JSE CEO co-chairing United Nations initiative to drive financing for sustainable development goals
Johannesburg, 17 October 2019: The Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres announced the Global Investors for Sustainable Development Alliance (GISD) initiative at the UN headquarters in New York yesterday. JSE CEO, Dr Leila Fourie together with CEO of Allianz SE, Oliver Bäte co-chaired the iniative which aims to to leverage finance and investment know-how in a bid to free up trillions of dollars from the private sector to finance the Sustainable Development goals.
The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) is the only stock exchange globally in the alliance and is joined by Investec and 29 other CEOs of financial institutions, manufacturing corporations and technology service providers. These include asset owners, asset managers, and non-financial corporations from both developed and developing countries.
"The establishment of the GISD Alliance acknowledges the scale of the challenges we face collectively and the role that the finance sector has to play in meeting these challenges. It is a great honour for me to build on the JSE's legacy in promoting a more sustainable financial system by taking on the role of co-chair of the Alliance. Exchanges are a vital part of the financing ecosystem – promoting relevant disclosure, enabling effective price discovery, and ultimately mobilising funds to productive ends. Ensuring this is calibrated to the attainment of inclusive and sustainable growth and development is part of our vision at the JSE and our commitment to the GISD Alliance. We have much work to do, and the time to start is now," says Dr Leila Fourie, CEO of the JSE.
The 2030 agenda is a pressing imperative for everyone. Government, the private sector and civil society need to act together if we are to have any hope of achieving the sustainable development goals (SDG’s). Government funding alone is not going to be enough to finance the actions needed to meet the goals and much is going to depend on private sector.
Capital markets, are a key conduit for trillions of dollars and have a pivotal role to play. The JSE has been a global leader in advancing the sustainability agenda using the levers available to it as part of its central role as a connector between various parts of the financial market ecosystem. The JSE operates in a part of the world where many of the SDG’s (or sustainability challenges) are directly relevant, and this operating context was very instrumental in our activity over the last 15 years. Issues like gender equality, environmental degradation, peace, justice and strong institutions, and decent work are real in our everyday lives.
Over the years the JSE has introduced actions that promote better practices and disclosures in relation to sustainability which we have seen have a multiplier effect across the market. It was thus only natural that we answer the SG’s call to participate in this alliance. Bringing this set of leaders together is, the start of something potentially transformational in mainstreaming sustainability thinking and action into business practices.
The Alliance aims to use their expertise, influence and business acumen in devising ways to stimulate long term investment in development and speed up progress towards achieving the SDGs.
Over the next two years, the group will:
- Deliver solutions to unlock long-term finance and investment in sustainable development both at company and system-wide levels;
- Mobilize additional resources for countries and sectors most in need;
- Find ways to increase the positive impact of business activities; and
- Align business practices with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The JSE will also offer reosurces as part of the Strategy Group and one of the working groups supporting the alliance.
ABOUT THE JSE
The Johannesburg Stock Exchange is based in South Africa where it has operated as a market place for the trading of financial products for 132 years. It connects buyers and sellers in equity, derivative and debt markets. The JSE is one of the top 20 exchanges in the world in terms of market capitalisation and is a member of the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) and holds the chairmanship of the Association of Futures Markets (AFM). The JSE offers an electronic, efficient, secure market with excellent regulation, trading and clearing systems, settlement assurance and risk management. www.jse.co.za
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