Beirut, 10 April 2019 (ESCWA)--Recent reports affirm that 3.6 trillion US dollars (USD) are needed to fund the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the Arab world. Today, the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) launched the 2019 Financing for Sustainable Development report at the regional level, five days after its international launch at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
The regional launch was scheduled on the sidelines of the Arab Forum for Sustainable Development (AFSD) which gathered high-level representatives of Arab governments. The ceremony was attended by many experts from finance, development, economy, trade and environment sectors as well as relevant ESCWA officials.
“If there were no sustainable development that benefits the current generation without harming the future one, be it in the environmental, economic or social sectors, and if there were no sustainable development justice, then we would fail to create political and security stability,” the Deputy Executive Secretary of ESCWA, Mr. Mounir Tabet, said in his opening remarks.
The report stated that globally, economic growth has reached its peak of around 3%, and the situation in the Arab region could be worse due to the ongoing armed crises. In addition, in the past 15 years, growth at the economy and technology levels has deepened the gap between rich and poor communities, which could be the reason behind present instabilities.
“Achieving sustainable development and addressing climate change require a long-term action as indicated, and this is an issue to be tackled by all stakeholders not only those from the public sector”, the Director of Economic Development and Integration Division at ESCWA, Mr. Mohamed El-Hacene said while presenting the report.
“Innovation is a great tool to progress rapidly on financing development strategies and rethinking the focus of the regulations,” he added.
According to ESCWA recent report, for every 1 USD gained from remittances, the Arab region loses 2.5 USD, and for every 1 USD gained annually from external debt, it loses 1.5 USD on debt repayments.
There are four main pillars for integrating financing in the national frameworks for sustainable development. The first is to assist and make diagnostics of the needs, the flaws, and the risks. The second is to find a financing strategy that matches the needs, including policies for public and private sector finance and non-financial means of implementation.
Then there is the need to put in place a mechanism for monitoring and accountability to facilitate decision-making and progress; and finally, governance and coordination mechanism should be established to provide political support.
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