Mr. Liu Zhenmin Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs

UN DESA Energy Grant Award Ceremony

Dear colleagues,

I would like to warmly welcome all of you to this year’s UN DESA Energy Grant Award Ceremony.

Today we are recognizing innovative practices in energy for sustainable development.

When I took office on 1 August, I was very pleased to learn about the ‘Powering the Future We Want’ programme, which was launched in 2015 and is now entering its third year.

The programme is an example of creative partnership, which connects the intergovernmental work at UN Headquarters to actions on the ground.


SDG 7 of the 2030 Agenda brings tremendous opportunities to billions of people, it also helps reduce poverty, create decent jobs, provide quality healthcare and education, protect the environment and combat climate change.

Over the past years, this Energy Grant has proved to be valuable in raising awareness, building capacity, and recognizing ingenuity in promoting sustainable energy.

We Care Solar, the winner in 2015, with its portable solar-powered suitcase, has allowed for safe medical procedures during childbirth, in areas without electricity. It has helped save lives, for mothers and children.

SINTEF, the winner in 2016, strives to demonstrate the feasibility and the social, economic and environmental benefits of solar-powered electric vessels in Tunisia and in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Other finalists in the 2015 and 2016 cycles are dedicating their work to improve the lives of the vulnerable groups by empowering local communities to bridge the energy access gap through innovative solutions.
All of these efforts are making a difference on the ground.

In this regard, I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to all the finalists of the 2017 cycle.

I commend you for your initiatives and efforts.

While there may be only one winner, you are all contributing to a better and more sustainable world.

This ceremony marks the beginning of a long journey. More efforts are required to meet SDG7.

I encourage you to join the Capacity Development Seminar this afternoon, where this year’s finalists will share their experiences and knowledge.

Let us join forces and advance together to the future we want.

Thank you.

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