Statement by Turkey at ECOSOC Financing for Development Forum

Feridun H. Sinirlioğlu 17.04.2019
Madam President,

Since the adoption of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, there has been some progress in financing for sustainable development. However, the pace of progress observed in previous years is insufficient to fully meet the SDGs and targets by 2030. Changes are not happening at the required scale or speed. As a result, many key SDG investments remain unfunded.

As highlighted by the Secretary General, private investments in infrastructure of developing countries, at $43 billion, are lower than they were in 2012. LDCs, in particular, face a large financing gap. Their annual spending on education alone would need to more than triple in order to achieve universal pre-primary, primary and secondary education. Global growth is stagnating while debt risks have reached alarmingly unsustainable levels.

In order to achieve the SDGs by 2030, getting financing right will be critical. The development activities of the public sector are far from sufficient to meet the SDGs. Achieving the SDGs requires an estimated additional investment of $2.4 trillion a year. There is no shortage of capital in the global economy. However, currently the global financial system is not channeling these resources effectively towards investments for sustainable development and achieving the SDGs.

As this year’s Financing for Sustainable Development Report emphazised, achieving sustainable development requires a long-term perspective. Public and private incentives need to be aligned with sustainable development so that all financing decisions incorporate sustainability as a central concern.

Governments have a key role to play to incentivize alignment of larger shares of private finance with sustainable development objectives. This could be done through direct financial interventions, as well as strengthened policies and institutional frameworks. Governments need to adopt policy frameworks that encourage businesses to make their strategies, business models and investments more inclusive and green.

Achieving the SDGs opens US$12 trillion worth market opportunities in the following four economic systems: food and agriculture, cities, energy and materials, health and well-being. It will also create 380 million jobs, 90% in developing countries, by 2030.

Investing for SDGs is becoming an agent of change and economic opportunity. Impact investment sector is playing an important role in contributing to a more equitable and inclusive society. To maximize private sector’s contribution and attract SDG-aligned investments, companies of all sizes must adapt and transform their core business strategies to deliver financial, social and environmental results. They should utilize the SDGs as a framework for addressing complex future challenges and share their achievements and lessons learned.

Turkey acknowledged the importance of the private sector in development before it was officially recognized in the global development agenda. Turkey and UNDP established the Istanbul International Centre for Private Sector in Development (IICPSD) in 2011, as one of the six UNDP global policy centres.

The call for harnessing the potential of innovation to strengthen development finance was another key message emanating from this year’s Financing for Sustainable Development Report. Together with UNDP, Turkey has been developing projects to mobilize the potential of entrepreneurship and innovation to support the implementation of SDGs.

The SDG Impact Accelerator we designed aims to catalyse market-based solutions for challenges of displaced people and the residents of LDCs. The Accelerator will support businesses that offer innovative solutions to global development challenges and provide capacity building, mentoring and networking support, while facilitating access to finance. The project will significantly increase the survival rates of businesses that engage the disadvantaged groups and enhance their livelihoods.

Madam President,
In order to realize the transformative goals of 2030 Agenda in the 11 years left, structural change in the way we do business is an imperative. We believe this Forum constitutes the right place and time to focus on this discussion. Our deliberations will also feed into the upcoming high-level dialogue on Financing for Development and SDG Summit in September.

Thank you.