IIPP Director addresses the UN Chief Executives Board
15 May 2023
Professor Mariana Mazzucato speaks on the reform of international financial architecture at the UN Chief Executives Board meeting in Nairobi, Kenya.
Invited by United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the Director of UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, Professor Mariana Mazzucato, recently spoke to the UN Chief Executives Board (CEB), on reforming international financial architecture.
The CEB is a biannual meeting of all directors of UN agencies, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, and is the longest-standing and highest-level coordinating body in the UN system.
On 3 May 2023, the President of Kenya, William Ruto, hosted Professor Mazzucato and UN leaders for a dinner at State House in the country’s capital, Nairobi. The following day, along with Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister in Singapore and fellow Co-Chair of the Global Commission on the Economics of Water, Professor Mazzucato gave a keynote presentation entitled ‘Securing a Fair and Inclusive International Financial Architecture that Delivers Sustainable Development for All.’
Professor Mazzucato brought a key message to UN leaders: if UN agencies and governments around the world are serious about tackling the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and filling the US$3.9 trillion-7 trillion SDG financing gap, then we cannot only talk about reforming the international financial architecture. We need to rethink the way we do capitalism – how we structure governments, how we structure business, and how we structure public-private relationships.
In her recent article for Project Syndicate on the topic, Professor Mazzucato says that “we must embrace an entirely new economics" and deliberately shape "the economic and financial system to advance the common good." Our current economic system “remains rooted in an ex-post mindset: the state intervenes only to correct market failures. Instead, state actors should be deliberately shaping – even co-creating – markets in which the common good is the primary objective.”
Professor Mazzucato also brought these messages to bilateral meetings with key UN leaders, including the UN Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, UN Habitat Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif, and UN Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Achim Steiner.
Importantly, this year marks the half-way point of the UN 2030 Agenda and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), culminating in the SDG Summit in September. Furthermore, next year will be the Summit of the Future, which aims to reinforce the UN and global governance structures to help advance the SDGs by 2030. The Secretary General has called it “a booster shot for the SDGs.”