Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 12 May 2023 – With the world halfway into the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development roadmap, the international community must step up its efforts and financing to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), asserted leaders of key global institutions during a side event of the 2023 Annual Meetings of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group underway in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 10-13 May 2023.
In his opening remarks during the knowledge-sharing session entitled ‘Sustainable Development Disrupted: Advancing Impactful Partnerships to Rescue the SDGs,’ IsDB President and Group Chairman, H.E. Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser, said that the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic and political crises in Eastern Europe and within some of the member countries of the Bank have significantly impacted the progress toward achieving the SDGs by 2030, and as a result, the divide between the Global North and the South is getting wider.
“To address these challenges, we need to work hand-in-hand to craft the required policies and take swift and collective actions. An immediate step that all development partners must explore is the need for debt relief and debt restructuring initiatives for developing countries. International financial institutions, bilateral donors, and creditor countries all have a role to play in supporting debt sustainability efforts.”
H.E. Dr. Al Jasser, also called on the international community to renew its efforts to increase public-private partnership investments and alternative financing mechanisms, such as impact investing and blended finance, as well as Islamic finance. He emphasized the importance of economic diversification as a tool to create more stable and sustainable economies and new opportunities for job creation and innovation, as well as the need for supporting small- and medium-sized enterprises.
Other keynote speakers at the event were H.E. Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President, African Development Bank; H.E. Dr. Hala Helmy El Said, Minister of Planning and Economic Development and IsDB Governor of the Arab Republic of Egypt; Ms. Oulimata Sarr, Minister of Economy, Planning and Cooperation and IsDB Governor of the Republic of Senegal; Mr. Achim Steiner, Administrator, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Mr. Ahmed M. Saeed, Vice President, Operations, Asian Development Bank; Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, Executive Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and Mr. Zhongjing Wang, CEO, Multilateral Cooperation Center for Development Finance (MCDF).