ESCAP Estimating Total Investments Needed to Achieve SDGs
Photo by IISD/ENB | Sean Wu
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The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific is attempting to estimate the full amount of investments that countries will need in order to achieve the SDGs.

The Commission convened a two-day Expert Group Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, from 14-15 November 2018, on this topic.

ESCAP noted that, while current indications are that most countries will be able to invest sufficiently, the 12 Asia-Pacific LDCs will need financial and technical assistance.

15 November 2018: The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) is attempting to estimate the full amount of investments that countries will need to make to achieve the SDGs. The regional commission convened a two-day Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on the topic, and noted that, while current indications are that most countries will be able to invest sufficiently, the 12 least developed countries (LDCs) in the Asia-Pacific region will need financial and technical assistance.

In a concept note titled, ‘How Much Do Ambitions Cost? Investment Needs for Achieving the SDGs,’ ESCAP reports that there is no single methodology suitable to assess investment needs across all SDGs. ESCAP previously estimated the costs of needed investments in education, health, social protection and sustainable energy.

The Commission notes that, given the diversity of the Asia-Pacific region, expert advice is needed to produce a comprehensive assessment of the amount of investment required to achieve the SDGs by 2030. The authors suggest that, although the investments needed are high, they are “within reach.”

The EGM, organized by ESCAP’s Macroeconomic Policy and Financing for Development Division, and held in Bangkok, Thailand, from 14-15 November 2018, brought together advisors from the Philippines Institute of Development Studies, the University of the South Pacific, Chulalongkorn University, the Economic Research Institute for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and East Asia, and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Development Fund, as well as from the Millennium Fund, the International Energy Agency (IEA) and several UN agencies, including the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

Outcomes of the EGM will feed into the 2019 Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific, and will inform regional and global assessments on SDG progress, as well as discussions at the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD) and the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). [Press Release] [Concept Note] [Programme]

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