Please note that in response to the COVID-19 pandemic situation, many meetings and conferences have been postponed or are taking place virtually. Some locations have resumed limited in-person meetings which comply with local public health instructions for social distancing. Participants will receive detailed information about attending the meeting from the organizer.

Financing is the bloodline of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development. Yet, three years following the adoption of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the financing gap continues to rise unabated with trillions needed in quality investments of all kinds. Financing for development is neither happening at the pace nor magnitude that can turn conflicts, poverty, inequality and other socio-economic hardships into an issue of the past, let alone realize sustainable development through Arab common action.

To further complicate matters, illicit financial flows (IFFs) are constantly evolving outpacing detection at every corner. IFFs undermine the rule of law, distort macro-economic stability, and raise severe security complications for the Arab region. These flows constitute substantial leakages to domestic public revenues that could have otherwise been harnessed to finance national and regional efforts devoted to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

We can all conquer these challenges by addressing the weaknesses in the financing architecture, its delivery channels and infrastructure. We can work to overcome insufficient public finance and market failures across the international monetary, financing and multilateral trading systems to unleash their full financing potential, especially at a time when large sums are not being effectively channeled into sustainable, productive and financially rewarding ends.

For these reasons, the United Nations embarked upon an ambitious reform agenda to deliver on the 2030 Agenda. Based on this reform, regional commissions emerge as the United Nations development system policy backbone: a connective link between global and local levels that provides regional perspectives and analytical policy advocacy to address regional financing for development challenges and support the development of a wide range of regional norms, standards and conventions.

Equally, the launch of the United Nations Secretary-General’s new Strategy for Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2018-2019) aims to accelerate progress in three key areas: 1) aligning global financial and economic policies with the 2030 Agenda; 2) enhancing sustainable financing strategies and investments at the regional and country levels, and; 3) seizing the potential of financial innovations, new technologies and digitization to provide equitable access to finance. Of particular interest to this Conference is the application of this strategy under regional contexts and national development idiosyncrasies.

The choices we make today, and in no less measure those, based on the Conference recommendations and conclusions, will be critical for tomorrow’s financing decisions and sustainable development outcomes. It remains, nonetheless, the collective responsibility of all stakeholders to pursue concrete actions and measures to this end. We must act to ensure that we do not reach a point where corrective actions are no longer durable or are preempted as financing needs further amplify.

UN House- ESCWA- Beirut
UN House P.O. Box: 11-8575 Riad El Solh 1107-2812, Beirut, Lebanon

Main Conference Hall- B1, UN House- ESCWA- Beirut

Starts Nov 28, 2018 08:00
Ends Nov 29, 2018 18:00