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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

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New York, 24 April 2013 - Secretary-General's welcome address at ECOSOC Special Event: "Partnering for Innovative Solutions to Sustainable Development [as delivered]

I am pleased to welcome you to this special ECOSOC event. I thank the Bureau for bringing us together.

I am particularly pleased to see Dr. Mo Ibrahim [Chair, Mo Ibrahim Foundation] taking part in this special event on partnering for innovative solutions to sustainable development. Dr. Ibrahim has been a pioneer in enhancing good governance and promoting accountability in Africa through the Ibrahim prize for achievement in African leadership.

I appreciate this opportunity to discuss the overarching global challenge of sustainable development – and how we can bring all partners together to advance this cause.

The effort to reach the Millennium Development Goals is the largest and most successful anti-poverty push in history. Working together, we have already met important targets. I am especially encouraged that the world has cut global poverty in half. This has made an immense difference in the lives of hundreds of millions of people.

We live in a time of social, economic and environmental transition. The uncertainty is real and troubling. At the same time, there are positive developments.

Over the past decade we have dramatically expanded international development cooperation.  More and more, South-South and triangular collaboration complement North-South ties.

I also applaud the engagement of leaders from the worlds of philanthropy, civil society and the private sector in the global fight against poverty. 

There is a new sense of engagement and innovation driving global progress. Thanks to social networks, more citizens – especially young people – are involved with the United Nations. Every chance I get, I encourage the world’s youth to speak up about what they want from our Organization for their future. In this regard I appreciate Dr. Mo Ibrahim’s initiative in promoting African youth by hosting a conference in Dakar in December 2012.

Our challenge is to increase this momentum in the push to reach the MDGs and launch a new vision for the post-2015 agenda.

Excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen,

The High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda meeting in Bali acknowledged that capturing the full potential of partnership will be key to delivering results.

We have already seen the enormous power of partnership. The Sustainable Energy for All initiative I launched at the Rio+20 Conference is a prime example of how we can bring different stakeholders together for the same goal.

More than 70 countries are already on board. Pledges top $50 billion. This is a strong start to reaching the initiative’s three interlinked goals to make sustainable energy a reality for all by 2030.

Partnership is no substitute for ODA. Developed countries should continue to pursue the 0.7 per cent ODA target. These initiatives can bring in new money, and I am impressed by that.

But I am even more heartened by how they bring together new partners. The result is new innovation, technology, research and talent to reach our common goals.

That is why I am working to strengthen the UN partnership tool, so we can better meet global development challenges.

We are asking others to be innovative – to develop new solutions, to create new technology and to come up with new forms of financing. We should also look inward and set the same goal for ourselves.

I am proposing to Member States the creation of a new UN Partnership Facility. Its core task would be to capture the full potential for partnership. The Facility would help us deliver at scale – globally and at country level– across the range of UN mandates, goals and values.

The majority of partnership activities would still be conducted by UN agencies, funds, programmes and departments. The Facility would add value by strategically and systematically filling in gaps. It would build and deepen partnership services, competencies, networks and capacities, and integrating them, including through the multi-stakeholder initiatives like Sustainable Energy for All, Every Woman Every Child.

The Facility would support partnership work across all external partners, all substantive mandates and all UN entities, allowing us to transcend the capabilities and agendas of any single Member State, entity, institution or partner. This means more results at a fraction of the current costs.

I intend to ensure that the UN’s partnerships are not only effective but accountable. Through the Partnership Facility we intend to be a better partner to each of you working along side the UN.

Sustainable development demands innovation from within the United Nations and beyond our walls.

I count on ECOSOC to continue serving as a platform for engaging all those concerned about this generational challenge.

I look forward to your ideas for exchanging information, expanding learning and working for the greater good.

In all of our efforts, we will be guided by the welfare and interests of the people we serve.

Thank you.


Statements on 24 April 2013