The 2019 SDG Investment Fair

Content Manager
Event date 15 Apr '19 14:00 - 17 Apr '19 17:00 EST (UTC -5)
Event location UN Headquarters • New York, United States

2019 SDG Investment Fair

“Closing the SDG Investment Gap”

UN Headquarters, New York, 15-17 April 2019


      The investment gap for the SDGs remains significant. Additional long-term resources need to be mobilized from all sources to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Sustainable finance is still a small fraction of overall financial activity in private markets, as it is only now beginning to be mainstreamed into the business models of the financial industry. In addition, it needs to be ensured that investment for the SDGs is inclusive and leaves no one behind.

      The SDG Investment Fair was established in 2018 to facilitate direct informal interaction among representatives of governments of developing countries, the private sector and financial intermediaries with a view of accelerating the mobilization of investment for the SDGs. In 2019, the SDGI Fair will be scaled-up further to increase its impact towards the closure of the SDG investment gap.

      The Financing for Sustainable Development Office (FSDO)/Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and the Division on Investment and Enterprise (DIAE)/United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), along with other partners, will organize the 2019 SDG Investment Fair from 15 to 17 April 2019 in conjunction with the 2019 ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development follow-up at UN Headquarters in New York.



      The SDGI Fair provides a central platform for “Closing the SDG investment gap” through its focus on national and international efforts to mobilize sufficient investment for sustainable development. It aims to do this through a combination of policy discussions, peer learning, engagement and partnerships with key actors from public and private sectors.

      The 2019 SDGI Fair is expected to leverage, reinforce and consolidate these strands of work. In doing so, it is fully aligned with the Secretary-General’s Strategy for Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its call for “enhancing sustainable financing strategies and investments at the regional and country levels”. Specifically, the SDGI Fair will provide a dynamic and interactive platform for countries, as well as the private sector and financial intermediaries, to:

  • Discuss critical policies and regulations that shape an attractive environment for SDG investment;
  • Facilitate peer learning among countries on specific actions to mobilize investments;
  • Create space for direct interaction between countries and investors, for example through presentation of investment plans and projects by governments.

      As part of its effort to mobilize investments, the SDGI Fair will also announce the “Global Investors for Sustainable Development” (GISD) Alliance. GISD will be a CEO-driven Alliance convened by the Secretary-General that will focus on incentivizing investments for sustainable development through addressing policy and institutional impediments.

      The SDGI Fair will provide participants with ample opportunities for networking and informal exchanges. Government and private sector representatives will be able to arrange bilateral meetings to discuss opportunities for investment deals and cooperation.



      The SDGI Fair is expected to register the below outputs and follow-ups in line with its purpose:

  • A summary of the main outcomes and takeaways;
  • A program of follow-up on outcomes pertaining to country projects and investment plans in collaboration with UN country teams and the newly established GISD Alliance;
  • Follow-up on any solutions reached during the policy spotlight segment.



      The SDGI Fair will comprise of different dynamic segments using various session formats with a strong focus on interactivity among participants. Each of these segments will be organized in conjunction but without duplication with the ECOSOC FFD Forum.

  • An opening High-Level session that will include the launch of the GISD Alliance by the Secretary-General, as well as Ministers and business representatives at the CEO-Level.
  • Peer Learning: Sessions will feature presentations of investment plans and projects by countries. Countries will have the opportunity to showcase specific measures they have taken to mobilize investment for sustainable development, with a focus of identifying critical lessons for other countries.
  • Policy Spotlights: Sessions will be held to address critical policy and regulatory issues relating to the mobilization of long-term private finance for sustainable development. The sessions may be organized by relevant stakeholders and will build on/go beyond the discussions at the FfD Forum with a view of providing additional space to go into more depth on specific issues.
  • Partnership Arena: This space will feature presentations of initiatives by representatives from the UN system and the private sector. Presenters will have the opportunity to share information about recent activities that aim to mobilize SDG investment through innovative partnerships.
  • Café Conversations: This segment will feature highly informal sessions on specific topics, such as sectoral investment policies. These sessions may also be organized by relevant stakeholders.
  • Closing session: This will be an open discussion at the conclusion of the Fair where feedback, highlights over the two days and next steps will be discussed.



The SDGI Fair is targeting all actors interested in opportunities pertaining to SDG investments. This will include:

  • Ministers of finance, foreign affairs and development cooperation;
  • Senior Government officials;
  • Private sector representatives;
  • Senior officials and experts from the UN system, including the major institutional stakeholders of the FfD process;
  • International and regional financial, trade and development institutions, including development banks;
  • Experts from think tanks, foundations and academia.

Generally, all FfD Forum participants are invited to attend the Fair.  Registration for “SDGI Fair-only” participants is available here. 



      The 2019 SDGI Fair is organized by FSDO/DESA and DIAE/UNCTAD, in cooperation with Global Compact, PRI, UNEP-FI, UNDP, UNIDO, FAO, IFAD, ILO, UN Foundation, ITU, UNCDF, UN Office for Partnerships, IFC, as well as the ICC and the Global Partnerships Forum. FSDO is organizing regular consultation meetings with its partners on the organization of the SDGI Fair.

      As part of the preparatory process, workshops will be held in selected countries with the aim of developing their investment plans and project proposals to a stage where they can be presented at the SDGI Fair.


      For any questions, please contact Krishnan Sharma  at or Tim Hilger at

For more information, please see SDGI Fair Brochure and SDGI Fair Programme (draft) below.