UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed has expressed worry that more than 80% of the world’s vaccines have gone to G20 countries while low-income countries, most of them in Africa, have received just 0.6% of all vaccine.
Speaking at the Building Bridges Summit for sustainable finance in Geneva on Monday, Mohammed said the world had not been able to rise to the global solidarity call for vaccination.
“Until everyone gets the vaccine, we will all be at risk, and we will not be able to take the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to where they ought to be by 2030. For many, the health pandemic has been a tragedy, particularly in developed countries, but for developing countries it has a socio-economic impact that will take so much longer to recover from, and so, we need the urgency of the investments in climate action, which will have multiplier effects on the SDGs,” she said.
The UN deputy chief emphasised on securing needed funding to achieve sustainable development by involving as many actors from different sectors as possible.
According to her, involving more actors is more urgent than ever, amid a widening “trust deficit” between the haves and the have-nots.
Mohammed urged all those present from Government, the private sector, international organisations and civil society, to do more to push ahead with a common investment framework to improve people’s lives everywhere.
“We need more ambition, more action, more scale, greater urgency in delivering the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement, and we certainly need more fuel, more financial resources and more investments,” she said.
Highlighting the convening ambition of the summit at Geneva’s Maison de la Paix, Mohammed listed the issues that she hoped the week-long summit might address.
“We need the private sector and its leadership to unlock resources for key transitions in sustainable energy and connectivity, food systems, health, education, social protection, digitalisation.”
“Innovative instruments including blended finance can all play an important role, but we need to massively scale-up that delivery. In spite of the fact that there was the “leadership”, “expertise” and “tools” to achieve so much, the deputy UN chief warned that “the truth is that the trust deficit is widening in our world”
Representing the Swiss Federal Government at the summit’s second iteration, Finance Minister Ueli Maurer highlighted its potential for concrete action, along with the need to be inclusive and transparent in the way that sustainable financing is handled.
“I think Building Bridges, we have to do it between the population and the Government, and we have to explain what we have to do. Then we need bridges between the private sector and the Government and then I think we need bridges from Switzerland to the world.” he said.
According to the summit’s organisers, between 2019 and 2020, sustainable investment rose by 31 per cent in Switzerland, to over 1,500 billion francs.
In addition to highlighting opportunities for investors and fund managers, it is hoped that the summit will contribute to creating an ordered and common approach to “net zero” financing, said Patrick Odier, President of Building Bridges initiative and chair of Lombard Odier bank.
“We are trying actually to bring capital closer to the whole array of the Sustainable Development Goals.’’
Odier also responded to the call to end subsidies for fossil fuel industries to create a level playing field for renewable energy investment
“We all know that we have to deal with these issues of subsidies, but finance itself is not at the helm of addressing this issue, What finance can do is basically ask the Government to play its role when it comes to trying to address the fossil industry and of course the emission problematic.” he said.
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