Remarks at a Meeting of the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)

Kemy Monahan
Director for Economic and Development Affairs
United States
Bureau of International Organization Affairs
New York City
June 8, 2018

AS DELIVERED

The United States welcomes this opportunity to applaud a model for UN reform – a UN organization that is not only efficient and effective, but also finding innovative ways to modernize development finance. The United Nations Capital Development Fund is an example of what we want in a new UN, focused and impactful, and bringing into play all of the potential partners in development, including other UN agencies and donors as well as the private sector, civil society, and national and local governments. This multi-pronged approach to development leads to both development success and sustainability – our ultimate goals.

The United States recognizes that the finance needs of the developing world far exceed Official Development Assistance, ODA, flows. If we want to move the needle, we need to better incentivize private sector investment in developing countries. As a donor, we are focused on modernizing our development finance tools and working more efficiently and effectively with private sector counterparts. Many of our bilateral and multilateral development finance tools are outdated and fragmented across multiple agencies. We need to create more accessible and streamlined products to match needs of potential investors. Having identified the need to modernize development finance, the United States is now considering the establishment of a new development finance institution to replace our current agency, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. With similar goals, UNCDF is well positioned as a potential partner for a U.S. development finance institution as it seeks to create flows of finance to hard-to-reach, at-risk, and excluded areas. Our goals are parallel, and we can work together.

We support UNCDF because it works to demonstrate that markets exist for products and services aimed at the poor; incentivizes private sector companies to come into those markets; and helps build government and regulatory capacity to support those markets, including regulatory and policy change to meet the challenges of inclusion, innovation, the digital revolution in financial services, and public/private partnership. In this way, UNCDF uses our donor investments to catalyze follow-on investments from domestic banks and private actors in poor countries and works directly with the private sector to build sustainable business models that meet the needs of the poor; and, importantly, it builds the capacity of local government officials to manage their public resources.

This modern method of development finance and exemplifies UN reform for efficiency and effectiveness through innovation and modernization. We look forward to our continuing work with UNCDF and other UN agencies on tomorrow’s development finance and tomorrow's efficient, effective and impactful United Nations. Thank you.

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