ーNote to Correspondents ー
Secretary-General’s letter to G20 leaders
I write on the eve of the Osaka Summit to share some thoughts about our shared challenges and work. The world has made progress towards addressing some of our most pressing challenges in recent years. However, advances are not happening fast enough, nor are they evenly spread across countries and communities.
Four years after the landmark agreement on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we have to accelerate efforts towards the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and address our changing climate. The Osaka Summit should underscore the need for transformational changes so that economies and societies prosper, but also become more inclusive and sustainable.
The Osaka Update on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda should demonstrate clearly the ambition of G20 members and your commitment to deliver on the G20 Action Plan on the 2030 Agenda. We have the vision, the frameworks and the plans. What we need is accelerated actions, not more deliberations. To that end, I call on G20 leaders to exercise their individual and collective leadership in three areas.
First, I encourage G20 members to take the lead in implementing policies that promote not only rapid and robust, but also equitable growth. This includes ensuring that those living in the “rust belts” of the world are not left behind, including through social protection, and better leveraging new technologies.
It also includes shaping an international financial system that is fit for the purpose of achieving sustainable development for all. And with a rules-based multilateral trading system in crisis, G20 countries must take the lead in advancing the necessary reforms of the World Trade Organization.
Inclusive growth needs to empower communities and provide equal pay and employment opportunities and decent work for women. I welcome the progress made on the “25 by 25” commitments. G20 countries should further lead the way to implement the “25 by 25”, including by integrating the commitments into national sustainable development strategies.
Equitable growth also implies less economic volatility, given the sharp human costs associated with economic crises. G20 countries, thus, should lead efforts to strengthen the global financial safety net and increase its resilience to systemic risks. I call on G20 countries to undertake the regulatory and other policy changes that will make our financial systems sustainable and facilitate the mobilization of longer-term investments on which sustainable development depends.
Second, we need to increase the flow of public and private finance towards investments that are aligned with the SDGs, in part by shaping incentives so that private capital flows towards sustainable development.
To this end, I have accelerated actions by the United Nations system aimed at galvanizing support from the public and private sector to mobilize finance
for the Sustainable Development Goals and have launched a Strategy for Financing the 2030 Agenda on 24 September 2018.
Third, we need to seize the opportunities of the digital revolution, which is advancing rapidly, with great promise for increased efficiency, and with already profound impacts on our economies and societies. But digital divides can also grow rapidly, and the rules of the game － from data to taxation － that will shape opportunities need to be designed in an inclusive manner. I have established the Task Force on Digital Financing of Sustainable Development Goals to elaborate concrete policy recommendations to fully realize the potential of financial technology. I also urge the G20 members to continue to promote policies that bridges the digital divide.
In my letter to you dated 23 May 2019, I expressed my expectations for the Climate Action Summit. I strongly encourage you to come to the Summit with bold and realistic plans. The United Nations High-level week in September 2019 provides a unique opportunity to show your determination to realize the 2030 Agenda. By participating at the highest political level and bringing concrete actions to the table, G20 members can help lead us on the path to achieve our shared goal of a safe and prosperous future for people and the planet.
By acting collectively and with urgency to manage global risks, we can pave the way to achieving our vision for the future. The G20 must play a central role. A role that can drive real change. Your decisions impact the lives of almost eight billion people around the world. I urge you to lead the way in ensuring that no one is left behind.
Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.
20 June 2019
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