2018 The Secretary-General’s Strategy for Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
(2018-2021), September 2018.
1: Aligning global economic policies and financial systems with the 2030 Agenda.
1.1 Public policies that are firmly and consistently formulated to achieve sustainable development can realign incentives and alter market perceptions of risk.
1.2 These changes to the policy framework must ensure specific financial sector policies and regulations that encourage the rising demand for, and supply of, finance for sustainable activities.
1.3 While there are fragmented standards, there are still no globally agreed definitions of concepts such as impact and sustainable investing, despite growing private interest in them; and existing sustainability principles have not yet led to adoption of globally accepted standards to guide the evolution of innovative financial instruments for sustainable finance—such as green bonds, sustainability bonds, SDG bonds and other innovative instruments.
1.4 The United Nations plays a unique role in setting the global norms with which economic policies and financial systems should be aligned.
1.5 The United Nations has been working closely with global policymakers and regulators to foster a deeper understanding of the role of public policy in developing a sustainable financial system.
1.6 Private financial institutions, for their part, have been working with the United Nations to understand today’s environmental, social and governance challenges and why they matter to finance.
2: Enhancing sustainable financing strategies and investments at the regional and country levels.
2.1 The United Nations development system will support the development of sustainable financing strategies at the country and regional level, in particular through its country offices and regional teams.
2.2 Countries must also strengthen and increase the effectiveness of their tax systems to generate the domestic resources for funding the government contribution to meeting the SDGs.
3: Seizing the potential of financial innovations, new technologies and digitalization to provide equitable access to finance.
3.1 Access to finance is one of the pre-requisites of sustainable and equitable development.
3.2 Financial innovation, including new financial instruments, as well as new financial technologies, institutions and markets have great potential to help close these gaps
3.3 The United Nations will bring together policy makers and financial regulators, as well as the innovators in the space of digital finance and fintech
2017 Enhanced cooperation between the United Nations and all relevant partners, in particular the private sector
, Report of the Secretary-General, A/72/310, 10 August 2017 Compendium of National Institutional Arrangements for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
, Pilot version based on the 22 countries that reported on national implementation at the 2016 HLPF. This document takes stock of institutional arrangements adopted by 22 UN Member States to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including: the adoption and the adaptation of national strategies and plans; national institutional arrangements; local authorities; parliaments; engaging and equipping public institutions and administrations; civil society and the private sector; and monitoring and review. the institutions leading implementation should have sufficient clout, the ability to mobilize resources and the vision and capacities necessary to plan SDG implementation in the whole country, and warns against perceiving the SDGs as restricted to a specific sector such as the environment or as related only to foreign affairs or development cooperation. SDGs should not be the exclusive domain of the executive branch or a ministry-driven exercise, but parliaments and “the political world” should be mobilized around the Goals. If the SDGs are incorporated in national plans and budgets, it says, parliaments will be naturally able to review their implementation, thus enhancing accountability. There is little evidence that public servants are being mobilized and equipped to implement the SDGs. On civil society and the private sector, the compendium recommends fairly institutionalizing their engagement rather than only depending on an ad hoc participatory process. Summary of the fifth biennial high-level meeting of the Development Cooperation Forum
, Note by the Secretariat, E/2017/76, 28 June 2017. Financing the UN Development System
: Pathways to Reposition for Agenda 2030, September 2017. In 2015, the total revenue for the UN system as a whole was US$ 48 billion. Of this, US$ 9 billion was for peacekeeping and close to US$ 27 billion was for operational activities for development (OAD), with almost US$ 21 billion going to five entities (UNICEF, UNDP, WHO, WFP and UNHCR). Operational activities for development represent some 60% compared to peacekeeping at 20%, and norms, standards, policy and advocacy at 20%. Non-earmarked funding flows for the UN development system have stagnated, while the volume of humanitarian assistance increased. State of South-South cooperation
, Report of the Secretary-General, A/72/297, 7 August 2017. In recent years, the scope of South-South cooperation has expanded well beyond technical cooperation and exchange of knowledge to include trade, investment, infrastructure and connectivity as well as coordination of policies and development strategies among developing countries. South-South cooperation has also become more visible in regional and global development discourse and initiatives. The General Assembly has proposed the convening of a high-level conference on South-South cooperation, to be held in Buenos Aires in 2019.
Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters: Update on environmental taxation
, Note by the Secretariat, E/C.18/2017/5, 8 August 2017. Most of the countries currently applying environmental taxes are members of the European Union. The Nordic countries are particularly active in this area and have had long experience with carbon taxes. Countries will diverge as to whether they apply the tax on an upstream (for example, the exploration and exploitation of fossil fuels for resource-rich countries, or the importation of fossil fuels for countries that do not hold mineral reserves), midstream (for example, the refining and transport of fossil fuels) or downstream (all activities related to the sale of the refined by-product to a final consumer) basis, and the effects of applying the tax at each of these stages should be further analysed by the Committee. United Nations Office for Partnerships
, Report of the Secretary-General, A/72/167, 18 July 2017. The United Nations Fund for International Partnerships (UNFIP) was established in 1998 to serve as the interface between the United Nations Foundation and the United Nations system. At the end of 2016, the cumulative allocations as approved by the Foundation for UNFIP projects to be implemented by the United Nations system had reached approximately $1.4 billion. Of this amount, it is estimated that $0.45 billion (about 31 per cent) represents core funds contributed by Ted Turner and $0.99 billion (about 69 per cent) was generated as co-financing from other partners. The total number of United Nations projects and programmes supported up to the end of 2016 by the Foundation through UNFIP stood at 618, implemented by 48 United Nations entities in 127 countries.
ECOSOC: Summary of the fifth biennial high-level meeting of the Development Cooperation Forum
, E/2017/76, 28 June 2017, High-level political forum on sustainable development, convened under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council, 10-19 July 2017. Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals
, Report of the Secretary-General, High-level political forum on sustainable development, E/2017/66, 11 May 2017. Beyond Gross Domestic Products
: multidimensional poverty and the Sustainable Development Goals, report of the Secretary General for the high-level segment, E/2017/69, 8 May 2017. SDG Commitment Report 100: Tracking companies’ efforts to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals
. 82% of 100 analyzed blue chips disclosed their commitment to the SDG in their 2016 annual reports. Financing for Development: Progress and prospects
, Note by the Secretary-General, 31 March 2017. Countries are taking actions on the AAAA policy commitments and have started to bring them together into coherent implementation frameworks. However, the challenging global environment in 2016 had significant impacts on national implementation efforts. National efforts supported by multilateral cooperation for sustainable development could help change the trajectory of the global economy and support countries toward achieving the SDGs, and increased investment should be complemented by measures to directly ameliorate the living conditions of the poor and vulnerable, such as social protection floors. International financial flows and external debt
, Development Issues No. 10, 24 March 2017. FDI fell to an estimated $209 billion in 2016, from $431 billion in 2015. ODA from the DAC member countries of OECD reached $146.5 billion in 2015, an increase of 6.6 per cent over 2014 (in constant prices). This increase, however, was largely owed to additional spending on the situation of refugees. Worldwide remittance flows in 2015 are estimated to be over $601 billion, from which developing countries received about $432 billion, only 0.4 per cent above 2014. The combined debt of Governments, households and non-financial firms reached an all-time high of $152 trillion in 2015, or 225 per cent of world gross product (WGP). Private sector debt accounts for approximately two thirds of the total debt stock. Implementation of General Assembly resolution 67/226
on the quadrennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities for development of the United Nations system: funding analysis, Report of the Secretary-General. Financing had shifted from an early reliance on mandatory assessed contributions towards voluntary un-earmarked resources, and increasingly, to strictly earmarked funding. UNHRC
: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment
, A/HRC/34/49, 19 January 2017 Implementation of the United Nations system-wide action plan on indigenous peoples
, Note by the secretariat, 7 February 2017, E/C.19/2017/2
2016 The UN development system and its operational activities for development: Updating the definitions
, A report prepared for the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs for the 2016 Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review. John Burley and Douglas Lindores, Independent Experts, 5 February 2016
United Nations Evaluation Group: Norms and Standards for Evaluation
, New York: UNEG. Evaluation Competency Framework
, New York: UNEG. External debt sustainability and development
, Report of the Secretary-General, 2 August 2016, A/71/276. The total external debt stocks of developing countries and economies in transition reached approximately $6.8 trillion in 2015, compared with $2.1 trillion in 2000, while exports grew from $1.5 trillion in 2000 to $6.9 trillion in 2015. Total debt stocks in sub-Saharan Africa increased from $213 billion in 2000 to $413 billion in 2015. Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation
: Nairobi Outcome Document
, second High-Level Meeting, Nairobi, Kenya, 28 November-1 December 2016 United Nations, OECD
: Total official support for sustainable development
, Committee for Development Policy, and TOSSD: a New Statistical Measure for the SDG Era
, OECD/DAC Implementation of General Assembly resolution 67/226 on the quadrennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities for development of the United Nations system: funding analysis
, Report of the Secretary-General, A/72/61–E/2017/4, 28 December 2016. 34 funds, programmes and agencies of the United Nations system's funding for operational activities for development in 2015 accounted for almost 60 per cent ($26.7 billion) of total funding for United Nations system-wide activities ($44.6 billion), representing a decrease of 6.8 per cent in nominal terms compared with 2014. Peacekeeping operations accounted for 20 per cent ($8.8 billion), and the global norm and standard-setting, policy and advocacy functions of the United Nations system accounted for the remaining 20 per cent ($9.1 billion).
Development Policy Forum (DPF): Financing for Development: The challenge of implementing SDGs
, Development Policy Forum (DPF) Roundtable, Spring 2015, Brussels
2013 UN System Task Team's Working Group on "Financing for sustainable development" issues background papers
: Chapter 1: Financing for sustainable development: Review of global investment requirement estimates
; Chapter 2: The variety of national, regional and international public sources for development finance
; Chapter 3: Challenges in raising private sector resources for financing sustainable development
; Chapter 4: Public support to private investment for sustainable development: challenges and opportunities, with emphasis on the environmental pillar State of South-South Cooperation in 2013: thematic developments, Group of 77 and China, United Nations system for South-South Cooperation, triangular cooperation, BRICS, least developed countries, Africa, South and Central America, ASEAN, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, Pacific Islands Forum, and civil society organizations Follow up Report (A/68/357)
General Assembly - External Debt: Report of the Secretary-General (A/68/203) on "External debt sustainability and development"
General Assembly - International Financial System and Development: Report of the Secretary-General (A/68/221) on "International financial system and development"
General Assembly - International Trade and Development: Report of the Secretary-General (A/68/205) on "International trade and development"
2012 GA resolution 67/199
, Report (A/67/339) Framework of operational guidelines on United Nations support to South-South and triangular cooperation (2012)
2011 Real-term decline in total contributions in 2011 GA resolution 66/191
, Report (A/66/329)
, Innovative mechanisms of financing for development UN report 2011 on debt
2010 Report of the Secretary-General's High-level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing
: Carbon market public revenues
, International transport
, Carbon-related revenues
, Development bank instruments
, Financial transaction tax
, Direct budget contributions
, Private finance
, Carbon markets UN report 2010
, Environmental Profile of the United Nations System Organizations: Review of their in-house environmental management policies and practices (2010)
2009 UN report 2009 Progress report on innovative sources of development finance
2008 Doha Declaration on Financing for Development: outcome document of the Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development to Review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus, final text adopted in 2008 Trends in South-South and triangular development cooperation, Background Study for the Development Cooperation Forum, April 2008 Poverty, Health & Environment
, June 2008
2007 Triennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities of the United Nations development system UN report on external debts
2006 UN report on external debts
2005 UN report 2005 on external debts World Economic and Social Survey 2005: Financing for Development Rethinking the role of National Development Banks
: a set of multi-stakeholder consultations during 2005-2007, in collaboration with NDBs, International Financial Institutions, Regional Development Banks, UN Regional Commissions and other interested parties from the official and private sectors, academia and civil society.
2004 Triennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities for development of the United Nations system
: conclusions and recommendations. resolution 59/250 adopted by the General Assembly UN report 2004 2004 Background Paper on Innovative Approaches to Domestic Resource Mobilization in Selected LDCs
, United Nations Committee for Development Policy, ST/ESA/2004/CDP/6 Innovative Approaches to Domestic Resource Mobilization in Selected LDCs (2004) Innovative sources of financing for development
2003 UN report 2003
2002 UN report 2002 on debt Monterrey Consensus of the International Conference on Financing for Development, final text adopted in 2002 Good Practice Paper: Towards Effective South-South and Triangular Cooperation
2001 Report on the Secretary-General on finance and trade
, E/CN.17/2001/PC/10, 2 March 2001 Finance and Trade (2001)
2000 Report on the Secretary-General on financial resources and mechanisms
, E/CN.17/2000/2, 26 January 2000 Financial Resources and Mechanisms, Eightth Session of Commission on Sustainable Development (2000)
1997 Report on the Secretary-General on financial resources and mechanisms
, E/CN.17/1997/2/Add.23, 22 January 1997 Financial Resources and Mechanisms, Fifth Session of Commission on Sustainable Development (1997)
1996 Report on the Secretary-General on financial resources and mechanisms
, E/CN.17/1996/4/Add.1, 22 February 1996 Financial Resources and Mechanisms, Fourth Session of Commission on Sustainable Development (1996)
1995 Second Expert Group Meeting on Financial Issues of Agenda 21
in Glen Cove, New York from 15 to 17 February 1995 Report of the Second Expert Group Meeting on Financial Issues of Agenda 21 (1995) Go back to top