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HLPF: Mobilizing and Retaining Resources to Build Back Better

Opening Remarks by ECOSOC President Ambassador Mona Juul at Mobilizing and Retaining Resources to Build Back Better, 10 July 2020.

| High-Level Political Forum

An Update on the Work of the High-Level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity for Achieving the 2030 Agenda

Esteemed FACTI Panel Co-chairs,

Excellencies, colleagues,

Thank you so much for joining today’s discussion about mobilizing and retaining resources to build back better.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic countries were facing financial constraints, and we were already behind on achieving the SDGs.

There can be no doubt that this situation has hampered countries’ responses to the pandemic. And to tackling its social and economic consequences.

The pandemic has also shaken the fabric of our societies.

And we can already see further socio-economic disruptions coming our way.

It is clear that to make progress towards the SDGs in this “Decade of Action”, we have no time to lose.

Over the past year, Financing for Sustainable Development has been a core priority of mine as President of the Economic and Social Council.

In all efforts, the Council has leveraged its convening power to support governments ensure adequate financing to get back on track to achieve the SDGs.

In April, the Financing for Development Forum issued an urgent call to action to address existing challenges, and support those most vulnerable.

And Member States agreed unanimously on the outcome document of the Forum, re-committing to combating illicit financial flows and strengthening good practices on assets return and recovery.

In early June, we held a special session of the FfD Forum dedicated to financing and policy solutions to respond to COVID-19.

Which included commitments by international institutions to support countries in tackling illicit financial flows.

And this morning, the HLPF has discussed “Mobilizing well directed financing”, touching upon many of the very same issues.

 

Dear colleagues,

I strongly believe that a well-designed action plan to respond to this global crisis must also include measures to ensure financial accountability, integrity and transparency. Especially in the international dimension.

We need to address the loopholes in our financial systems that continue to allow tax avoidance, evasion and the theft of vast quantities of assets. We must effectively recover stolen funds and assets, and return them to the countries of origin.

The potential gains of enhancing integrity and accountability in our public and private financial systems are massive. And can provide financial means to fight the pandemic and to invest in recovery.

I therefore look forward to the recommendations on these issues from the FACTI Panel, launched by the President of the General Assembly and I in March.

We are confident that the Panel will deliver on its mandate, and contribute to the overall efforts undertaken by Member States to implement the ambitious and transformational vision of the 2030 Agenda.

I would like to join the PGA in thanking the FACTI Panel co-chairs, and all the members of the Panel, for their hard work.

We have seen the Panel continuously engaging with Member States, international institutions, civil society organizations and experts to solicit substantive inputs and thoughts, with a transparent and open approach.

We are eager to find out if their independent review of the existing institutional and legal frameworks will identify gaps, impediments or vulnerabilities in their design and implementation.

We trust that the Panel- with your inputs- will generate ideas and recommendations that we can all get behind. Support from, and solidarity within, the international community will be critical in facilitating successful outcomes of the FACTI Panel.

We are confident that the Panel will help guide the United Nations and its Member States towards a future with financial and economic systems that truly serve our aims of sustainable development.

Thank you once again for joining this effort.