by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN) – Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, continues calling for access to financing for developing countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Prime Minister and the access to financing advocate, during a panel discussion titled “Setting the Stage “SDG implementation at the halftime — What will it take to keep the SDG promise?” said a specific buy-in and framework is needed on the part of lending institutions, especially from Multilateral Development Banks (MDB).
Mottley warned that access is one part of achieving the goals – policy implementation, change in perspective, and shift in attitude is paramount as it relates to having as many countries, especially developing nations, reach the goal in the next seven years.
“All of our policies, including the terms and conditions for access to finance, have to reinforce the missions. If we believe that the SDGs are worth attaining, then we need to put a framework in place that allows the MDBs to value the SDGs and to be able to increase the length of time that you can have to repay these funds. Thirdly, we need to ensure that as we do all of that, that we get countries and individuals to see the SDGs as individual targets because it is not only about the money that we access; it is also about the policies. It’s also about the change of behaviour. It’s about the change of attitude. The reason why the Secretary-General can speak about there being an abundance of food and people starving is because we choose not to act differently and we choose not to share with one another. So, I believe that those three points are critical. Let us get the meetings with the credit rating agencies in the markets… Because you cannot continue to value short-term lending – you cannot continue to have metrics that don’t support a move away from per capita GDP that is historic and tells us nothing about the country while the vulnerability of the country increases exponentially.”
Mottley opined that the World Bank is the best to facilitate the financing of accomplishing the SDGs. However, she said she understands that there may not be enough public money, and thus, other avenues for financing should be targeted.
“I want to make the point that we cannot have SDGs for the benefit of global public goods or not have a mechanism for financing global public goods. And I still believe that the World Bank is the best place to locate the financing of global public goods. But I accept that there may not be enough public money. And to that extent, how do we mobilise money that now goes to non-state actors, most of whose balance sheets – the major multinational corporations have balance sheets that dwarf and miniaturise the majority of countries in this room? So we have to find a way [for] them contributing to the financing of global public goods, and we also have to find where philanthropic capital financing global public goods; they want to do good, but it can only be what they want; it has to be what the world needs.”
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 to end poverty, hunger, AIDS, and discrimination against women and girls, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030, all people will enjoy peace and prosperity.
One of the 17, Climate Action, has been a constant target for discourse on a lack of financial action.
President of the Republic of Suriname, Chan Santokhi, during his speech at the general debate of the 78th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations (New York, from September 19 – 26, 2023), continued the message that Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are most affected.
The President of the CARICOM state reminded global leaders of the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) to be hosted in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the next two months and said that the same trend of talk and no action could not continue.
Government officials in St. Kitts and Nevis seek to turn the territory into the first Sustainable Island State, and to do that, the Federation has to achieve the SDGs well before the 2030 deadline.
The 17 goals are: