|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Must Seize Opportunities Presented by Strong Growth in Developing Countries
to Drive Progress, Secretary-General Tells ‘G-77’ High-Level Meeting
Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks to the annual ministerial meeting of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, in New York, 28 September:
I welcome this opportunity to meet with you. We gather at a time of exponential change. I am grateful for this chance to renew our collective resolve to move with the times and usher in a better future.
I thank the Republic of Algeria, and especially you, Mr. Minister [Mourad Medelci], for successfully leading the Group of 77 and China this year. I congratulate His Excellency Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Fiji,for taking leadership of the Group in 2013.
Earlier this week, I challenged leaders attending the General Assembly’s general debate to raise their level of ambition. Time is not on our side — and so we need timely action. We must put people and problems first, set aside narrow interests and act for the greater good.
The global economy has been struggling, Governments are looking inward and some people are using prevailing fears to stoke divisions. This is a dangerous trend. We need more solidarity, more compassion, more reaching out to break down barriers and build bridges of trust.
I am grateful to the Group of 77 and China for your consistent and strong advocacy to eradicate poverty and address the problems of the poor and vulnerable. Developing countries have proven their potential for sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth. Many of your economies are attracting large foreign investment flows. South-South cooperation is flourishing — offering important opportunities for growth.
The Rio+20 Conference demonstrated that multilateral cooperation can set the foundation for a better future. There are many ways to do this: building green economies, establishing “Sustainable Development Goals”, strengthening the institutional framework, mobilizing resources and delivering on the more than 700 commitments that were announced in Rio.
In the coming months, we will focus on the linkages between Rio+20 and the discussions on the post-2015 development agenda. We need all partners to engage and contribute. That is why I have emphasized reaching out to non-governmental organizations, the private sector and others to achieve sustainable energy for all, reach every woman and every child with health care, and put education first for a better future.
Partnerships are an increasingly important key to success in international efforts for better living conditions and social justice. I count on you to support my plans to take the partnerships approach forward so we can better serve the interests of developing countries and our world.
The G-77 and China have been working hard to reach the Millennium Development Goals. There can be no let-up as the 2015 deadline draws near. Earlier this week, I met with the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, as well as the three co-chairs, President [Susilo Bambang] Yudhoyono, President [Ellen] Johnson-Sirleaf and Prime Minister [David] Cameron. I called on them to be both bold and practical. The agenda they will help develop must share responsibilities among all countries.
We must build on the constructive experience we have gained through the MDGs [Millennium Development Goals]. And we must address other challenges, including the demand for political inclusion and democracy that is ringing loudly across the world. We must protect against the shocks that have hindered and set back development progress over the years — natural disasters, conflicts, food insecurity, volatile food and energy prices and unstable markets. Climate change remains a critical challenge. We have to seize the opportunities presented by strong growth in your countries, the explosion of the information age and the potential of green technologies to drive progress.
The General Assembly is setting up a 30-member intergovernmental working group to develop the SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals] over the next two years. At the same time, national consultations are being held with civil society and other partners in at least 50 developing countries. We are launching an online platform to enable people around the world to participate in the process. And we are involving young people. I count on you to play your part. We need your experiences, your ideas and your perspectives to succeed.
In asking world leaders and Member States to raise their levels of ambition, I must also demand the same of the United Nations itself. Modernization, partnership and change are imperative for our Organization. This wide-ranging effort will build a global Secretariat, make us more effective and improve the delivery of mandates across our agenda. In particular, mobility is a crucial first step, along with UMOJA and IPSAS [International Public Sector Accounting Standards]. These should not be delayed any further. I count on the Group of 77 and China to support this agenda and help us foster a United Nations that can better serve our world.
The G-77 and China are actively engaged across the United Nations agenda. Collectively, you make your voices heard in virtually all areas of our work. My job is to hear your voices and answer your concerns. My door is always open to you. I look forward to working with you to make this important General Assembly session a great success. Thank you very much.
* *** *For information media • not an official record