The strategy draws upon the insights of prominent leaders in Africa, Europe, Asia, and Latin America; multilateral and bilateral development partners; along with the private sector and civil society.
Egypt-ICF 2021 was held on 8 September over two days with the aim of pushing international efforts towards implementing the UN’s global sustainable development goals (SDGs) by 2030 amid the ongoing pandemic by repositioning emerging economies as key allies in global development.
According to the recommendations, emerging economies need a new social contract that is based on a redesigned global governance system to ensure a green economic recovery in the post-COVID-19 economy.
They also need to sketch new pathways for the emergence of innovation-driven sectors, rethink social protection and green recovery, and progressively transform the labour market to mark the beginning of a new quality of growth.
Laying the foundations of a new inclusive economy, the recommendations of the Egypt- ICF focused on designing pathways to foster more effective and agile multilateral cooperation capable of addressing the pressing and emerging global challenges of developing economies, and thereby, reintegrate their position in the future economy.
It also asserted the importance of following-up on commitments and agreements at various global summits and international platforms, including the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the Accra Agenda.
It also encouraged the initiation of an inclusive, multi-stakeholder global dialogue on the establishment of a universal monitoring framework to track the implementation of such commitments.
South-South and triangular cooperation add value to conventional forms of development cooperation, which facilitate access to technical and financial resources, promote knowledge sharing, the exchange of experience, technical know-how, and ultimately contributes to sustainable development, according to the final communique.
It added that South-South cooperation does not substitute North-South cooperation, which is key to bridging the technological gap between the global North and South.
To promote transparency and open governance, the recommendations also enable each country to take innovative approaches in mapping their progress to align the results of international development cooperation projects with the SDGs’ objectives, and strengthen inclusive and impactful engagement with development partners, governments, global policymakers, the private sector, and civil society.
In order to recognise the persistent SDGs’ financing gap, an additional $3.7 trillion a year will be required to achieve the SDGs by 2030.
All nations and international organisations must be called upon to capitalise on the indispensable role of the private sector and private investments in achieving the SDGs through the promotion of sustainable corporate practices and impact investment, according to the recommendations.
Egypt-ICF also called for encouraging businesses to implement more inclusive economic policies that increase cross-institutional collaboration and align all stakeholders towards environmental, social, and governance principles, hence fostering impact investing and creating sustainable value chains.
To advance global environmental governance and pursue green and low-carbon development to proactively tackle climate change, the communique highlighted the need to seize opportunities that arise from technological progress and to support emerging economies to upgrade their economic and industrial structures as well as the energy mix at a faster pace.
Regarding the African Continental Free Trade Area, the recommendations proposed that the role of the economic bloc in boosting growth and integration of the African economies must be reaffirmed, which can come about through negotiations relating to the enactment of an e-commerce protocol as a guiding tool in order to harmonise data regulations, facilitate cross-border digital trade, and enable digital taxation on e-commerce.
They also affirmed the urgency of harnessing the potential of digital technologies to provide women-led businesses with vast opportunities and enhance their competitiveness by improving accessibility to digital technology — especially for individuals residing in rural areas — providing women with the necessary digital skills and strengthening their entrepreneurial capacity.
“The international community must support the development of a roadmap that outlines short-, medium-, and long-term solutions for building resilient agricultural and food systems,” the communique said.
“It would entail guidelines to facilitate knowledge sharing; promote technology transfer; adopt country-led sustainable agricultural methods; foster smart-climate practices; and support the diversification of livelihoods among rural communities, seeing as they are the most vulnerable to food scarcity in the face of climatic shocks.”
In this respect, the communique noted that economic infrastructure is one of the most prominent sectors with persistent financing gaps, ranging from $770 billion up to $950 billion, which require formulating strategic infrastructure development plans as well as gauging the number of annual investments needed.
The recommendations also urged the embracing of a people-centered approach to development, as investment in human capital is the starting point to meet the aspirations of all nations for a better life.
“This should be attained by increasing the development funds directed to develop those citizens’ capabilities, as well as strengthen the health and educational services, and social protection programmes for the lower-income classes. Hence, taking part in creating resilient societies that are capable of having a better future.”