Issue paper: Stepping up investment in a better future: the need for a renewed G7 approach to seize the opportunities of global sustainable development

The systems of international cooperation in the world are confronted with three major conflicts simultaneously: violent conflict in Ukraine, political conflict between great powers and a gap between the short-term priorities of the rich and powerful societies of the world and the long-term needs of both poorer societies and the planet itself. The first two conflicts exacerbate the third. Amid massive investment shortfalls, the global sustainable development agenda is on the brink. Next year, 2023, will be the focus of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal deadline. It is high time to prepare for a better ‘second half’ of the SDG era. The G7 must be a bipartisan leader, a leader who provides all of his supporting power to mobilize the required forms of capital, while also leading by the power of his own influential example. Three profound structural changes over the past two decades have changed the context for G7 contributions: (1) the smaller relative power of the G7 countries on the global stage, (2) the more complex and fragmented policy area, and (3) the heritage of high profile G7/8 commitments. Amid the deep practical connections between the ‘infrastructure agenda’, the ‘climate agenda’ and the ‘sustainable development agenda’ in the world, all G7 countries must prioritize their domestic implementation of the SDGs. At the same time, they should help mobilize massive scale-up of public and private resources for global sustainable development. This includes working with other countries to drive profound changes in the scale and business models of the multilateral development banks, while also playing a leadership role to promote the alignment of SDGs in public and private financing systems. The G7’s infrastructure efforts should continue in the broader context of the 2023 SDG moment and existing efforts coordinated through the G20 and elsewhere. The G7 may further consider a range of proposals to foster a partnership-based approach to international cooperation on specific issues.

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