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2013. Similarly, despite commitments to allocate 0.15-0.20 per cent of GNI as ODA to least developed countries in the Istanbul Programme of Action, ODA to least developed countries amounts to only 0.09 per cent of GNI, on average.29 In 2010, at the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, it was agreed that developed countries committed, in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation, to a goal of mobilizing jointly $100 billion dollars per year by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries, which will be drawn by a wide variety of sources (public, private, bilateral, multilateral, including alternative sources).
States Members of the United Nations should honour their commitments in full and in a timely manner, and neither ignore nor dilute them. Member States should in particular acknowledge the large financing gaps in least developed countries and other vulnerable countries. Further efforts are needed to maintain and increase ODA allocated to least developed countries and those most in need.
Make use of all international public financing sources and instruments A number of Governments have joined together to develop innovative mechanisms to mobilize additional international concessional resources for development and poverty eradication. The international community should further explore innovative mechanisms, with a view to financing global sustainable development (see section IV.C).
South-South cooperation, as a complement to North-South cooperation, is a diverse and increasingly important category of voluntary intergovernmental assistance that can facilitate sustainable development, in accordance with the Nairobi outcome document of the United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation (2009), endorsed by the General Assembly in its resolution 64/222.
A number of South providers of assistance have decided to further strengthen their work, including inter alia through additional evidence-based analysis of South-South cooperation experiences and evaluation of South-South cooperation programmes. Additionally, the High-Level Committee of South-South Cooperation adopted decision 18/1 (2014), which makes recommendations regarding the United Nations system, including an invitation for the Secretary-General to include in his synthesis report concrete steps to further strengthen South-South cooperation.
Triangular cooperation is a further useful complement, which has the potential to improve the effectiveness of development cooperation through sharing of knowledge, experience, technology and financial resources from emerging economies and traditional donor countries.
International public funds that are less concessional than ODA, such as some loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the other international and regional financial institutions (IFIs), are key sources of 29 Options for an integrated sustainable development financing strategy medium- and long-term finance for the countries that draw upon them. Important financing modalities include public loans to Governments, equity and debt finance for the private sector and a range of blended financing instruments, including risk-mitigating instruments such as credit and political risk guarantees, currency swaps and arrangements combining public and capital market funds (e.g., on traditional infrastructure projects). When employed according to country and sector needs, and building on their specific advantages, they can help mitigate risk and mobilize more upfront financing than would be available from budget resources alone, as discussed in section IV.E on blended finance. It is also important to ensure that least developed countries are not prevented from accessing, solely on the basis of their income, less concessional funds from IFIs and development finance institutions. Financially viable projects should instead be considered on a case-by-case basis, while keeping in mind debt sustainability considerations (see figure V).
Use international public resources efficiently and effectively International public finance ultimately represents taxpayer funds, putting an extra burden on both concessional and non-concessional public financial intermediaries to deploy them efficiently and effectively. ODA should be focused where needs are greatest and the capacity to raise resources is weakest, including least developed countries, small island developing States, landlocked developing countries and the poorest in all developing countries, with a sufficient portion of ODA concentrated on the eradication of extreme poverty, as well as the reduction of all forms of poverty and meeting other basic social needs.
International public finance will also have an important role in financing investments in national development, such as infrastructure. Some of these investments are profitable, and international public finance can catalyse private financing for sustainable development in such areas (see section IV.E on blended finance). In conjunction with this, international public finance should also respond to the growing need for financing for global public goods, without crowding out traditional development assistance.
Acknowledging the multiple roles that international public finance will need to play in the sustainable development agenda, the Committee recommends that the level of concessionality of international public finance should take into account both countries’ level of development (including their level of income, institutional capacity, and vulnerability) and the type of investment, as depicted in figure V. Concessionality should be highest for basic social needs, including grant financing appropriate for least developed countries. Concessional financing is also critical for financing many global public goods for sustainable development. For some investments in national development, loan financing instruments might be more appropriate, particularly when the investment can potentially generate an economic return.
The international community has had on its agenda for many years a commitment to boost the effectiveness of development cooperation, through strengthened mutual accountability in the relationship between an ODA-receiving country and its donors. This, among others, is a concern of the Development Cooperation Forum of the United Nations (DCF), established in 2007. Through its regular multistakeholder dialogues and policy analysis, the DCF provides 30 Report of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing
to support projects, programmes, policies and other activities in developing countries.59 A significant share of new multilateral funding for climate change adaptation should flow through the Green Climate Fund, as agreed at the sixteenth session of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention.
At the same time, partner capacities need to be strengthened in order to better manage assistance from diverse providers, as part of their national sustainable development financing strategies. Countries should jointly create and use facilitative platforms to encourage operational coordination among international funds and initiatives. Funds and programmes, including environmental funds, need to support synergies across sectors at the national and local levels. The rules of the existing funds and instruments should be adapted to ensure that they encompass all relevant activities in a synergistic way.
D. International private financing Similar to domestic private finance, international private finance contains a wide range of flows, including foreign direct investment (FDI), portfolio flows and cross-border bank loans. Some of these flows are blended with public finance as discussed below (section IV.E). International institutional investors, including sovereign wealth funds, hold an estimated $80 trillion to 90 trillion in assets, representing an enormous potential source of investment. However, to date their investment in sustainable development — in both developed and developing countries — has been low. Pension funds, for example, invest only 3 per cent of their global assets in infrastructure.60 This highlights the need for government policies to help to overcome obstacles to private investment, in conjunction with additional public spending. As such, many issues discussed under domestic private finance (section IV.B) apply here as well, but this section focuses on issues particular to cross-border investments.
Channel international funds towards long-term investment in sustainable development FDI remains the most stable and long-term source of private foreign investment to developing countries, and has a critical role to play in financing sustainable development. However, policymakers need to monitor the quality of FDI to maximize its impact on sustainable development. Governments should, as appropriate, adopt policies that encourage linkages between multinational enterprises and local production activities, support technology transfer, provide local workers with opportunities for further education, and strengthen the capacity of local industry to effectively absorb and apply new technology. Corporations that embrace human rights principles, labour, environment and anti-corruption values, as in the Global Compact or other international social and environmental standards, may serve as a model for other enterprises. At the same time, host Governments should require all companies, including foreign investors, to meet the core labour standards of the International Labour Organization, and encourSee document GCF/B.07/11.
59 See United Nations System Task Team on the Post-2015 United Nations Development 60 Agenda, background paper 3.
32 Report of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing age EESG reporting, making sustainable development an essential element in company strategies.
Investors are unlikely to invest long term in countries where they have concerns about policy and regulatory regimes, highlighting the importance of an enabling environment, as discussed in section IV.B on domestic investment.
Furthermore, investors often point out that a major impediment to investment is the lack of “bankable projects” competitive with other investment opportunities, underscoring the need for capacity development for project preparation in many countries.
At the same time, investors — including those with long-term liabilities, such as pension funds, life insurers, and sovereign wealth funds — have been hesitant to invest in longterm sustainable development projects across a wide range of policy and regulatory regimes.60 One impediment is that many investors do not have the capacity to do the necessary due diligence to invest directly in infrastructure and other long-term assets. Instead, when they do make these investments, they do so through financial intermediaries, whose liabilities and incentive structures tend to be shorter-term (see figure IV for a breakdown of long-term and shorter-term investors).61 If long-term investors were to bypass intermediaries and invest directly, they could adopt a longer-term horizon in their investment decisions. However, it is often not cost-effective for diversified investors to build this expertise in-house. There is thus a need for new instruments in this area. For example, investor groups could build joint platforms, e.g., for sustainable infrastructure investments. This is already beginning to happen (e.g., South African pension funds setting up a jointly owned infrastructure fund). Public actors, such as multilateral and bilateral development finance institutions, can also help to set up investment platforms, as discussed in section IV.E on pooled financing.
In addition, policies can be designed to lengthen investment horizons, such as through a reduction of the use of mark-to-market accounting for long-term investments (in which portfolio valuations are adjusted daily, thus incorporating short-term volatility into portfolios) and changes to performance measurement and compensation (to change incentives, and potentially incorporate sustainability criteria), among others.
Manage volatility of risk associated with short-term crossborder capital flows While private capital flows to developing countries have risen during the past decade, some types of flows remain highly volatile. Conventional approaches to managing volatile cross-border capital flows have focused on macroeconomic policies to enhance an economy’s capacity to absorb inflows. However, these policies are often not sufficiently targeted to stabilize financial flows and may have undesired side effects. Policymakers should thus consider a toolkit of instruments to manage capital inflows, including macroprudential and capital market regulations, as well as direct capital account management.62
In addition, international coordination of monetary policies of the major economies and management of global liquidity can reduce global risks. Similarly, stronger regional cooperation and dialogue, and regional economic and financial monitoring mechanisms can help stabilize private capital flows at a regional level.
Facilitate the flow of remittances and private development assistance Migrant remittances represent a large source of international financial flows to some developing countries. However, remittances fundamentally differ from other financial flows in that they represent a private transaction and are often based on family and social ties. Remittances enable households to increase consumption and invest in education, health care and housing.63 Policymakers and IFIs should explore innovative approaches to incentivize investment of remittances in productive activities, including through issuance of diaspora bonds.
The cost of remitting funds, however, remains extremely high, at 8.4 per cent of the amount transferred.64 Increased cooperation between remitting and receiving countries should aim to further reduce the transaction costs and barriers for remittances. The G20 initiative to lower the cost of remittances is an important effort in this regard, and should be continued and strengthened. However, there is some evidence that international banks are reducing their role in this sector,65 as an unintended consequence of a closer monitoring of banks in response to money-laundering. Policy measures might be needed to ensure competition and monitor costs.