Fijian Chair Convenes G77 Ambassadors Meeting on Finance
Ambassadors of the Group of 77 and China met today at the United Nations to deliberate on the role of finance in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The meeting's Chair, Fijian Ambassador Peter Thomson, convened the meeting as one of the series of G77 Ambassadorial meetings aimed at best informing the Group in its preparations for the world's Post-2015 Development Agenda. He said the theme of today's meeting was finance for development.
The meeting was addressed by Dr Mansur Muhtar, Co-Chair of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing. Dr Muhtar elaborated on the progress of the Intergovernmental Committee. He said that the Intergovernmental Committee is tasked by the United Nations with assessing financing needs of the Post-2015 Development Agenda, as well as considering the effectiveness of existing mechanisms, and with evaluating additional initiatives that could form an effective sustainable development financing strategy for the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
Dr Muhtar is a former Finance Minister of Nigeria and is currently an alternate Executive Director of the World Bank in Washington. Following his address, Dr Muhtar engaged with G77 Ambassadors in a question-and-answer session eliciting problems and solutions for the forthcoming sustainable development financing strategy.
The meeting was also addressed by Her Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, who is the UN Secretary-General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance. Queen Maxima highlighted the plight of the 2.5 billion adults in the world who are excluded from the formal financial system. The Dutch Queen told the meeting, "Financial exclusion is greatest among poor people and in emerging and developing countries, including the rural households that account for more than 70% of extreme poverty."
Queen Maxima said that without formal financial services, "families juggle informal, risky and expensive tools in order to manage cash and meet daily needs." She said that, "lack of savings accounts and health insurance contributes to the fact that 100 million people fall into poverty due to medical costs each year".
Queen Maxima called upon G77 Ambassadors to find an appropriate place for Inclusive Finance in the goals of the Post-2015 Development Agenda. She said this was a cross-cutting issue, and that Inclusive Finance was a critical enabler and an accelerator of equitable economic growth, job creation, along with social and human development.