2019 IMF and World Bank Annual Meetings - Written Statement to the Development Committee
At that time, many emerging market economies were experiencing full-blown crises while most advanced economies were doing relatively well. Ten years later, almost all OECD countries went into recession together, with many facing financial crises as well, while China and India barely missed a step in their rapid growth.
This is a special year for the 2030 Agenda. In September, for the first time since the adoption of the SDGs, leaders will gather in New York for a comprehensive stock-taking exercise of global progress achieved this far. This will be a crucial exercise in helping us to reinvigorate our efforts, identify shortfalls and correct our course for the SDGs where we are not on track.
Today, we stand exactly 10 years, 10 months and 10 days away from the deadline for achieving SDG number 1: the complete eradication of extreme poverty. This means that we have 566 weeks left to lift just under 10% of the world’s population –around 700 million people – out of extreme poverty. We need to accelerate.
More than 500 stakeholders in the field of sustainable development – from Ministers, to CEOs, to representatives from philanthropy; from civil society, to think-tanks and Development Finance Institutions – have come together to demonstrate a shared commitment to putting “impact” at the heart of financing for sustainable development.
The landmark report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change paints a grim picture of our future if climate change continues to intensify. This year’s extreme weather events – record breaking heatwaves, wildfires, heavy rains, major tropical storms, diminishing Arctic sea ice – could soon become our daily reality. With only 12 years left to contain global warming to 1.5 degrees, we need to take bold and decisive action.
When we launched the Global Deal at the United Nations in September 2016, together with the Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven, and the ILO, I said that it was “an initiative whose moment had come”. Two years on, its relevance has continued to grow. Today, more than ever, we are faced with the acute need to relaunch social dialogue as a fundamental driver to foster a more human, more inclusive economy.
Sustainable economic and social development are central to peace, and to the prosperity of current and future generations. The landmark UN agreements on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals, and the Paris Climate Agreement provide us with aspirational frameworks to work towards these goals, but we still have a long way to go to deliver on the promise of leaving no one behind.
What we will be focusing on today is precisely how we can design the policies which will lead to inclusion and ensure that everyone – families, farmers and businesses – reaps the benefits of Africa’s integration.
Quality infrastructure underpins virtually every policy area. It forms the links that bind our interconnected economies and societies together, enabling goods, services, energy, data, communications and people to move easily. Connecting Africa through world-class infrastructure is critical for its growth, its development, its intraregional integration and its integration into the world.