The UN has issued the ‘United Nations Secretary-General’s SDG Stimulus to Deliver Agenda 2030,’ which offers recommendations on how to transform the global financial system. It calls on the Group of 20 (G20) to endorse the SDG Stimulus and outlines a three-point plan of action. A UN Development Programme (UNDP) brief finds its implementation could secure up to USD 148 billion in savings for developing economies by 2030.
The report highlights the multiple shocks that are threatening to derail the SDGs, including the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, the war in Ukraine, high inflation and weak economic growth, tightening monetary and financial conditions, and unsustainable debt burdens. It argues that “an unfair global financial system that is short-term oriented and crisis-prone” aggravates that the impact of these crises on developing countries, further exacerbating inequalities.
The SDG Stimulus identifies three areas for immediate action:
- Tackle the high cost of debt and rising risks of debt distress, including by converting short-term, high interest borrowing into long-term debt at lower interest rates;
- Massively scale up affordable long-term financing for development, especially through public development banks (PDBs), including multilateral development banks (MDBs), and by aligning all financing flows with the SDGs; and
- Expand contingency financing to countries in need.