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Statsminister Erna Solberg. Foto: SMK
Prime Minister Erna Solberg. High Level Launch of the OECD Global Outlook on Financing for Sustainable Development. Paris 9. november 2020:
Ladies and gentlemen,
The pandemic is threatening to reverse years of development progress. We are no longer on track to reach the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Extreme poverty is increasing, jobs are being lost on an unprecedented scale, and children are being deprived of their education.
As this report shows, the financing gap for the SDGs is growing rapidly. But there is also a positive message. It is possible to fill the gap by shifting 1 per cent of global financial assets. This requires action from all of us, as donors, as investors and as members of the global community.
We have no alternative but to take decisive action now. We must redouble our efforts to finance and reach the SDGs. It is vital that we support developing countries in overcoming the current crisis, while using the opportunity to support a green, resilient recovery.
As a high-income country, Norway is committed to supporting developing countries as they move forward. We continue to provide a high level of ODA – approximately 1 per cent of our gross domestic income. We have a long-term perspective in all matters related to development, including job creation and private sector development. Our goal is to enable people to support themselves and their families, generate tax income and build sustainable societies. Such societies makes for a safer and more stable world. Development is therefore also in our self-interest.
In addition, we need to find ways to use ODA to trigger more public and private investments. National ownership and resource mobilisation are crucial in this respect. We acknowledged this in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on financing for development. We need to stop the drain on public resources. We must make tax systems more effective. We must prevent and combat corruption, tax evasion, illicit financial flows and other financial crimes. This is the responsibility of both developed and developing countries.
Norfund, the Norwegian investment fund for developing countries, is our key tool to stimulate private finance for the SDGs. Norfund’s investments have helped to create jobs, generate tax revenue, produce renewable energy and make credit available to micro-, small - and medium-sized enterprises.
The Norwegian economy is highly integrated in global markets. The Government Pension Fund Global is invested in more than 9 000 companies across 74 countries. The Fund is guided by the knowledge that financial return over time is dependent on sustainable economic, environmental and social development, as well as well-functioning financial markets.
The Fund therefor expects companies to respect responsible business principles, and supports the development of common standards for sustainability reporting.
Ladies and gentlemen,
If there is one thing the pandemic is showing us, it is that global challenges can only be dealt with through international cooperation. Norway strongly believes in the multilateral system. It is essential for us all to continue to work closely together in the UN, the multilateral development banks, the IMF and the OECD.
As we design and select the paths to follow to beat the virus and recover from the pandemic, we must not lose sight of those who are most vulnerable. There is a strong call for building back stronger, greener and bluer. Our commitment must be to do this in a just and equitable way.