On September 19, 2017, the General Debate of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly at the United Nations Headquarters in New York kicked off, with more than 100 heads of states and heads or senior representatives of governments gathering together to discuss threats and challenges commonly faced by the international community. The Finance Center for South-South Cooperation (FCSSC), an organization in Special Consultative Status with Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations, observed the General Debate in New York, and held discussions with leaders from the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to explore further cooperation.
The theme of this year's General Debate was “Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet”. The UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that nuclear threat, climate change, extremism and terrorism are the main challenges and threats that the world is facing, and the work of UN is to help all people to get rid of those challenges and threats. Since its establishment, UN has created the “consultative status” to form institutional connections with non-governmental organizations (NGO). Through awarding “consultative status” to internationally recognized important NGOs, ECOSOC has built good working relationships with NGOs and help those organizations play a role in international affairs. As an NGO with consultative status, FCSSC observed the General Debate, hoping not only to seize the theme of global development on the front line but also to contribute to the realization of UN sustainable development goals.
During the conference, FCSSC participated in a side event held by its strategic partner—the “UNDP SDG Impact Finance (UNSIF)”, together with the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Madam Sheikh Hasina, the Minister of International Development in Canada Madam Marie-Claude Bibeau, UNDP Administrator Mr. Achim Steiner, and UNDP Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Asia and Pacific Mr. Xu Haoliang, to witness the launching of the first Asia Pacific impact fund—“Build Bangladesh – UNDP Impact Fund”, which aims to attract more than $100 million from private investors to finance profitable investment with positive impacts on Bangladeshi society and environment. FCSSC will continue to cooperate with UNSIF to realize the sustainable development of economy, environment and society, by guiding and effectively utilizing market capital investment.
In addition, FCSSC’s Deputy Director-General Ms. Joyce Zhang and Director of International Affairs Ms. Susan Zhao, visited the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and exchanged ideas with Mr. Alexander Trepelkov, Director of the Financing for Development Office, and Mr. Navid Hanif, Chief of Policy Coordination Branch in the office for ECOSOC. Mr. Alexander Trepelkov said that next year DESA would hold a commercial exhibition on public-private partnerships (PPP) in UN headquarter and welcome FCSSC’s participation and cooperation on jointly organizing a side event, making efforts to mobilize private sector resources and enhance channels for multilateral and joint development financing. Mr. Navid Hanif expressed a warm welcome of FCSSC’s consultative status and hoped that FCSSC would participate actively in ECOSOC related activities in the future, while jointly promoting the 2030 sustainable development agenda. At the same time, FCSSC also met Dr. Mehdiyev Agshin, the Permanent Representative of the Islamic Cooperation Organization (OIC) to UN. Dr. Mehdiyev Agshin said that he was impressed by FCSSC’s work in development finance and hoped to introduce FCSSC to the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) for cooperation, in order to better leverage the power of financial credit to promote the economic growth of developing countries.