Webinar Series: Resume SDG-aligned South-South Investments Beyond COVID-19

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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.

Background

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 will focus on the global perspective. In addition to representatives from UNOSSC, FCSSC, and CICETE, the event will also bring 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 will discuss 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 will also 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 1 Agenda

Moderator: Dr. Xiaojun Grace  Wang, Deputy Director, United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation

1. Opening remarks

  • Mr. Cai E’Sheng, Chairman of FCSSC- Recent trend of ESG investing in the face of new challenges and opportunities
  • Mr. Zhang Yi, Deputy Director General of CICETE

2. Accelerating South-South sustainable investment in light of SDGs progress and COVID-19 impacts

  • Mr. Samuel Munzele Maimbo, Director, International Development Association (IDA) Resource Mobilization and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) Corporate Finance Department, World Bank

3. Responsible investment and global policy landscape, and what it means to contribute to the SDGs

  • Kaori Shigiya, Senior SDGs Specialist, UNPRI

4. Enhancing ESG investment in Support of South-South Cooperation

Dr. Hany Besada, Senior Research and Programme Advisor, UNOSSC

5. Legal and Regulatory Trends of ESG Investing

  • Mr Kenneth Awoonor-Renner Esq. – Legal, Regulatory and Investment Principal at BCAR International

6. Environmental Information Disclosure and Sustainable Development in the COVID-19 era – a Global Perspective

  • Dr. Maman-Sani Issa, Director, Environmental & Social Safeguards and Compliance Department (SNSC), African Development Bank

7. Strengthening Social Domain in ESG investing with Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Dr. Meixiang Michel Zhou, – Deputy Director-General, FCSSC, China

8.Closing Remarks

  • Dr. Xiaojun Grace Wang, Deputy Director, UNOSSC