The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can get back on track with more funding and targeted large-scale green investment in developing countries, also known as the global South.

“True investments at scale are the only way to really get back in the race,” said UNCTAD Secretary-General Rebeca Grysnpan.

Grynspan spoke at an event entitled “Promoting investment for Sustainable Development Goals: Repurposing capital”, held on 17 January on the margins of the World Economic Forum's 2023 annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

She was part of a high-level panel that included José Ramos-Horta, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and president of Timor-Leste; Rania Al-Mashat, Egypt’s minister of international cooperation; and Olivier Becht, France’s minister for foreign trade, economic attractiveness and French nationals abroad.

Their conversations centred around incentivizing investment in climateresilient and sustainable development projects and scaling up existing partnerships for public-private engagement to accelerate progress under the 2030 Agenda.

The panel discussion was moderated by James Zhan, who leads UNCTAD’s investment and enterprise development division and chairs the World Investment for Development Alliance, of which UNCTAD is a member. Reversing negative trends amid cascading crises

Secretary-General Grynspan urged the global investment community to help rescue the SDGs by reversing current investment trends.

She likened the current situation to a marathon runner trapped in a race, with the finish line (of sustainable development) looking increasingly out of reach.