Forum Economic Ministers Meeting

August 15, 2022

Senior Officials, 
Deputy Secretary General

It is a pleasure to participate in such a distinguished meeting today. Please allow me to share my appreciation to the Forum and acknowledge the incredible experience and expertise in this room. 

UNDP is delighted to collaborate with the Forum in a number of areas to support achievement of the recently endorsed 2050 Strategy for the region, including Financing for Resilient Development, Public Financial Management and the Blue Economy. We are in the process of solidifying our UNDP and Forum partnership through a Memorandum of Understanding, which we anticipate to sign in the coming months.

Financing resilient development
Recognizing that financing responses to climate change and resilience are long term priorities for the region, this partnership will provide an opportunity for us to collectively support governments with implementation of national systems reform to improve utilization of financing - be it for climate change action, the blue economy or resilient development more broadly. 

This reform may include the integration of climate change considerations into Public Financial Management systems and national planning and budgeting processes. Through this partnership, we hope to provide opportunities for enhancing coordination, strategic planning and peer-to-peer learning. 

We have also initiated joint research on innovative financing instruments for resilient development for Pacific Island Countries. This research will provide analyses and recommendations on the appropriateness and accessibility of different financing instruments.

Green and Blue Bonds
One such piece is the Demystifying Green and Blue Bonds for the Pacific Region highlighted by thein the paper. 

Findings from this research include that: 

  • In full alignment with the 2050 Strategy, appropriately structured loans including thematic bonds can be a feasible option for Pacific Island countries to finance their recovery as well as their resilient and low carbon development pathway.
  • Second, I wish to note that thematic Bonds such as blue bond does also have an added benefit beyond just accessing additional capital - it could help to attract new expertise and private sector innovations into the region to unlock the blue and green potential. 
  • However, thematic Bonds will not provide enough funds on their own to build resilience to climate change and disaster risk.
  • Also, that sovereign green and blue bonds are debt instruments that create long term financial liabilities, as such, it is vital that they are used in an effective and strategic manner.
  • Lastly, towards locking attractive low cost of capital, issuers to make bond size attractive to investors and Pacific Island countries may consider potential regional bond offerings to increase regional resilience to climate change and disasters.

With that, on behalf of UNDP, I would like to thank you for providing me with the opportunity to be here today, and to PIFS for your ongoing partnership. We look forward to continuing to work with you.