AGM of UNDP’s Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S) Network launches its Gender Finance Charter to mainstream gender considerations within sustainable finance during its Annual General Meeting.
Members of FC4S sign a milestone Gender Charter to advance gender equality in sustainable finance.
Dublin, 26 September 2023: 35 global international financial centres participated in the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Financial Centres for Sustainability Network (FC4S) in Dublin today.
In his welcome remarks, Haoliang Xu, Under-Secretary-General and Associate Administrator of UNDP while addressing FC4S members said: “FC4S gathers leading financial centres with a strong network in both private and public financial institutions. It embodies the spirit of collaboration and partnership, not only within its members, but also with the broader financial sector. FC4S’s ability to crowd-in knowledge and resources of private financial institutions is pivotal in achieving our shared sustainable finance objectives.”
Opening the AGM, Lamia Merzouki, Chief Operating Officer of Casablanca Finance City Authority and Chair of FC4S said: “I am delighted to participate in the FC4S AGM in Dublin and would like to warmly thank the Irish government for hosting us. We are at the halfway point to the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs are still facing significant challenges with only 15% of the SDGs on track. In this context, it is essential to highlight the role of financial centres in leading a positive transformation towards a more inclusive and sustainable finance.”
A Gender Finance Charter, based on ten fundamental principles, was launched during the AGM as well. These principles guide the financial centres to integrate gender considerations into their interactions with stakeholders and become champions of financial education as a potent means to empower women. Moreover, these principles inspire financial centres to champion women’s leadership and representation across their ecosystems and prioritize transparency in gender performance, provide guidance for the establishment of gender-related targets and advocate for the development and adoption of gender-responsive financial products and practices. Simultaneously, they are resolute in their commitment to enhancing women’s access to finance, focusing on women-owned and women-led businesses.
Marcos Neto, Director UNDP Sustainable Finance Hub said: “On our journey towards sustainable finance and a more equitable world, the Gender Finance Charter serves as a foundational instrument, deepening UNDP’s Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S) Network work on the path to sustainable and more equitable finance. It not only encapsulates our core values but is also a powerful tool for transformation towards gender-responsive sustainable finance.”
Minister Jennifer Carroll MacNeill TD, Minister of State at the Department of Finance of Ireland said: “This Gender Finance Charter is of global significance in financial services, and I am delighted that it is being launched here in Dublin. It has the potential to significantly advance gender equality, not just in financial services, but more broadly across the globe. I want to congratulate the representatives from financial centres around the world for demonstrating true leadership in being here to sign up and commit to the Charter. On behalf of the Government of Ireland, I want to commend FC4S for spearheading this initiative.”
21 FC4S members have endorsed the Charter till now and have committed to take concrete actions throughout 2024 to mainstream gender considerations within sustainable finance. In conjunction with the Charter, the FC4S Gender Working Group (GWG) is also working on a Gender Finance Booklet, a comprehensive resource that equips all FC4S members with the necessary tools and guidance for effective implementation of the Charter's principles.
Kali Taylor, Community Manager of Sustainable Finance Geneva and Gender Working Group Chair said: "Gender has been a priority of the Geneva financial centre since 2021, so we are thrilled to join this broader movement of financial centres committing to this important topic. We see this as an excellent opportunity to learn from our peers, collaborate, and push for gender equality in Geneva and globally."
Members of the FC4S were briefed on the development of the SDG Investment Pipeline Building program which has kickstarted in Africa with a pilot focus on Kenya, Nigeria and Rwanda. The SDG Pipeline building program has seen success through a series of multistakeholder engagements between the UNDP country offices, financial centres, and investment intermediaries in identifying and vetting a regional pipeline of SDG Investment ready projects for capital deployment. Key highlights from the program featured a presentation of the developed SDG Pipeline of projects in Nigeria, which has been developed through a successful partnership and collaboration between FC4S Lagos, UNDP Nigeria, UNCDF and the investment intermediary- Impact Investment Exchange.
Members during the AGM were also updated regarding the FC4S Assessment Programme (AP). The AP, a pioneering initiative, serves as a comprehensive evaluation of sustainable finance practices across key international financial centres. The programme surveys both private and public financial sector actions and their contributions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, offering valuable insights into the state of green and sustainable finance worldwide. A forthcoming global report, which will aggregate data from the AP 2023 edition, will provide a valuable resource for informed decision-making and accelerating the transformation towards a more sustainable financial landscape.
Stephen Nolan, Managing Director UNDP FC4S while closing the AGM said: "Celebrating the coming together of 35 international financial centres in Dublin, UNDP’s FC4S Annual General Meeting is about making a real impact on sustainable finance and gender equality. We're delighted about the Gender Finance Charter launch, the SDG Investment Pipeline Builder and our Assessment program. These show how committed we are to reshaping finance for a better, fairer world. Together, we're not just talking about change; we're working hard to create a financial world that's more sustainable and inclusive."
As the United Nations lead agency on international development, UNDP works in 170 countries and territories to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality. UNDP helps countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities, and to build resilience to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. UNDP’s work is concentrated in three focus areas; sustainable development, democratic governance and peace building, and climate and disaster resilience.
About UNDP SFH:
The UNDP Sustainable Finance Hub brings together UNDP’s financial expertise to harness public and private capital for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)- supporting governments, investors and businesses in reaching climate, social impact and sustainability targets. Its work drives systemic change towards a sustainable financial architecture that benefits people and the planet.
About UNDP FC4S Network:
The UNDP’s Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S) Network is a global network of 40 financial centres, working together to achieve the objectives set by the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement. FC4S is hosted by UNDP’s Sustainable Finance Hub.
The FC4S members include:
Abidjan – Ministry of Economy and Finance, Abu Dhabi - Abu Dhabi Global Market,
Astana - Astana International Financial Centre, Barcelona - Barcelona Centre Financer Europeu for Sustainability, Beijing - Institute of Finance and Sustainability, Busan - Busan Finance Centre, Cairo - Financial Regulatory Authority, Casablanca - Casablanca Finance City Authority,
Dublin - International Sustainable Finance Centre of Excellence, Edinburgh - Global Ethical Finance Initiative, Frankfurt - Green and Sustainable Finance Cluster Germany, Geneva - Sustainable Finance Geneva, Glasgow - Global Ethical Finance Initiative, Guernsey - Guernsey Green Finance, Gujarat - International Financial Services Centres Authority,
Hong Kong - Hong Kong Green Finance Association, Jersey - Jersey Finance,
Kuala Lumpur - Capital Markets Malaysia, Lagos - The Financial Centre for Sustainability, Liechtenstein - Liechtenstein Bankers Association, Lisbon - Grupo de Reflexão para o Financiamento Sustentável, London - City of London Corporation, Luxembourg - The Luxembourg Sustainable Finance Initiative, Madrid - The Spanish Centre for Responsible and Sustainable Finance, Mexico - Mexican Council of Sustainable Finance, Milan - ESGeneration Italy, Mongolia - The Mongolian Sustainable Finance Association, Montréal - Finance Montréal,
Nairobi - Nairobi International Finance Centre Authority, New York - U.S. Alliance for Sustainable Finance, Paris - Institut De La Finance Durable, Rio de Janeiro - The Laboratory of Financial Innovation, Rwanda - Kigali International Financial Centre, Seoul - Seoul Metropolitan Government, Shanghai - Lujiazui Financial City Green Finance Development Center, Shenzhen - Shenzhen Green Finance Committee, Stockholm - Stockholm Green Digital Finance, Stuttgart - Stuttgart Financial, Tokyo - FinCity.Tokyo, Zurich - Swiss Sustainable Finance
Strategic Coordination and Communications Specialist, UNDP Sustainable Finance Hub