STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY SAMEH ELKHISHIN, FIRST SECRETARY OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF EGYPT TO THE UNITED NATIONS, AT THE HIGH-LEVEL EVENT OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY, ENTITLED "FINANCING FOR SDGS-BREAKING THE BOTTLENECKS OF INVESTMENT, FROM POLICY TO IMPACT" (New York, 11 June 2018)
I have the honor to deliver this intervention on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
Allow me at the outset to thank the President of the General Assembly for organizing such an important and timely event. While we welcome the interactive debate as a modality for such an event, we think that sufficient time should have been dedicated to states to deliver their views to the panelists and participants of the various stakeholders participating at this event. While we will interact with the panelists pursuant to the proposed modality, we will provide PGA office with a statement including our views and messages that we need to convey at this event.
We emphasize that the UN has the convening power to bring together relevant stakeholders to fill in the huge gap in financing SGGs. The ongoing debate about exploring ways to incentivize institutional investors to take a long-term approach and to invest in SDGs is very relevant.
The institutional investors are estimated to hold around $80 trillion in assets. It is unfortunate that investment by institutional investors has been short-term oriented and directed towards liquid assets rather than illiquid investments (particularly infrastructure). Thus, incentivizing institutional investors to adopt a long-term investment approach in alignment with public interest is significant to achieving SDGs. There is no disagreement on this goal. However, there are several approaches that could be applied.
As a principle, incentivizing big investors should not end-up providing them with subsidies under the label of investing in "sustainable development goals." The public sector, especially in developing countries, is struggling to mobilize resources to finance development and must focus its efforts in channeling those resources for achieving SDGs. Moreover, over-incentivizing could have negative impacts on the proper functioning of the market. The governments and multilateral, regional, and development banks have limited resources, which should be channeled towards long-term quality investment in concrete projects aiming at achieving sustainable development.
It is important that all relevant stakeholders including, multilateral, regional, and development banks pay attention to the involvement of domestic companies from developing countries in any arrangements within the framework of public-private partnerships. This help diversifying actors and enhancing competition, especially in global sectors in addition to helping the developing countries to achieve SDGs.
It is also important that financing instruments for investments involving both private and public sectors should be designed in a way to avoid burdening the public sector (especially of the developing countries) to bear the risk of investment. Such instruments must be aligned with national priorities, have long-lasting development impact and be in the public interest as well as involving domestic actors from developing countries.