Conference Jump-starts 2018 Discussions on SDG Financing
UN Photo/Manuel Elías
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The ‘Doha Messages’ adopted at the High-level Conference in Qatar will feed into the 2018 sessions of the FfD Forum and HLPF.

The agreed text notes that Islamic finance could play an important role in achieving the SDGs by promoting social inclusion, through channeling resources for social investments through solidarity-based Islamic finance products, and filling the sustainable infrastructure financing gap.

19 November 2017: The State of Qatar, in cooperation with the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), held the first joint preparatory meeting for the 2018 meetings of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Forum on Financing for Development Follow-up (FfD Forum) and UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). Participants agreed on a set of ten ‘Doha Messages’ on strengthening coherence and cooperation for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) on FfD.

The High-level Conference on FfD and the Means of Implementation of the 2030 Agenda took place from 18-19 November 2017, in Doha, Qatar, with the participation of representatives from 58 countries, as well as international financial institutions (IFIs), the private sector, civil society and academia.

The ten Doha Messages presented at the end of the Conference stress that increasing the share of gross domestic product (GDP) for investing in social capital has shown positive impact on the fundamentals of economic growth. The recommendations include: setting up national development banks to sustain long-term investment for social sectors; blending public and private resources to address near-term shortages of public services; and unpacking the potential of blended finance in different country contexts by global follow-up and review mechanisms.

The agreed text stresses that there is no alternative to multilateralism, and the backlash against global trade is “based on the wrong diagnosis, which leads to the wrong medicine.” The Messages recommend strengthening the UN as “the cornerstone of multilateralism” and making trade work better by designing and implementing policies that tackle job losses and inequality.

The Doha Messages call to scale up investment in water and energy infrastructure, to overcome the uneven distribution of resources.

The Doha Messages also call to scale up investment in water and energy infrastructure, and note that cross-border, regional and global electricity exchange is “essential” for overcoming the uneven distribution of energy resources and for unlocking the full potential of intermittent renewable sources (including reaching those at risk of being left behind). Noting that resource efficiency and environmental resource management need to substantially improve, the Messages recommend economic and technology transfer mechanisms, combined with smart SDG policies.

As governments explore new financing mechanisms for investing in the growing low-carbon economy, the agreed text suggests that sovereign wealth funds could become an important player in green investment. It explains that Islamic finance could play an important role in achieving the SDGs by promoting social inclusion, through channeling resources for social investments through solidarity-based Islamic finance products, as well as by filling the large financing gap for investment in sustainable infrastructure.

Participants also discussed the six Goals that will come under in-depth review at the 2018 session of the HLPF: SDGs 6 (clean water and sanitation), 7 (affordable and clean energy), 11 (sustainable cities and communities), 12 (responsible consumption and production) and 15 (life on land). [Conference Website] [Conference Overview] [Conference Press Release, 19 November] [Conference Press Release, 18 November] [Doha Messages]


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