Ministers of finance to meet on economic challenges arising from COVID-19

Ministers of finance will come together at a high-level meeting today, to share their views on a menu of policy options to address urgent financing for the development crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

These options will be further refined and presented to world leaders at a follow-on high-level meeting of heads of state and governments on September 29.

The meeting of finance ministers, convened by the UN Deputy Secretary-General and the finance ministers of Canada and Jamaica, aims to present a single ambitious menu of policy options to recover from the current crisis in the short term, and mobilise the measures and financial resources to achieve the 2030 agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals, and build the resilience and sustainability of countries and the global financial architecture in the long term.

The discussions are a key follow-up in a process initiated by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, and the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness on May 28, to sharpen and accelerate the global response to the significant economic and human impacts of COVID-19, and advance concrete solutions to what has been described by the Secretary-General as the world’s “first development emergency”.

This pandemic requires a large-scale, coordinated, comprehensive multilateral response to support countries in need, enabling them to recover better for more prosperous, resilient and inclusive economies and societies.

Following the May event, six discussion groups have been established to consider options on areas for urgent action and to mobilise the financing needed for response and recovery. The discussion groups proposed concrete actions and policy recommendations in the following areas:

1. External finance and remittances, jobs and inclusive growth;

2. Recovering better for sustainability;

3. Global liquidity and financial stability;

4. Debt vulnerability;

5. Private sector creditors engagement; and

6. Illicit financial flows.

Each group, which met at least three times in July and August, was co-led by up to four member states and regional organisations and comprised of dozens of participating member states, many represented by ministries of finance, as well as more than 50 institutional partners – international financial institutions, international organisations, private sector and civil society representatives, think tanks and academic institutions.

The groups received further logistical, technical and substantive support from 20 specialised UN entities, funds and programmes, as well as regular input from United Nations country teams to ensure relevance and accuracy.

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