Post-Pandemic Recovery: UN to Focus on Financial Architecture and Erasing Inequalities

The UN is launching six Discussion Groups on the core issues discussed at the high-level event with Heads of State and Government, leaders of international financial leaders, and other critical stakeholders---the private sector, civil society and independent experts.

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The current pandemic has wreaked havoc on the socioeconomic conditions of our world and has put a great strain on the health and economic structures of countries. The pandemic has shown the glaring inadequacies in financial architecture to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS), build resilience and address the concerns of people, particularly the most vulnerable, and especially in times of crisis.

The high-level event on 28 May was a definitive call for action to address the significant stress placed on nations and people and to course-correct. “We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to recover better for sustainability, jobs, efficient public services delivery and social and economic inclusion, including financial structures” said UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohamed at the launch of the “Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond” discussion groups in New York on 25 June.

More than 50 heads of States and Government, the heads of major international financial institutions and international organisations, and high-level representatives from the private sector and civil society attended the discussions, demonstrating solidarity and calling for a comprehensive global response to confront the emergency, and in doing so, reshape the frame for building back better for people and planet, and for prosperity that lifts everyone. However, “we have to do the hard work, open to the priorities, needs and perspectives of our diverse global community to craft an effective and durable multilateral response”, Amina Mohamed added.

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There is need to ensure the momentum and pace that emergency conditions spawned by this massive human crisis demand. The UN is launching six Discussion Groups on the core issues discussed at the high-level event with Heads of State and Government, leaders of international financial leaders, and other critical stakeholders—the private sector, civil society and independent experts—who are critical to this task.

The discussion groups will be an open space to creatively tackle issues of external finance for inclusive growth and jobs; global liquidity and financial stability; debt vulnerability, including the role of the private sector creditors in finding solutions; illicit financial flows; and recovering better for sustainability, and look towards a set of policy recommendations.

The outcome of each discussion will be a menu of options, solutions and policy proposals to address each of the issues. These will be shared with all countries and participants at a meeting of finance ministers on 8 September this year.

Amina Mohamed shared that all the members of the discussion groups should think “outside of the box”, lean forward and look at innovative solutions that address immediate needs and resilience, inclusivity and sustainability.

There is a need to work effectively in ensuring that changes are made that adequately address the unique nature of the pandemic and its fallout and begin to close the gaps between where we are and where the world needs to be as framed in the 2030 Agenda and the SDSs, our global blueprint for a sustainable world, are important, said Amina Mohamed. She reiteratedher appreciation to Canada and Jamaica for leading this process and their unwavering efforts to bring timely solutions to this health and development crisis and to put the world on a path to recover better.

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The High-Level Event (HLE) held on 28 May 2020, New York, convened by Canada, Jamaica and the Secretary-General expressed its commitment to decisively facilitate global solutions to address the global economic crisis and its effects on the most vulnerable. It called upon Heads of State and Government and international organisations to join forces with Heads of State and Government and international organisations to enable discussions of concrete financing solutions to the COVID-19 health and development emergency for everyone. A High-Level Panel of leaders from international institutions discussed the challenges and opportunities to act quickly on the following six pressing issues:

  • Expanding liquidity in the global economy and maintain financial stability to safeguard development gains and strengthen the recovery for the benefit of current and future generations
  • Addressing debt vulnerabilities for all developing countries that request support to free fiscal resources to save lives and livelihoods for billions around the world
  • Creating a space in which private sector creditors can proactively engage in effective and timely solutions to the looming debt crisis and avoid the significantly higher cost to investors and societies that would result from a disorderly wave of defaults
  • Developing prerequisites for enhancing external finance for inclusive growth, gender equality and creating jobs, including measures to enhance long-term finance, FDI, portfolio investment, and lower the transactions costs of migrant remittances
  • Building measures to expand fiscal space and foster domestic resource mobilisation by preventing illicit financial flows, base erosion and profit shifting, and facilitating contributions of the digital economy in the emergency and beyond
  • Ensuring a sustainable and inclusive recovery by aligning recovery policies with the SDGs.

The HLE also launched a collaborative effort to enable discussions on concrete proposals to overcome challenges in the six issue areas, to be reported back at the margins of the High-Level Political Forum in July, the General Assembly in September, and at the end of the year 2020.