Unlock savings to finance sustainable development in Asia-Pacific, says UN

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A firewood seller arranges his pile of wood. This photograph was taken in Jharkhand, India. UN Photo/Somenath Mukhopadhyay

The Asia-Pacific region has vast private savings which should be mobilized to finance sustainable development, the UN has said.

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) met in Jakarta, Indonesia on Tuesday to discuss sustainable development financing.

The ESCAP Executive Secretary, Dr Shamshad Akhtar, said that investments in sustainable development in the region could cost as much as $2.5 trillion per year.

The funding would help to close the region's infrastructure gaps, provide universal access to social protection, health, and education, and implement measures to mitigate climate change.

Dr Akhtar said it was necessary for governments to look beyond their own revenues and tap corporate sector involvement, including private citizens.

It is estimated that $33 trillion was held by affluent individuals in the region at the end of 2012.

She said a better enabling environment could encourage more private sector funding.

The meeting’s deliberations will feed into the on-going outreach by the UN Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing.

The Committee is due to report to the UN General Assembly on sustainable financing options and proposals.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations

Duration:  1’41″

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