Tomorrow I bring to a close nearly a decade of service to the United Nations. It has been a profound privilege to be part of the leadership of this Organization, first, as the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean and, since 2003, as Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs.
When I first joined the United Nations, we were still in the midst of building a shared vision of development. Today, all of us in the UN system can be proud to say that, while still wonderfully diverse, the UN family has rallied around a unifying objective – advancing progress on the United Nations Development Agenda, the comprehensive set of goals agreed by the UN conferences and summits since 1990, in which DESA and its predecessors have played a leading role. The best known expression of the Agenda is, of course, the Millennium Development Goals, which have done so much to mobilize global efforts on behalf of the world’s poor.
Supporting, participating in, and spurring this process has been one of the most challenging and fulfilling endeavours of my professional life. As my last initiative from inside the Organization, I am launching today a new publication on the United Nations Development Agenda: Development for All. It is intended to make the conference and summit concepts and outcomes more accessible and easily able to inform public discourse, policy debate and democratic decision-making on development issues.
Throughout my UN career, I have had the great fortune to work and share experiences with dedicated and talented colleagues from around the world. I look forward to the possibility of working together with some of you again in another capacity, from my new post as a Professor and Fellow of the Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University, here in New York City. Let me for now send to you and the entire UN family my best wishes.