Where are the trillions needed to finance the new development agenda?

14 May 2015 by Pedro Conceição, Director of Strategic Policy at UNDP's Bureau for Policy and Programme Support

Woman carrying solar panels in HondurasLabour force participation of women is lower than men almost everywhere. Photo: UNDP in Honduras
In this blog series, our experts share their thoughts and lessons learned on key financing for development issues, in the run-up to the UN’s Financing for Development conference in July. While world leaders are focused on adopting a new set of sustainable development goals at the United Nations in September, a debate that has received far less attention is also raging: how to finance the new goals? A new paper (PDF) by the World Bank, IMF and other multilateral development banks argues that the new global development agenda will cost trillions of dollars, not billions. How can these trillions of dollars be mobilized? The scale of the challenge calls on us to have a broader and more sophisticated approach to financing. One way to mobilize these trillions of dollars is by eliminating discrimination against women. Yes, that’s right, eliminating discrimination is not only a matter of social justice. Discrimination and inequality of opportunity is also wasteful, because people are not enabled to contribute with their talent, creativity, and full potential to society and the economy. Consider this concrete illustration (PDF). In the United States, 94 percent of lawyers and doctors working in 1960 were white males. By 2008, this was reduced … Read more

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