IRTI, UNDP, Malaysian SC Partner to Promote Leveraging Islamic Finance to Fund the 2030 Global Development Agenda

27 Sep, 2018

New York, 27 September 2018 – The Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI) of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) have collaborated to promote the use of Islamic financing instruments to meet the funding requirements of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The huge funding needed to meet the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development far surpasses the resources available to individual governments and multilateral agencies, thereby making it imperative to join forces and to diversity sources of mobilizing financing for development projects.

With its underlying principles that emphasize risk sharing and responsible financing, Islamic finance has been tipped as a viable mechanism for mobilizing resources in this regard.

In joining hands to advocate leveraging the potentials of Islamic finance for the SDGs, IRTI together with UNDP and SC hosted a high-level forum entitled “Achieving the SDGs: Unleashing the Potential of Islamic Finance through Innovative Investors and Instruments”, on 27 September 2018, on the sidelines of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly at the UN Headquarters in New York.

The forum discussed the prospects for Islamic finance in the long-term financing of the SDGs from the perspectives of investors and instruments.

The Prime Minister of Malaysia, His Excellency Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, delivered the honorary keynote address, presenting Malaysia’s global leadership in Islamic finance and in advocating for the convergence of Islamic instruments and green financing.

IsDB President, His Excellency Dr. Bandar M.H. Hajjar, in a keynote address delivered on his behalf by IsDB Vice President for Partnerships Development, Dr. Mohamed Jouini, said the scale and ambition of the 2030 Agenda require substantial financial and technical resources, the value of which are far beyond the scope of individual governments and multilateral funding agencies.

In this context, he added, it “is important to explore alternative and complementary innovative financing mechanisms beyond the traditional development finance.” He also reiterated the need for cooperation among various stakeholders from both public and private sectors.

Director General of IRTI, Dr. Humayon Dar, who moderated the panel session and delivered the closing remarks during the forum, said, “We are delighted to join hands with other global partners to promote the opportunities provided by Islamic finance towards meeting the funding gap of the 2030 Global Agenda. IRTI is confident that this collaboration will help galvanize action among global stakeholders towards tapping the potentials of Islamic finance for achievement of the SDGs.”

Tegegnework Gettu, UN Under-Secretary-General and Associate Administrator of UNDP, said, “UNDP strongly believes that this partnership will yield in exciting results with increased engagement of Islamic financiers in development. We look forward to cooperating with partners across the public and private sector to unleash innovative Islamic finance opportunities and governments towards the realization of the Global Goals.”

H.E. Salih Mutlu Şen, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the OIC, also delivered a keynote address during the opening of the event.

Discussants in the panel session are Arsalaan Ahmed, CEO of HSBC Amanah Malaysia; Mohamed Hedi Mejai, Advisor to Chairman of the Board of Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD); Monem Salam, President of Saturna Malaysia; Sezai Şaklaroğlu, Head of Corporate Finance, M&A, Research & Strategy, Vakıf Yatırım; and Zainal Izlan Zainal Abidin, Deputy Chief Executive, Securities Commission Malaysia.

Back in 2016, the IsDB Group, represented by IRTI, and the UNDP jointly launched the Global Islamic Finance and Impact Investing Platform (GIFIIP) to provide market-based solutions to sustainable development challenges, with the aim to position Islamic finance impact investing as a leading enabler of SDGs through private sector engagement.

During today’s forum, Gulcin Salıngan, Deputy Director, UNDP’s Istanbul International Centre for Private Sector in Development (IICPSD), and Dr. Dawood Ashraf, Senior Researcher at IRTI, delivered a call for cooperation for GIFIIP/IICPSD – IRTI Joint Study entitled “Mapping the Impact Investing Ecosystem in the OIC Regions”.

For more information about the forum, contact Dr. Dawood Ashraf at [email protected]

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