Resident Coordinator's speech: Launch of MySDG Foundation
28 January 2022
The Foundation was launched by the YAB Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on 27 January 2022.
The Honourable Prime Minister, Dato' Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob,
The Honourable Finance Minister, Senator Tengku Datuk Seri Utama Zafrul bin Tengku Abdul Aziz,
Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Mohd Zuki bin Ali, Chief Secretary to the Government,
Honourable Deputy Ministers;
Yang Berbahagia Dato’ Asri bin Hamidon, Secretary General of Treasury,
Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of MySDG Foundation;
Esteemed Members of the Board of Trustees of the MySDG Foundation,
Colleagues Heads of UN agencies in Malaysia,
Assalamua'laikum and Selamat Petang
Saya mengalu-alukan komitmen Perdana Menteri dan kerajaan Malaysia terhadap SDGs, dan jalinan kerjasama yang lebih erat dengan Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu.
It is a privilege for me to represent the United Nations as we launch today the Yayasan MySDG.
This ground-breaking initiative will channel new resources to support national efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in Malaysia by 2030.
We value the collaboration between the UN and the Government, to fund and support projects that will help change lives and livelihoods for the better, and protect Malaysia’s precious natural environment.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is ambitious and transformational.
The 17 goals offer a universal vision that is applicable everywhere, addressing the key challenges of our time, from eradicating poverty and fighting inequality, to halting climate change, and crucially, and in light of the pandemic, building resilience to all manner of external shocks.
The SDGs have the potential to help countries embark on a more balanced, stable and effective pathway to sustainability. They call for a fundamental rethinking of economic models that integrate social and environmental dimensions and incentivize all actors to adopt sustainable and inclusive practices.
As the world addresses the multifaceted impacts of COVID-19, the SDGs have never been more relevant or important than now.
However, despite the efforts we have seen globally, progress has been too slow.
Financing sustainable development is one persisting bottleneck.
The Decade of Action, launched at the UN General Assembly in 2019, calls for a step change in policymaking and the adoption of innovative responses. It also advocates for multi-source multi-partner financing arrangements to accelerate implementation.
Resourcing the SDGs is complex and requires a ‘whole-of-government’ and ‘whole-of-society’ approach, working through many instruments - the public budget, private sector financing, community and civil society actions, and via the kind of complementary initiative we have gathered to launch today.
I congratulate Malaysia on the progress and accelerated efforts we have seen in recent years. This rich history includes SDG informed planning and reporting, the 2019 SDG Summit, the SDG Roadmap Phase 1, the completion of two Voluntary National Reviews, progress on SDG localization, and outstanding work on data and statistics.
These efforts have culminated in the evidence-based 12th Malaysia Plan’s SDG-aligned planning framework and the SDG focus in the 2022 budget.
These steps are very positive and hugely encouraging. But we still need to go further, by addressing structural barriers, by unlocking this nation’s great potential to deliver an inclusive and sustainable future.
We have just nine short years to deliver the goals, to tackle existing and emerging challenges in new ways, and pursue new classes of solutions.
The MySDG foundation is a very welcome development. It enhances and complements the nation’s wider SDG implementation and financing efforts as just highlighted by the Minister of Finance.
Today marks a new level of partnership between the UN and the Government of Malaysia.
This joint platform will enable the financing by pooling funds from various sources -- public and private, domestic and international-- to support relevant projects and innovative solutions championed by civil society organizations, UN agencies and other development players.
The UN commits to leverage its global experience and expertise to manage these pooled funds in an efficient, effective, transparent and accountable manner.
Working with the Board of Trustees the UN will support a coherent response to the challenges faced.
This initiative has the potential to become a global best practice of SDG localisation and resource mobilization.
Working as a key complement to Malaysia’s wider SDG efforts, the MySDG Fund will seek to plug gaps, and accelerate actions through tailored interventions.
Core to its mission would be to reach out to excluded and left behind groups, and areas of unmet or overlooked needs.
The supported projects will seek to harness partnerships with all development partners and engage with Malaysia’s diverse population.
The MySDG Foundation also aims to be catalytic.
It has the potential to scale-up inputs and enable a shift from funding to financing, via the private sector and bilateral donors’ participation in the core fund, building on the Government’s initial sizeable contribution. In turn, this may herald development of still more creative SDG financing channels.
The United Nations is proud to partner with Malaysia on this ground-breaking initiative.
I commend the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance for their strategic leadership and foresight in supporting the establishment of Yayasan MySDG and the development of the Fund, and for the generous financial contribution to kickstart it.
Done right, the SDGs are a force for societies to recover and progress.
As we navigate global uncertainties, the UN stands ready to continue to support Malaysia’s remarkable efforts through the rapid set up and roll-out of the Fund’s arrangements, and by mobilizing the UNCT and all partners to rise to the spirit of the 2030 Agenda and ambition of the SDGs.
Before I close, please allow me to extend our gratitude to all who have been working tirelessly to make all of this possible.