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Stakeholders call for local capital markets to help close the financing gap for the SDGs

2019-05-03 15:21
New York, United States of America

Stock exchanges to help improve transparency in local debt and equity markets, educate stakeholders and create SDG-focused financial products

UNITED NATIONS, New York, 17 April 2019 – Diverse stakeholders convened today at the United Nations Headquarters to discuss the role of local capital markets and effective securities market regulation in closing the investment gap to finance the Sustainable Development Goals.

“Stock exchanges can be the bridge for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We need to work together to make this bridge function well for the SDGs,” said James Zhan, Director of Investment and Enterprise at the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) at a roundtable organized as part of the 2019 Investment Fair and on the sidelines of the 2019 ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development.

The Sustainable Development Goals have given the public and private sectors a common framework on how they can collaborate to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Stock exchanges play a unique role in improving transparency in their local markets — including both debt and equity — as well as in educating local stakeholders and creating SDG-focused financial products.

During the roundtable, it was noted that while sustainability is a continuous journey, stakeholders have made great strides in recent years. It was emphasized that it is critical for exchanges, policymakers, regulators, issuers, investors and civil society to come together to create an enabling environment that will allow private finance actors to increase their support of the SDGs.


In her closing remarks, Danielle Chesebrough, speaking on behalf of the UN Global Compact and Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), said: “The idea of scaling collaboration at the local level is a driving force in a new concept of SDG Investment Forums, which the PRI and the UN Global Compact are working on with exchanges that are part of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative around the world.”

“Our recent pilot SDG Investment Forum in Brazil served as an excellent example of how we can bring Governments, regulators, investors, companies and key stakeholders together with the UN to discuss SDG investment opportunities at the local level. We plan to hold these forums in South Africa and Italy later this year, with the objective that these scale globally in 2020," she added.

The Roundtable on Accessing Local Capital Markets for Long-term Investments was organized by the Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative, which is jointly convened by the UN Global Compact, PRI, UNEP FI and UNCTAD. Taking place on the sidelines of the ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development, the SDG Investment Fair convenes Government policy makers and corporate leaders to discuss specific investment opportunities, critical policies and regulations that support closing the SDG investment gap.

About the United Nations Global Compact

As a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General, the United Nations Global Compact is a call to companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies with ten universal principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Launched in 2000, the mandate of the UN Global Compact is to guide and support the global business community in advancing UN goals and values through responsible corporate practices. With more than 9,500 companies and 3,000 non-business signatories based in over 160 countries, and 70 Local Networks, it is the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world.

For more information, follow @globalcompact on social media and visit our website at [Link]

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