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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

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Washington D.C., 19 April 2013 - Secretary-General's opening remarks at Ministerial Dialogue on Sustainable Development and Climate Change Financing [As prepared for delivery]

Two weeks ago I launched a call to action to fulfil the promise of the Millennium Development Goals.

Much has been achieved, and the MDGs have shown the benefit of setting goals and targets.

With less than 1,000 days of action to the MDG deadline, success is in our sights.

But our work will not be finished in 2015.

That is why Member States are working to define a post-2015 development framework and a new set of goals – sustainable development goals – that will build on the successes of the MDGs, attend to gaps and address new and emerging challenges.

A separate but equally important intergovernmental process is the climate negotiations to achieve a legally-binding global climate agreement by 2015.

Climate change is the greatest threat to all our development objectives and the health of economies large and small in all regions.

The poor and vulnerable will be hit first and worst, but no nation will be immune.

Next year, I am convening a high-level meeting in New York.

I am inviting leaders to engage in providing solutions that can deliver an ambitious agreement.

We must do our utmost to focus political attention on climate change and accelerate progress on the ground at all levels. 

This is also why I launched the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative in 2011.

Sustainable development demands that the benefits of modern energy are available to all, and that energy is provided as cleanly and efficiently as possible.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Generating support for a climate agreement and clean energy initiatives will need strong commitment on climate finance. 

Governments have agreed to the objective of mobilizing $100 billion a year by 2020 from public and private sources.

I am committed to achieving this goal, and I count on you to help me to bring the public and private sectors together to overcome barriers to climate investments. 

Immediately after these Spring Meetings, I will be engaging institutional and private equity investors, finance institutions and development banks to secure new commitments on climate finance.

I expect these groups to propose high-impact opportunities for unlocking clean energy investments; closing the viability gap between green and fossil fuel based projects and de-risking renewable energy investments.

We need these actors to close the financing gap.

But public finance remains crucial as a catalyst for private climate finance.

Therefore, it is absolutely important that developed countries deliver on their commitments.

We can not mobilize private resources without a public lever.

Engaging with Ministers of Finance will therefore be another critical aspect of my strategy in the coming months and today will be the beginning.

Climate finance is an investment in the future and must not be constrained by these times of austerity.

Ladies and gentlemen,

You have the opportunity to lay the foundation for a sustainable future.

Less than 1,000 days of action remain before the end of 2015.

That is our deadline for the MDGs, a new set of sustainable development goals that will eradicate poverty in our lifetime, and a climate change agreement that will secure a viable future for coming generations.

I count on your leadership and commitment to meet all three objectives.

Thank you.


Statements on 19 April 2013