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

Opening Statement
Twenty-seventh Inter-Agency and Expert Group Meeting
on Millennium Development Goals Indicators

Dear Colleagues,

It is my great pleasure to welcome you to this Twenty-seventh Meeting of the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Millennium Development Goals Indicators (IAEG-MDGs).  

Fourteen years ago this group of dedicate national and international statisticians met for the first time. You faced an enormous task: to develop and implement the MDG monitoring framework.

You have succeeded beyond expectation. Your work has transformed an inspirational global agenda for development into a set of concrete and time-bound goals and targets, regularly monitored by statistically robust indicators.

The regular monitoring of the MDGs has brought global attention to some of the most pressing development challenges of our time. It has helped to galvanize development efforts and implement successful targeted interventions. The concept of monitoring concrete goals with statistically robust indicators is a clear strength of the framework from both the policy and the statistical perspectives. The framework also reinforced the importance of robust and reliable statistics to inform effective policy decision-making.

Over the years, this group has done excellent work in providing the most up-to-date and comprehensive information on the progress towards the MDGs. It has played an important role in informing the political discussion related to the Goals. The annual MDG report has become the key reference on MDGS for a wide variety of users. It remains one of the most widely downloaded and utilized UN publications.

This group has also contributed to the improvement of data and tools to monitor the MDGs both at the national and international levels; enhancing the transparency of methodologies for data compilation and estimation, addressing discrepancies between national and international data, and strengthening national statistical capacity for effective monitoring of development. The excellent work done by the group has been highly commended by the international community. I would like to congratulate this group on its outstanding achievement and thank you for all your hard work and dedication over the years.

2015 is the most crucial year in decades for the future of global development. In July in Addis Ababa, the Financing for Development Conference will identify the mechanisms and resources required to fund the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda. In September in New York, world leaders will meet to adopt the new development agenda for all humanity for the next fifteen years. In December in Paris, The UN Climate Change Conference will need to deliver a global climate agreement.

Based on the successful experience of this group, the UN Statistical Commission last week agreed to establish a similar working mechanism for the development and implementation of the post-2015 indicator framework. I believe that members of this group will continue to join forces and establish effective partnerships to help ensure the success of the newly established inter-agency and expert group for SDG monitoring.


Your work has not only effectively informed the political discussion related to the MDGs, but has also provided important inputs as we transition into the post-2015 development agenda.

As we approach the deadline for the achievement of the MDGs, your work over the next months will be critical to inform the Member States on the progress and lessons learnt from the MDGs. It will provide a solid quantitative foundation for the debates on how to move forward and address the unfinished agenda. This final report will be a historical document and provide key reference material to the high-level summit in September 2015 for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda. I would like to encourage all of you to scale up your efforts in producing a comprehensive and thorough final report, a report that will assess the progress towards achieving the MDGs and summarise our experiences in developing and monitoring MDG indicators. This will be once again an important contribution to the political discussion and the testimony of the high quality work that this group has always produced.

I wish you all a fruitful discussion and look forward to the result of your work at this meeting and the final report of the MDGs.

Thank you.