- When: Session 1: 30 April 2021, 8 AM (New York time); Session 2: 28 May 2021, 8 AM (New York time), and Session 3 to be announced.
- How to watch: Sessions will be available on the UNOSSC YouTube channel, as well as Fengzhibo and Fengshow.
Under the framework of the Global South-South Development Center (GSSDC) project, the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) is organizing an online workshop series titled “Resume SDG-aligned South-South Investment Beyond COVID-19,” in partnership with the Finance Center for South-South Cooperation (FCSSC) and the China International Center on Economic and Technical Exchanges (CICETE).
The first session will be available online on 30 April 2021. The main objective of the workshop is to enhance South-South cooperation in SDG-aligned, responsible investment for a greener, more sustainable and inclusive recovery from the pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in one of the steepest economic downturns in history. During the pandemic, developing economies witnessed declines in foreign direct investment (FDI) flows at different degrees across different regions including Latin America, Africa, and Asia.
However, the current crisis also offers an opportunity for reconsidering how investments should be evaluated. Business risks emerging from COVID-19, as well as climate change and rising social inequalities, have intensified investors’ focus on sustainability-oriented, responsible investments. As an example of responsible investment aligned with the SDGs, Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing received growing attention from investors. Firms with stronger ESG practices have generally demonstrated greater resilience during the COVID-19 downturn.
Session 1: The Global Perspective
30 April 2021, 8:00 AM (New York time)
The first session of the workshop series focused on the global perspective. In addition to representatives from UNOSSC, FCSSC, and CICETE, the event also brought together experts and policymakers from different sectors and regions of the world, including the World Bank, the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI), BCAR International, the African Development Bank (AfDB). The session discussed the impacts and challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic on South-South investments and the progress of the SDGs, along with risk management in the context of the pandemic, climate change, poverty, and inequality from global perspectives.
This session also aimed to identify the advantages of responsible investment and introduce global insights, tools, and institutions required to promote ESG management to contribute to SDG-aligned investment and South-South Cooperation opportunities for developing countries.
Session 2: Policy Perspectives
28 May 2021, 8:00 AM (New York time)
This session will discuss incentives and challenges for SDGs-aligned investment, country experiences as well as opportunities for South-South investments in the context of COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, increased poverty and inequality. This session will also identify policy and legal issues related to ESG investing that are enabling or hindering Southern countries’ ability to engage more meaningfully in ESG investing through South-South Cooperation. Both policy and country perspectives will be shared, as some countries are currently the forerunners in pushing ESG practice forward in the Global South. The session will also provide insights, tools and public policies which are seen as reference in the promotion of South-South investment opportunities.
Session 3: Corporate Perspectives
9 July 2021, 8:00 AM (New York time)
This session will discuss how South-South responsible investments have contributed to progress made on the attainment of the SDGs from corporate perspectives. This session will also focus on institutions and mechanisms as means for South-South responsible Investments at the corporate level. Speakers will provide institutional and corporate examples of practical initiatives that worked and did not work; and provide insights on operational issues of ESG investing, management of diverse ESG resource flows, and present future needs and action priorities for corporates’ responsible South-South investments.