

We can do more.

Financing requires a long-term effort, but our strategy envisages some key, short and medium term results. That is why I plan to host a Finance Summit in New York in September, 2018, to review progress across key international platforms, and progress domestically by Member States.

The choices we make on finance will be critical.

We can choose to bemoan the lack of financing for the 2030 Agenda in a world awash with so much unproductive and unrewarding finance.  Or we can grasp the opportunity to reshape finance according to our urgent, collective needs.

The choice seems clear.  Let us invest in the 2030 Agenda and finance a better world for all.

Thank you.

(Visited 122 times, 1 visits today)
About Cholo Brooks 15377 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.