Successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development requires a significant amount of financial resources, beyond traditional development financing. Innovative approaches are required to unlock new sources of funding, including via Islamic finance.
With the objective to increase awareness and generate interest about the potential of Islamic finance and impact investing instruments, particularly by addressing the long-term investment needs of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) organised an event – ‘Realizing Agenda 2030: How Islamic Finance through Impact Investing can help achieve the SDGs,’ in New York in September 2017.
The event discussed how Islamic finance can be tapped as a strong and scalable funding source for global development. The event was co-organized by the Islamic Development Bank and UNDP, with support of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) New York office.
Prof. Dr. Mohamad Akram Laldin, a member of the SAC, was a speaker at the event. He spoke on “Islamic Finance and Sustainable Development Goals” which discussed on how to link the current practices of Islamic finance with each of 17 SDGs. As an example for “Goal 4: Ensure Inclusive and Quality Education for All and Promote Lifelong Learning”, he highlighted the role of Khazanah Nasional with issuance of Ihsan Sukuk (the first global sustainable and responsitble investment sukuk) in which the proceeds of the sukuk were channelled to finance several educational activities. Dr Akram also shared how SDGs are also in line with the value propositions of Islamic finance which include promoting justice and financial inclusion.
A highlight of his speech is on the Bank’s initiative on Value Based Intermediation (VBI). He shared the aim of VBI to create an enabling environment for Islamic financial institutions in Malaysia to adopt practices, offerings and conduct that generate positive and sustainable impact to the economy, community and environment, without compromising the financial returns to shareholders. He also shared sstrategies adopted by the Bank to support VBI implementation and its potential to transform the landscape of the Islamic finance industry in Malaysia and internationally.
The following international leaders also speak at the event:
- Sayed Aqa, Vice President of the Cooperation and Capacity Development, Islamic Development Bank Group
- Magdy Martínez-Solimán, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations
- Mahmoud Mohieldin – World Bank Group’s Senior Vice President for the 2030 Development Agenda, UN Relations, and Partnerships
- Aamir Abdul Rehman – Consultant, World Bank Group
- Hasan Al Jabri – Chief Executive Officer, SEDCO Capital