High-level Side Event "Leverage Private Finance for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific"

25 Sep 2019
New York, United States of America
By invitation only

ESCAP recently estimated that Asia-Pacific countries would need an additional investment of $1.5 trillion per year for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Significant efforts have been made to mobilize finance for effectively pursuing these ambitious Goals since the adoption of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) in 2015. Implementation of policy measures to realize people and planet-centered development will not only require effectively utilizing existing financial resources, of both the public and the private sector, but coming up with additional financial means as well.

The AAAA requests United Nations Regional Commissions to mobilize their expertise and existing mechanisms for effective development financing. In this vein, UNESCAP has organized four high-level dialogues on financing for development since 2014, in partnerships with the Governments of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Republic of Korea. Attended by Asia-Pacific finance ministers and central bank governors, these events helped to mobilize political support, shape a regional vision, and built broad consensus on priority areas of financing for development, including among least developed countries (LDCs) of the region. One of the highlighted priority areas is how to enhance the contribution of the private sector to sustainable development, such as through capital market development, financing for small businesses, and climate-resilient infrastructure financing. For example, Bhutan is one of the first LDCs that has actively taken an initiative to issue sovereign green bonds. At the same time, Bangladesh is widely regarded as of the world’s pioneers in promoting financial inclusion.

The main objective of this side event, which is organized as part of the High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development of the General Assembly, is to discuss how Asia-Pacific countries can better leverage private finance for sustainable development. More specifically, the event proposes to: (a) review initiatives by Asia-Pacific countries in leveraging private finance; (b) identify policy and regulatory challenges in realizing the potential of private finance; and (c) discuss ways by which enhanced regional cooperation, with the support of ESCAP, can facilitate member States in taking their initiatives forward.

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