Development funding should focus on infrastructure, says UN deputy

15 Apr 14
Measures to channel financial investment to developing countries should focus on infrastructure, employment and reducing extreme poverty to secure sustainable development for all, the United Nations deputy secretary-general has urged.

By | 16 April 2014

Measures to channel financial investment to developing countries should focus on infrastructure, employment and reducing extreme poverty to secure sustainable development for all, the United Nations deputy secretary-general has urged.

Opening the Economic and Social Council’s (ECOSOC) annual Spring Meeting in New York on Monday, Jan Eliasson warned that, even with recovery from the economic and financial crisis under way, severe effects of the turmoil lingered and serious risks remained.

He added that in the wake of the 2009 crisis ‘growth remained insufficient and the employment situation dire in many countries,’ noting that inequalities were growing.

‘Placing our world on a sustainable path needs to be infused with a new global partnership for development,’ he said in an address to the World Bank, International Monterey Fund, World Trade Organisation and the UN Conference on Trade and Development.

‘This partnership must be based on equity, cooperation and accountability. It must aim for transformative change.’

Eliasson recommended that development aid partners channel financing for long-term investments, such as infrastructure.

‘You have the capacity to act counter-cyclically, contributing to greater stability in the financial system.

‘Your institutions can wield vast influence in the success of the climate and post-2015 development agendas.’

Speaking alongside Eliasson, ECOSOC president Martin Sajdik said: ‘The success of the new development agenda depends on a strong global economy. Achieving a stable and equitable economic growth will in turn require greater cooperation and coherence in macroeconomic policies.

‘The post-2015 development agenda will require a comprehensive financing framework that ensures the mobilisation of financial resources and their effective use for sustainable development.’

Sajdik added that an inclusive strategy should be designed that incorporates all forms of financing, including public and private, domestic and international.

Also on the panel was Jorge Familiar Calderon, acting executive secretary of the World Bank Development Committee. He reported on the body’s annual session in Washington last week, saying: ‘The committee’s governors recognised that policy adjustments and appropriate coordination and communication will be required to fostering strong, inclusive and sustainable growth in today’s interconnected global economy.’

Additionally, the committee called on the World Bank and the IMF to work jointly with all member countries in pursuing sound and responsive economic policies to address underlying macroeconomic vulnerabilities, rebuild macroeconomic buffers and strengthen the prudential management of financial systems.

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