Annual Report | Published September 2023
Choices In Uncertain Times (2023)

This report aims to offer an in-depth overview of the financing system and mechanisms of the United Nations development system. The 2023 edition, the 9th in this report series maintains the focus on financial data. It provides a marketplace of ideas drawing the collected insights from contributors spanning international financial institutions, the private sector, UN experts, government officials, civil society and academia, that we hope will contribute to enhancing multilateral engagement.

Climate change, escalating armed conflicts and human suffering across regions of our world and the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, constitute some of the defining challenges that impact global development, security, and sustainability. These challenges, including the global nature of the effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, have an exacerbating impact on inter-related areas affecting the livelihoods of billions of world citizens, ranging from food insecurity in Africa, in particular, to energy and capital as well as driving inflation and debt.

Hard-won development achievements are at risk and global humanitarian needs have reached an unprecedented level and continue to rise. New demands are being placed on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Instead of eradicating poverty by 2030, current estimates show that half a billion people will remain in extreme poverty.

The year 2023 marks the halfway point of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The world faces mounting concern about the possibility of not reaching the 17 development goals. Human  development and income inequality have deepened in recent years. This has been significantly exacerbated and accelerated by the dual impacts of the climate crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the World Bank, the average income of people in the bottom 40% of the global income distribution is 6.7% lower than pre-pandemic projections, while the average income for those in the top 40% is reduced by 2.8% in 2021. Rising disparity, lack of opportunity, discrimination and exclusion are fuelling grievances and injustice, which in turn risk fuelling violence.

Enhancing multilateral collaboration is critical if society should effectively address the global challenges. In 2023, communities witnessed the warmest June globally,

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