REMARKS TO THE CLOSING OF THE HIGH-LEVEL POLITICAL FORUM ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
New York, 19 September 2023
Mr. President of the General Assembly, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
This SDG Summit issued a call to action.
Today, you’ve answered that call with a rescue plan for the Sustainable Development Goals.
You arrived at this Summit with new ideas and stories of how your countries are working to drive progress towards the SDGs, and the sustainable future all people need and deserve.
But you’re leaving here with something far more critical — a “development to-do list.”
We must make the most of this Summit’s momentum to spur progress in the months ahead — and you can do so in seven key areas.
First — transform your support of the SDG Stimulus into real investments in developing countries.
We need to reach at least $500 billion per year for sustainable development, including through multilateral development banks and other mechanisms.
To carry forward this initiative, I am calling for the formation of a Leaders Group to deliver a set of clear steps that enable the $500 billion to start flowing before the end of 2024.
Second — translate the commitments made at this Summit into concrete policies, budgets, investment portfolios and actions.
And shift the focus of Voluntary National Reviews to advance accountability and catalogue progress made against this week’s commitments.
Third — strengthen your support for action across the six key SDG transitions highlighted here — food, energy, digitalization, education, social protection and jobs, and biodiversity.
The UN development system will take this work to the next level in the months ahead, and we will measure progress at the High Level Political Forum next July.
Fourth — start planning now for massive increases in investments in social protection.
We must bring to life the Global Accelerator on Jobs and Social Protection to cover one billion additional people by 2025 and four billion by 2030.
Fifth — as the political declaration makes clear, it’s high time for developed countries to meet their Official Development Assistance target of 0.7 per cent of gross national income.
As you plan your spending priorities for next year’s budget cycle, make it happen.
Sixth — next month’s meeting of the IMF and World Bank must not be “business as usual.”
In addition to recapitalization, we need to see an urgent additional re-channeling of $100 billion in un-used Special Drawing Rights.
Government delegations should also arrive with specific proposals to massively leverage private funding in support of developing countries.
This should include proposals around innovative financing mechanisms like blended public and private finance and the use of debt swaps called for in the political declaration.
More broadly, we need to improve global debt mechanisms overall including by speeding up procedures, enabling immediate debt suspensions and restructuring debt on longer and affordable terms for countries in urgent need.
And in line with the political declaration, we need to reform the global financial architecture, with concrete proposals developed in time for next year’s Summit of the Future and the next Financing for Development Conference in 2025.
And seventh — arrive at COP28 next month with concrete plans and proposals to avoid the worst effects of climate change, keep global promises to provide essential support, and help developing countries achieve a just and equitable transition to renewable energy.
In particular, this will be the moment to operationalize the new loss and damage fund at COP28 — as well as the Global Biodiversity Framework Fund called for at COP15.
Ending our senseless war on nature must move from words to action this year.
The development to-do list is not just homework.
This is hope work.
And action is the price of hope.
We have a rescue plan before us, in the political declaration.
Now is the time to lift the declaration’s words off the page, and invest in development at scale like never before.
Now is the time to go back to your countries and get to work on the policies, budgets and investments needed to achieve the SDGs.
Above all, now is the time for leadership.
Let’s take action now for a better, healthier, more peaceful, sustainable and prosperous world.
I thank you.