Game changers to bring the LDCs back on track to achieve the 2030 Agenda and ensure the timely implementation of the Doha Programme of Action

Edward Heartney
Counselor for Economic and Social Affairs
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
February 8, 2023


Thank you Ambassador Kalkku, and thank you to today’s panelists for those valuable insights.

Good morning. At the start of arguably the most consequential year for development since the UN’s creation, the United States welcomes this opportunity to discuss ways to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

We are all aware of the interconnected crises facing our world today. It’s why we’re gathered in this room today and why we’ll gathering again in Doha to work together to get the SDGs back on track.

At their core, the SDGs are about expanding economic opportunity, social justice, caring for our planet, good governance and ensuring that no one is left behind. That is why the United States is committed to the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda, both at home and abroad.

Our strategies to achieve the SDGs, like the goals themselves, must be integrated and mutually reinforcing, leveraging the vision, expertise, and determination at all levels of society to

address the complex challenges we face. Last week’s Partnership Forum highlighted this sentiment and the critical role of regional and local actors, civil society, the private sector, academics, and community leaders.

As the panelists and other member states have noted], we must work together to accelerate the implementation of the SDGs. For this kind of challenge, we need to leverage all the tools in our toolbox for bold, creative, and pragmatic problem-solving working with our multilateral partners, to mobilize a wide array of resources.

The Secretary General stressed this point during Monday’s briefing to the General Assembly. These challenges are daunting, and while the U.S. has been among the largest and most constant partners to LDCs, disbursing around $11 billion annually in Official Development Assistance, we need to look at all resources to accelerate implementation of the SDGs.

We must embrace innovative solutions and ideas to expand sources of investment, including boosting domestic resources and scaling up private sector investment with use of blended finance, sustainable development bonds, and other mechanisms.

The UN system can play a role helping developing countries understand how to build sustainable partnerships with the private sector to catalyze investments in transformative sectors such as energy, health, infrastructure, and technology, while promoting environmental sustainability, transparency, and human rights.

The United States has called on the World Bank to develop a road map for becoming more fit for purpose for the 21st century by addressing collective problems such as global health and climate change, better leveraging its balance sheets to increase its lending capacity, and looking at ways to mitigate risks to attract greater private sector investment to developing countries. We believe the MDBs have an important role to play in generating new sources of investment to meet today’s needs. This includes providing sustainable financing to countries facing debt overhangs that currently constrain their fiscal space.

In this same spirit, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, or DFC, mobilizes private capital to tackle some of society’s greatest challenges. For example, DFC is supporting reliable, affordable, clean energy in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Malawi, DFC financing is supporting a photovoltaic power project and battery energy storage system with a $25 million loan. The plant is one of the first in Sub-Saharan Africa to include a grid-connected battery energy storage system that will help ensure a reliable supply and reduce frequent blackouts.

We cannot overstate the importance of creating conditions that attract investments. Investment is drawn to economies where there is strong rule of law; respect for human rights and for international labor, environmental, and technical standards; good governance; and effective and accountable institutions.

We look forward to today’s discussion and keeping the momentum going into Doha and beyond.

Thank you.