Turkmenistan took part in a meeting of the finance ministers convened by the United Nations Under-Secretary-General and the finance ministers of Canada and Jamaica. The meeting, which brought together the heads of financial departments of all 193 UN member states, took place by videoconference on Tuesday, September 8.
The overall goal of the finance ministers’ meeting is to present to the Heads of State and Government a single, ambitious menu of policy options to overcome the current crisis in the short term and mobilize financial resources to address and achieve the 2030 Agenda.
During the meeting, the ministers discussed the key issuess of these options, drawn up by six discussion groups on six relevant topics for the short, medium and long term. Further, these worked out options will be presented at a separate meeting of the countries’ leaders on September 29, 2020.
Initiative on Financing for Development in the COVID-19 Era and Beyond
The COVID-19 pandemic and emergency response measures such as travel locks and restrictions have put health systems under stress and have left hundreds of millions of people worldwide without their livelihoods overnight. As a result of the pandemic, the global gross domestic product, direct foreign investments and money transfers will decline in 2020, according to experts, by 4.9%, 40% and 20%, respectively.
In addition, working hours were reduced by 14% in the second quarter of the year, which is equivalent to the loss of 400 million full-time jobs, while global merchandise trade dropped by 18.5%.
While countries with the developed economies have taken unprecedented fiscal and monetary policy measures for crisis resolution, response policy measures in developing countries have been weaker due to the need to continue servicing their external debt amid the dramatic foreign exchange inflows. In this context, developing countries face a double challenge: financing the pandemic response measures and preventing a serious debt crisis that could slow the progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals for many years.
To formulate a large-scale, coordinated and comprehensive response measures, the UN Secretary General, together with the Prime Ministers of Canada and Jamaica, launched the Initiative on Financing for Development in the COVID-19 Era and Beyond on May 28, 2020.
What was the next step?
Six discussion groups were established, made up of the representatives of UN Member States and international organizations, to address the following topics: external financing and money transers, jobs and inclusive growth; recovery for sustainability; global liquidity and financial stability; debt vulnerability; attracting private sector lenders; illegal financial flows.
The result will be a single, ambitious menu of options that covers all six topics for the short, medium and long term and fully reflects the diversity of needs and views of Member States and stakeholders.
Meeting of the Heads of State and Government
The menu of options discussed by the finance ministers at the high-level event on September 8 will be submitted for decision by a special meeting of the Heads of State and Government on the sidelines of the 75th UN General Assembly session on September 29, 2020.
Following opening statements by the United Nations Secretary-General and the Prime Ministers of Canada and Jamaica, the outcoms of the six discussion groups and the ministerial meeting will be presented. The Heads of State and Government and high-level reporters from international financial institutions, private sector and civil society, as well as selected experts will spoke.