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

Closing Statement
UN Post-2015 Development Agenda: The Role of SAIs and
Means of Implementation for Sustainable Development

Secretary-General of INTOSAI Mr. Josef Moser,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It was a great pleasure to co-organise the 23rd UN/INTOSAI Symposium.

From over thirty (30) presentations and discussions, we have seen a clear picture emerge on the various possibilities for supreme audit institutions to effectively engage in the implementation of the Post-2015 development agenda, and the growing expectations for SAIs and the prerequisites for their engagement.

We have also heard informative and inspiring country experiences. It was rewarding to see that these insightful presentations and interactive discussions have led to a set of solid and broad-based conclusions and recommendations.

I will not repeat these conclusions and recommendations that were just presented here. We, at DESA, look forward to their follow-up activities.

But I wish to underscore three messages which, in my view, are important to the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda.

First, SAIs play a key role in promoting an efficient, accountable, effective and transparent public administration, which is central to the implementation of sustainable development goals and the post-2015 development agenda. In that context, Member States are encouraged to give due consideration to the independence and capacity-building of SAIs, in a manner consistent with their national institutional structures, as well as to the improvement of public accounting systems.

Secondly, SAIs, in addition to their compliance and financial audit mandates, should have a mandate for performance audit in the areas covered by the future SDGs in order to contribute effectively, with their audits, to the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda.

Thirdly, there is a clear need for INTOSAI and national SAI leadership to take decisive steps to build the necessary capacity, both at an institutional and individual auditor level, for the auditing of progress in the implementation of SDGs; in this regard, we further emphasize the critical role of sustainable, needs-based capacity development.

On this last point, let me take this opportunity to assure you that the UN Secretariat is willing to do its part in meeting this capacity development objective, in collaboration with member governments and our INTOSAI partners.

Distinguished participants,

We have made much progress since the UN and INTOSAI began discussing the Millennium Development Goals and the UN post-2015 Development Agenda.

I look forward to continuing our more than 40 years of collaboration in international standard setting and capacity building in public auditing.

The UN and the international community count on your contributions to help guide governments and the public sector in efficient allocation, and accountable utilisation of public and other resources in the implementation of sustainable development goals and the post-2015 development agenda.

You have the expertise, experience and insights to help governments and public institutions effectively use public resources for the benefit of citizens.

You are uniquely placed to help governments achieve greater efficiency, accountability, effectiveness, and transparency.

And finally you have a special responsibility to help your fellow Supreme Audit Institutions (SAI) in developing countries to strengthen their capacities – whenever possible, working with national, regional and international partners.

We at DESA are ready to partner with you and to work together with you. This collaboration will continue here in Vienna, at UN Headquarters in New York, and indeed across the world.

We plan to invite you to contribute to other efforts aimed at strengthening accountable and inclusive public institutions for sustainable development.  DESA is providing technical support to the Statistical Commission, which is charged with developing indicators for sustainable development goals and targets. We will be ready to keep you informed of progress in this area.

Let me conclude by thanking all the speakers, presenters, panellists for your active contributions.

Our heartfelt thanks also go to our INTOSAI partners for their hard work and generous contributions. I thank Mr. Moser for his leadership and his team for the excellent logistical support to the Symposium.

Thank you.