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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Off-the-Cuff

Secretary-General's remarks at press conference to launch "A Million Voices: The World We Want"

New York, 10 September 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen, good afternoon,

I am pleased to be here with Ms. Helen Clark, Administrator of UNDP, to launch “A Million Voices: The World We Want”.

This wide-ranging grassroots consultation highlights the priorities that people want to see addressed in the post-2015 development agenda.

The results of this global conversation fed directly into “A Life of Dignity for All” -- my own report on the Millennium Development Goals and the road ahead that I submitted to the General Assembly ahead of the Special Event on the MDGs to be held later this month.

Over the last 13 years, the MDGs have generated tremendous progress. 

Many countries have transformed access to education and water, reduced disease and poverty, and moved towards gender equality. 

As we approach the 2015 MDG deadline, it is time to reflect on achievements, gaps and new challenges.

Our work to define a post-2015 development agenda will help us to recalibrate our efforts to eradicate extreme poverty and chart a course to a world of prosperity, peace, sustainability, equity and dignity for all.

Many actors are involved.  But the voices we need to hear from most are those of the people of the world, especially those that are usually unheard – particularly the excluded or marginalized – disabled persons, the poor and jobless, the hungry, those living without adequate sanitation or health care.

That is why, for the last year, the United Nations has spearheaded an unprecedented global conversation on the world people want.

The report we launch today captures the voices of over one million people from all regions and backgrounds.

Half of the participants were under 30 years old.

It is essential that our work meets the needs and aspirations of the largest generation of youth the world has ever known.

I welcome the youth representatives here today.

I thank the governments, civil society organizations, businesses, experts and thousands of volunteers that made this effort possible.

One thing has become abundantly clear -- the global appetite for participation.

People want to be involved in setting the new development agenda.

They want to be engaged in holding Member States to the promises we make.

Above all, these million voices tell us that we have a big and urgent job ahead: to agree on a new development agenda that carries the same simplicity and strength as the MDG framework – an agenda that serves both people and the planet.

A new era demands a new vision.  As we continue to support the negotiations, the UN system will continue to bring the voices of the people to the table. 

Thank you very much for your cooperation.