Delegation of the European Union
to the United Nations - New York

EU Explanation of Position: United Nations 2nd Committee: Resolution on Promoting Investments for Sustainable Development

New York, 27/11/2019 - 22:56, UNIQUE ID: 191202_17
Statements on behalf of the EU

27 November 2019, New York – European Union Explanation of Position delivered by Finland on behalf of the EU and its Member States at the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly Second Committee, 26th meeting on the Resolution on Promoting Investments for Sustainable Development

Mr Chair,

 

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.

 

The Candidate Countries, the Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Albania, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.

 

Mr Chair,

The EU and its Member States are glad to be joining consensus on this new and important resolution today. The resolution we have just adopted demonstrates how together we can make the Second Committee the forum all of us aspire it to be: A forum to discuss and advance the issues that matter most in the upcoming “Decade of action” of the 2030 Agenda. We believe that this resolution sends important messages to Member States, the UN system as well as stakeholders in the private sector and civil society. Moreover, it has a lot of potential for future discussions on how to increasingly leverage private sector investments for accelerated implementation of the SDGs

 

The European Union is strongly supporting the transition to a low-carbon, more resource-efficient and sustainable economy and it has been at the forefront of efforts to build a financial system that supports sustainable growth.

 

The 2030 Agenda, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the Paris climate agreement all acknowledged the vital role of capital flows and investments. The Paris climate agreement, in particular, includes the commitment to align financial flows with a pathway towards low-carbon and climate-resilient development.

 

We all need to provide impetus to help attract the required investments for this transformation. The financial sector has a key role to play. It can re-orient investments towards more sustainable technologies and businesses, finance growth in a sustainable manner over the long-term and contribute to sustainable development based on a low-carbon, climate resilient and circular economy. SDGs will only be achieved, if we succeed also to mobilise private sector investment.

 

International development assistance can and should support this development by delivering technical assistance and capacity building to support Member States creating the necessary enabling environments, and in particular in being a catalyst to de-risk investments, enabling more private sector flows to finance sustainable development. We need to test and deploy new blending approaches and instruments to catalyse private capital at scale whilst generating development impact. The EU as the largest provider of official development assistance in the world stands at the side of our partners in this endeavour.

 

The resolution that we have adopted today opens the discussion on the new concepts and avenues that the UN, Member States and other relevant stakeholders could and should explore. Limited time did not allow us to discuss all the aspects related to the issue, but it was a good start.

 

In this year’s resolution we recognise the important work done by the UN system, to support our efforts. However, success in achieving the 2030 Agenda, will require bringing together the efforts of all stakeholders. As such, we believe that we should in the future also acknowledge best practice outside the UN system, including initiatives such as the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), the Helsinki Principles of the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action, and G7 and G20 initiatives.

 

We welcome the inclusion of impact investing in this resolution. We hope that we will develop this idea further next year, in particular on the importance of defining a common framework for measuring the impact investments have on the three dimensions of sustainable development.

 

We should also work together towards globally consistent reporting frameworks and support relevant initiatives in this repsect, such as the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative, and the work done by the World Benchmarking Alliance. We need to be able to measure progress, so corporate sustainability reporting is vital, as is greater standardization of reporting to ensure comparability. A better alignement of private finance with the sustainable development goals is also instrumental. To this regards, we encourage the resolution next year to acknowledge and build on the dedicated work launched by the G7, UNDP and OECD to take stock of existing initiatives, define a robust framework and ultimately foster SDG-compatible finance.

 

Mr Chair,

We would like to seize this opportunity to thank all colleagues involved in the work on the resolution, the facilitator Mr. Lucas Pavan Lopes of Brazil, the negotiators and the Secretariat. Special thanks are due to our colleagues from the G77 and the Group’s coordinator, Mr. Samuel Victor Makwe of Nigeria.

 

Let me conclude reiterating, that we believe that this year’s discussions on the resolution fit well in the broader discussion on revitalization and closer alignment of the Second Committee’s Agenda with the 2030 Agenda. Consistent with our position on revitalisation, we belive that it would be even more efficient to negotiate this resolution every other year – giving us, the UN and other initiatives and stakeholders the opportunity to work together in a cross-regional manner to drive forward progress on this important topic before coming back to the Second Committee to reflect on the lessons learned and gaps identified.

 

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Editorial Sections: