Egypt pushes for greater global collaboration as an international Cairo-based forum “Egypt – ICF” kicks off post-COVID sustainable development talks

  • Egypt International Cooperation Forum (Egypt – ICF) gets underway in Cairo as global policymakers address post-pandemic sustainable recovery strategies
  • Two-day event hosts ministers from around the world, and heads of sustainable and economic development organizations
  • Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, H.E. Dr Rania A. Al-Mashat: Commitment by global leaders towards cooperation shows genuine conviction towards a greener recovery
  • Deputy Secretary-General of the UN and Chair of the UN Sustainable Development Group, Amina J. Mohammed: SDGs are our best hope to emerge from the pandemic and accelerate transition to equitable, sustainable future
  • Commissioner for International Partnerships of the European Commission, Jutta Urpilainen: EU remains convinced that the most promising avenue for progress is close cooperation with the UN at its core
  • Deputy Secretary – General at OECD, Jeffrey Schlagenhauf: No matter how solid policies are, they will not deliver on their promises if they are implemented in isolation
H.E. Dr Rania A. Al-Mashat, Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation

Cairo, Egypt: Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation today called on governments around the world to increase their collaboration on sustainable development efforts to ensure the post-pandemic world not only bounces back but delivers on a blueprint outlined by the UN to achieve sustainability and prosperity for all.

Launching the first edition of the Egypt International Cooperation Forum (Egypt – ICF), which takes place in Cairo on September 8 and 9, H.E. Dr Rania A. Al-Mashat, Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized that no country can remain in isolation, as global problems require global solutions.”

“The pandemic not only posed a health crisis to the world but also socioeconomic challenges,” said Al-Mashat, elaborating that for a global recovery, multilateral and bilateral cooperation is needed to achieve sustainable development and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“While there is less than a decade left for the 2030 UN SDGs, it is necessary to evaluate what has been achieved so far to recover from the challenges of the pandemic and to build back better,” she added.

The Egypt-ICF is designed to convene the global community; national, regional, and international policymakers, International Financial Institutions (IFIs), development partners, and representatives from the private sector, civil society and think tanks, to push for multilateralism and streamline joint efforts for an inclusive and green recovery through sustainable finance, added Al-Mashat.

The Minister added that in light of the global risks resulting from climate change and its repercussions on people and planet, the Egypt-ICF tackles the opportunities and challenges facing developing economies to achieve their economic potential.

“It would not have been possible for all of these stakeholders to gather today, whether physically or virtually, if they did not have the genuine conviction that the world, despite all the differences, is one coherent sphere that shares the same goal, that is, overcoming the pandemic and moving towards green development and recovery,” she said.

Joining the event virtually, Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the UN and Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group, said: “The SDGs are our best hope to emerge from the pandemic and accelerate the transition to an equitable and sustainable, resilient future. Strong, effective international cooperation and multilateralism are key to accelerate progress towards the global goals.”

Drawing on the example of effective international cooperation in the development of COVID-19 vaccines, she added that: “Achieving the SDGs will require transferring and sharing knowledge and experience between countries. The Egypt-ICF represents an important platform to explore the potential of all development stakeholders in sharing catalytic solutions.”

Meanwhile, Jutta Urpilainen, Commissioner for International Partnerships at the European Commission, told the Forum: “The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed almost 4.5 million lives around the globe. It has, like an X-ray, exposed our strengths and weaknesses, from social and economic inequality to the environmental and biodiversity crisis.”

“Such global shocks must be tackled at a global level. Today, we have a chance to reinvent ourselves and build back better. The EU remains convinced that the most promising avenue to do so is through close cooperation with the UN at its core.”

Describing how development cooperation will be essential in getting the world back on track to achieving the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Jeffrey Schlagenhauf, Deputy Secretary-General of the OECD, said: “This crisis has shown us that no matter how solid policies are, they will not deliver on their promises if they are implemented in isolation.

“While our multilateral system has been tested by the health crisis, today’s conference and the participation of so many leaders in the region is testimony to our collective faith in the power of international cooperation to respond to new realities.”

He added: “More sources of financing for development need to be mobilized, including from the private sector and through innovative approaches such as blended finance. We need to recognize that each country can find its own path for sustainable development. This is not a one-size-fits-all approach.”

Over the next two days, delegates, including national, regional and international policymakers, private sector stakeholders, development leaders, civil society bodies and think tanks, will participate in high-level panel discussions, specialized workshops, capacity-building sessions as well as development cooperation project visits.

About the Egypt – International Cooperation Forum:

The Egypt — International Cooperation Forum (Egypt — ICF) is a two-day global event that convenes the international community to drive a sustainable recovery through multilateralism.

Organized by Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation, the Forum is being held in Cairo, Egypt, between 8-9 September 2021 in a hybrid format – allowing both physical and virtual attendance.

The Egypt — ICF provides a unique global platform in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, to bring together international policymakers, multilateral and bilateral development partners, private sector stakeholders, civil society and think tanks to collaboratively reboot international cooperation through economic diplomacy in the post-pandemic era.

The Forum aims to foster a collective international commitment to accelerate the transition to a green and inclusive global recovery, catalyze social mobility in Africa and tackle climate change.

The Egypt — ICF is co-organized with leading international development institutions, including: the United Nations, the World Bank Group, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the African Development Bank (AfDB), and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).