Investing in the SDGs:
From Rhetoric to Reality

08:00 - 09:20 am EST
At the margins of the
UN General Assembly


World leaders have made ambitious commitments to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Yet, securing enough resources remains a major challenge, with developing countries facing a gap estimated between US$ 2.5 to 3 trillion per year. What’s more, with governments and markets facing the massive financial challenge of helping countries address the immediate socio-economic impact of Covid-19, private capital will play a critical role in both addressing these needs and financing paths towards achievement of the SDGs. Financing is theoretically available, given the size, scale and level of sophistication of the global financial system—with gross world product and global gross financial assets estimated at over US$85 trillion and US$ 200 trillion respectively.

While the world has never been as rich as it is today, financial flows and wealth, mostly private, do not (or cannot) reach the geographies and people that need them the most. There is no lack of opportunities to fill the gap and reorient public and private investment towards the SDGs. Not only Governments, but also the financial markets and investors have positively reacted, by starting to demand and claim a stronger integration of the SDGs in public and private investment decisions. Despite opportunities, bottlenecks, and intensified risks—from climate change to the socio-economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic—persist. Most private investments are still not channeled towards sustainable development at the scale and speed required.

Organized at the margins of the United Nations General Assembly, the event will explore how the Joint SDG Fund can contribute to closing the financing gap to achieve the SDGs in developing countries by bringing together the UN system and the private sector. The Joint SDG Fund will showcase the results of its call for proposals on SDG Financing, that aims to support key initiatives that can leverage public and private financing to advance the SDGs.


The Panelists


Amina J. Mohammed

Deputy Secretary-General

Ms. Amina J. Mohammed is the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group. Acts as Chair of the Strategic Advisory Group of the Joint SDG Fund.

Ms. Mohammed first joined the United Nations in 2012 as Special Adviser to former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with the responsibility for post-2015 development planning. She led the process that resulted in global agreement around the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the creation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Honourable Mia Amor Mottley

Q.C., M.P. - Prime Minister of Barbados

Mia Amor Mottley QC, MP, EGH, OR is a Barbadian politician and attorney who is the current Prime Minister of Barbados and leader of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP). Mottley is the eighth person to hold the position of Prime Minister in Barbados and first woman to hold either position.

Caren Jamtin

Ms. Carin Jämtin

Director General, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency

Carin Jämtin is Director-General of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency since May 2017. Ms Jämtin’s long career within the Social Democratic Party at both local and national level includes being; – Secretary General of the Social Democratic Party (2011-2016) – Vice Chair, Stockholm City Council and leader of the Social Democratic Group in the City Council (2006-2011); – Minister of International Development Cooperation under Prime Minister Göran Persson (2003-2006) and Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs (parts of 2006). Ms Jämtin also headed the International Development Cooperation Department at the Olof Palme International Centre (1999-2003).

Mr. David Rubenstein

Co-Founder and Co-Executive Chairman of The Carlyle Group

David M. Rubenstein is a founder and Co-Executive Chairman of Carlyle. He was elected to our Board of Directors effective July 18, 2011.  Previously, Mr. Rubenstein served as Co-Chief Executive Officer of Carlyle. Mr. Rubenstein also serves on Carlyle's Executive Group.

Mr. Emmanuel Roman

Mr. Emmanuel Roman

Chief Executive Officer, PIMCO

Mr. Roman is PIMCO's chief executive officer and a managing director of the firm. As CEO, he serves on PIMCO’s Executive Committee and has executive oversight of the firm’s client and business areas, including broad strategy-setting and resource management.

Bill Tai

Co-Founder of ACTAI Global and ExtremeTechChallenge

Bill Tai has been funding startups as a Venture Capitalist since 1991 and has had 22 of his startups become listed companies. He co-founded Treasure Data (acquired by ARM/Softbank) as Chairman and is among the first investors in Canva, Color Genomics, Safety Culture, Tweetdeck/Twitter, and Zoom Video, where he was the first backer to commit at the company's formation.

Natalia Kanem

Dr. Natalia Kanem

Executive Director of UNFPA

Moderated by Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of UNFPA. She brings to the position more than three decades of strategic leadership and management in the fields of medicine, public health, international peace and development, human rights and social justice.