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OPEC Fund strengthens partnerships for sustainable development at the United Nations SDG Summit in New York
September 21, 2023: Forging new partnerships, strengthening cooperation and urging progress on the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were the priorities of OPEC Fund Director-General Abdulhamid Alkhalifa at the UN 2023 SDG Summit in New York this week.
Speaking at a roundtable of heads of Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) convened by UN Secretary General António Guterres on implementation of the Paris Climate Accord, the OPEC Fund Director-General stressed the importance of pooling resources and said:
“Three sources of finance are available and need to be tapped: sovereign funds, private capital and grants. While sovereign funds are essential to kick-start the process, private capital engagement is imperative. Therefore adequate de-risking provisions should be made available.”
The OPEC Fund delegation participated in a series of bilateral meetings with partner institutions and signed new cooperation agreements in support of SDG delivery. According to the Summit’s dire assessment, only 15 percent of the SDGs are on track at halftime. OPEC Fund Director-General Alkhalifa said: “We are dedicated to the delivery of the SDGs. The international community must act decisively and urgently to support the countries that are most exposed to climate change, food insecurity, economic imbalances and other destabilizing factors. In this spirit we fully endorse the Summit’s Political Declaration and are determined to redouble our efforts.”
The OPEC Fund Director-General also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) to strengthen cooperation. “The OPEC Fund is an institution based on the principles of South-South cooperation,” said Director-General Alkhalifa. “We must unlock the full potential of partnerships by sharing knowledge and mobilizing resources to collectively advance the global development agenda.”
Ahead of the upcoming UN COP28 climate conference, which will be hosted by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), an OPEC Fund member country, the delegation held meetings to advance its climate change agenda and reaffirm the institution’s commitment. The OPEC Fund Director-General addressed a roundtable on climate action hosted by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the UAE and the Bezos Earth Fund, and met with Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, President & CEO, UAE Independent Climate Change Accelerators.
Director-General Alkhalifa also met with Lazarus Chakwera, President of Malawi, Uzziel Ndagijimana, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning of Rwanda, Tandi Dorji, Foreign Minister of Bhutan, Woochong Um, Managing Director General of the Asian Development Bank, Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All. Shaimaa Al-Sheiby, OPEC Fund Senior Director, Strategic Planning & Economic Services, also joined the Partners of Malawi roundtable as a speaker and reiterated the institution’s support for the country.
About the OPEC Fund
The OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund) is the only globally mandated development institution that provides financing from member countries to non-member countries exclusively. The organization works in cooperation with developing country partners and the international development community to stimulate economic growth and social progress in low- and middle-income countries around the world. The OPEC Fund was established in 1976 with a distinct purpose: to drive development, strengthen communities and empower people. Our work is people-centered, focusing on financing projects that meet essential needs, such as food, energy, infrastructure, employment (particularly relating to MSMEs), clean water and sanitation, healthcare and education. To date, the OPEC Fund has committed more than US$24 billion to development projects in over 125 countries with an estimated total project cost of US$190 billion. The OPEC Fund is rated AA+/Outlook Stable by Fitch and AA, Outlook Positive by S&P. Our vision is a world where sustainable development is a reality for all.