Egypt’s Participation in the first high-level meeting of the Forum on Global Action for Shared Development
Sunday، 09 July 2023 - 12:00 AM
Minister of International Cooperation Rania al Mashat left, on Sunday July 9, 2023, for the Chinese capital Beijing to participate in the first high-level meeting of the Forum on Global Action for Shared Development.
The meeting aims at strengthening joint action to implement the Global Development Initiative (GDI) proposed by the Chinese president in 2021, with the aim of redirecting global development towards a new phase of balance and comprehensive coordination to face global challenges, promote more equitable and balanced global development partnerships, and achieve more synergy through multilateral cooperation to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 SDGs.
The Egyptian participation stems from the strong relations with the Chinese side and the Egyptian state's keenness to move forward in pushing it towards more joint action, which is reflected in development cooperation efforts and joint development that enhance national development priorities.
It also aims to build on existing cooperation, especially in the field of scientific research and construction capabilities to expand in more areas.
The forum includes high-level delegations from 27 countries and more than 20 UN agencies and international non-governmental organizations.
Mashat will hold a number of meetings with representatives of the Chinese government as well affiliated agencies and organizations to discuss joint cooperation priorities during the coming period, along with participating in a number of discussion sessions and workshops.
The total portfolio of cooperation with China amounts to about dlrs 1.7 billion to implement many projects in various development sectors, including electricity, health, education, vocational training, and others.
Mashat has recently witnessed the completion of the assembly and testing of the EgyptSat 2 satellite, carried out in cooperation with China, at the headquarters of the Egyptian Space Agency.
Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat delivered a Keynote Speech “Capital Mobilization and Sustainable Financing Development” in Beijing, China , as part of the 1st High-Level Meeting of the Forum on Global Action for Shared Development in Beijing, China.
This session was organized by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) with the aim of discussing the Global Development Initiative that was put forward by the Chinese President in 2021, as well as the promotion of global development efforts to confront the shocks facing different countries, through multilateral cooperation .
The session included Mr. Albert Shingiro, Burundi’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Development Cooperation; Mr. Angellah Jasmine Mbelwa Kairuki, Tanzania’s Minister of State Affairs at the Provincial Level Administrative and Local Affairs Department of the President’s Office; the AIIB’s Sir Danny Alexander, Vice President, Policy and Strategy; Mr. Fengtao Zhao, Vice Chairman of China International Development Cooperation Agency; Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Chairman of Ban Ki-moon Foundation, the 8thSecretary-General of the United Nations; Dr. Min Bahadur Shrestha, Nepal’s Vice Chairman of the National Planning Committee; Mr. Siddharth Chatterjee, UN Resident Coordinator in China; Ms. Nena Stoiljkovic, Under Secretary General for Global Relations, Diplomacy and Digitalization, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies; and many representatives of governments and international organizations .
Al-Mashat stressed the importance of exploring opportunities to advance sustainable development efforts worldwide and stimulate the climate action agenda as two goals that are interrelated. H.E. pointed to the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing war in Europe, all in addition to climate change and its impact on the high cost of achieving the SDGs and the increasing financing gap in emerging economies and developing countries, reinforcing the need for comprehensive and integrated cooperation from all relevant parties .
The Minister of International Cooperation referred to the reflection of global challenges on the increase in the financing gap to achieve the SDGs, according to what was stated in the 2022 Financing for Sustainable Development Report, which referred to the high cost of financing for developing countries and emerging economies, explaining that the financing required to achieve development and climate action continues to increase, which reinforces the importance of partnerships and creating foundations for joint action .
H.E. touched on the importance of the messages included in H.E. President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt’s speech during his participation in the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact in Paris, France. H.E. had stressed the need for international cooperation and collective action to address global challenges, that the only way to achieve sustainable development is the common global effort and that reaching a new global financial structure guarantees equal opportunities and just access to financing for developing countries .
The Minister added that development cooperation played a decisive role in financing the development agenda and climate action in developing countries, as it witnessed a significant increase of 13.6% during 2022 compared to 2021. Despite this, global inflation and the successive economic repercussions increased the requirements for achieving development and limited the level of investment and the ability to meet growing needs. In this context, Al-Mashat pointed to the absence of just access to climate finance at the regional and international levels .
Moreover, the Minister continued, saying, "East Asia and Pacific, Western Europe, and North America receive 75% of financing, regions contributing the least to greenhouse gas emissions like Africa receive less than 5%. On a sectoral level, climate change adaptation investment is severely under-resourced, receiving less than 10% of climate flows .”
In the same context, the Minister stressed the importance of the role of the private sector in accelerating the fulfillment of the SDGs, as they manage an estimated $300 trillion in assets. However, their engagement in development activities remain limited or untracked. For instance, reported private investments in infrastructure in low- and middle-income countries accounted for only 9-13% of the total investments in 2019 .
Al-Mashat added that, according to the World Bank, Interestingly, according to the World Bank, if all Multilateral Development Banks dedicate their funds to the SDG Agenda, it would only amount to 4% of the needed finance, while shifting only 1.4% of global private financial assets would be sufficient to fill the climate finance gap .
Interestingly, according to the World Bank, if all Multilateral Development Banks dedicate their funds to the SDG Agenda, it would only amount to 4% of the needed finance, while shifting only 1.4% of global private financial assets would be sufficient to fill the climate finance gap. The assets of the private sector globally are sufficient to bridge the financing gap for the SDGs, and therefore, Al-Mashat indicated the importance of moving forward towards strengthening mechanisms for providing financing, especially from the private sector, to promote the development agenda and climate action .
H.E. noted that for this, the government, represented by the Ministry of International Cooperation, has embarked on an extensive consultation process with more than 100 relevant entities, the private sector, think tanks, research centers, and development partners, to reach an implementable agenda and a practical solution to promote climate financing through the “Sharm El-Sheikh Guidebook for Just Financing”, during Finance Day at COP27 .
The Guidebook brings the idea of ‘Justice’ to climate finance, with the objective of catalyzing needed investments in countries that need them the most. It introduces for the first time a definition for Just Financing as: "financing that accounts for historical responsibility for climate change while ensuring equitable access to quality and quantity climate financing that supports resilient development pathways, leaving no one behind .”
The Minister stated that Egypt has translated the recommendations of the Sharm El-Sheikh Guidebook for Just Financing” in a practical and realistic manner by launching the national platform for green projects, the NWFE program, which is a nexus of water, food and energy projects, aimed at stimulating climate action, attracting investments and moving from climate pledges to implementation, to implement the National Strategy for Climate Change 2050 and the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) .
H.E. explained that through the NWFE program, Egypt enhances its benefit from multilateral cooperation efforts to mobilize concessional development funds, debt swaps, and blended financings that stimulate private sector investments, in order to achieve the desired integration and interdependence between development efforts and climate action, through 9 projects selected from the strategy. National projects for climate action vary between the areas of mitigation and adaptation to climate change, to promote the transition to renewable energy, enhance climate resilience in the agricultural sector, desalinate sea water, establish early warning systems, and support the adaptation of agricultural lands and rural communities to climate changes .
The Minister stressed that the program is a unique opportunity for the international community to show strong support for the climate action agenda in a manner consistent with the Paris Agreement, and provides a practical model for country ownership, which can be replicated in a way that enhances climate action. The Minister noted that through the forum held in China, this is also a platform for exchanging knowledge and experiences between the countries of the South to benefit from various development experiences, stressing that Egypt is keen to encourage such initiatives .
Al-Mashat concluded her speech by emphasizing the importance of enhancing climate ambition to secure a decent life for future generations, and ensure sustainable financing horizons, reviewing the most important recommendations of the “Sharm El-Sheikh Guidebook for Just Financing”. This includes: mobilizing additional finance, from the private sector and other stakeholders and non-governmental organizations, as well as implementing sustainable debt mechanisms in middle- and low-income countries to enhance private sector confidence in pumping more investments and developing a list of projects that are in line with the Paris Agreement and national priorities .