Mr. Wu Hongbo Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Secretary-General for the Third International Conference on Financing for Development

Opening Remarks
Post-2015 Development Agenda and Energy “International Forum for Clean Energy”

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a pleasure to be with you at this important event.

The MDG target date of 2015 is fast approaching. We live in unsettled yet exciting times. The challenges are great, however the opportunities are also ample for advancing sustainable development beyond 2015.

The world has changed dramatically since the adoption of the Millennium Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals in 2000. Member States and the international community are engaged in a process that will ultimately shape the global landscape for sustainable development. They are laying out a vision for meeting the challenges of the post-2015 era and beyond with a new development agenda. 

The United Nations supported consultations the world over on the elaboration of a transformative post-2015 development agenda.

For example, a Global Energy Thematic Consultation was conducted to agree on the priorities and global objectives on energy to be integrated in the post-2015 development agenda. The dialogues highlighted that sustainable energy is the golden thread that links poverty eradication, equitable economic growth and a healthy environment. Therefore, energy must be fully integrated as a priority in the post-2015 development agenda.  It must not be left out.

An open working group of the UN General Assembly worked for 18 months to craft a set of proposed sustainable development goals to inspire and guide development efforts worldwide after 2015. 

The group has now agreed on a proposed set of 17 goals and 169 targets, applicable to all countries. They address the unfinished business of the MDGs with renewed ambition. They integrate the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental.  Poverty eradication remains central in the new proposal, but they also incorporate new economic dimensions, such as economic growth and sustainable industrialization as well as environmental dimensions including the existential challenge of climate change.

Among the proposed SDGs is a global goal to “ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all”. The goal has five specific targets related to; universal energy access, renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy research and technologies, and energy infrastructure. The proposal is fully consistent with the objectives of the Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All Initiative.  It represents a tremendous step forward towards recognizing the vital role of energy in achieving sustainable development.

Member States are poised to make history by reaching consensus on a universal, transformative and sustainable post-2015 development next year. Consensus on means of implementation and global partnership will be crucial to securing an ambitious post-2015 agenda. Energy – and the other proposed SDGs – will be at the heart of intergovernmental discussions. 

Now more than ever, if we want to eradicate poverty, the world needs to ensure that the benefits of sustainable, modern energy are available to all. We must move quickly toward a clean energy economy to prevent the dangerous threats to our planet. There is no time to waste.

This is why the 3rd International Forum for Clean Energy is so important. Let us take the messages of this Forum to the center of the intergovernmental debate on the post-2015 agenda. We count on your contributions to make the Conference a success.

Thank you.