The UN Conference on Trade and Development hosted the 2018 World Investment Forum on the theme, ‘Investing in Sustainable Development’.
The forum addressed SDG-relevant sectors and issues, convening actors from governments, the UN system, international organizations and the private sector.
A variety of reports and tools were launched, including an action plan from the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative, finance portal from UNCTAD, policy guide on entrepreneurship for migrations and refugees, and a reform package for the international investment regime.
26 October 2018: The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) convened the 2018 World Investment Forum, with discussions addressing: regional issues; investment in an industrialized, globalized world; blockchain; sovereign wealth funds; and SDG-relevant sectors such as gender and agriculture. More than 6,000 participants from 160 countries attended the 2018 gathering, which marked the ten-year anniversary of the Forum.
The Forum took place from 22-26 October 2018, in Geneva, Switzerland, centering on the theme, ‘Investing in Sustainable Development.’ The biennial forum serves as a multi-stakeholder gathering of actors from governments, the UN system, international organizations and the private sector to share knowledge on and address the world’s current and emerging international development challenges. Switzerland’s President Alain Berset emphasized in his opening remarks that the Forum “is critical in bringing forward innovative solutions and stakeholders who otherwise might not meet.”
The 2018 Forum had particular focus on the role of the private sector in delivering on the “triple promise” made in 2015 with the adoption of the SDGs, Paris Agreement on climate change, and Addis Ababa Action Agenda on financing for development (FFD), as noted by UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi. Private sector participants included leaders of investment promotion agencies, impact investors and foundations, investment lawyers, stock exchange executives, pension and sovereign wealth fund managers, and international accounting standard setters.
Outcomes from the Forum include: the presentation of the Investment Promotion Awards to countries that demonstrate excellence in boosting investment in SDG-relevant sectors; the launch of the ‘Policy Guide on Entrepreneurship for Migrants and Refugees’ by UNCTAD, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR); and a reform package from UNCTAD on updating the international investment regime to better align with the SDGs.
In addition, a variety of reports and toolkits were launched aiming to mobilize, connect, and build capacity among stakeholders, as covered by the SDG Knowledge Hub:
- SDG Knowledge Weekly: Responsible Investment, Financial Disclosure and Reporting Standards
- Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative Presents Action Plan for Regulators to Support SDGs
- Toolbox Launched to Boost Private Financing for SDGs