UN chief urges SDG Stimulus of at least $ 500 bn per year 

UN chief urges SDG Stimulus of at least $ 500 bn per year 
17 / 01 / 2024
بقلم Marwa Nassar - -

United Nations (UN) Secretary General António Guterres called for an SDG Stimulus of at least $ 500 billion per year in “affordable long-term financing for investments in sustainable development and climate action”. 

He added that Investment in climate action and sustainable development is falling woefully short. Hunger and poverty are on the rise. And growing divisions between countries and economies are preventing an effective response.

He made the remark in a foreword to the World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) report issued recently by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).

He highlighted the Summit of the Future in September 2024 as an opportunity to advance reforms of the international financial system.

Guterres outlined the need to “unlock[] big, bold investments [that] can drive sustainable development and climate action, and put the global economy on a stronger growth path for all.” 

The report calls for stronger international cooperation to stimulate growth and promote green transition.

“Persistently high interest rates, further escalation of conflicts, sluggish international trade, and increasing climate disasters, pose significant challenges to global growth,” a DESA press release said.

The report also flags that heavy debt burdens, high interest rates, and increasing climate-related vulnerabilities are projected to further constrain economic prospects for small island developing States (SIDS), undermining, and in some cases threatening to reverse, progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The report recommends that governments expand fiscal support to stimulate growth amid tight global monetary conditions. It emphasizes the need for robust and effective global cooperation initiatives “to avoid debt crises and provide adequate financing to developing countries.” 

Scaled up climate finance, and industrial policies to bolster innovation and productive capacity, build resilience, and accelerate a green transition are also among the recommendations.

The World Economic Situation and Prospects 2023 was released on 4 January. DESA developed the report in partnership with the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the five UN regional commissions. The UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) and the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) also contributed to the report.

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