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

Flag raising ceremony
Third International Conference on Financing for Development

Excellency President Mulatu Teshome Wirtu,
Under-Secretary-General Carlos Lopes,
Senior representatives from the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization,
Dear colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great honour to be here this morning. We are on the eve of an important moment for the future of the people and our planet. The international community is looking at Addis with high expectations and a great sense of ownership.

The year 2015 should mark history. The Third International Conference on Financing for Development will be the first of three critical milestones towards sustainable development this year.

Success in Addis Ababa will be a strong leverage for the Summit on the post-2015 development agenda in September and the COP21 in December.

The Conference is a test for the international community and multilateralism. It should usher in a new era of international cooperation and result in a strengthened global partnership for sustainable development.

Our flag raising ceremony fully embodies this ambition. Raising the flags of the host country Ethiopia, the United Nations, the World Bank, the IMF and the WTO all together is a unique feature of the Financing for Development Conference. It sends a powerful signal for multilateral cooperation.

More than a symbol, it illustrates what is at stake in Addis – to demonstrate our capacity to deliver as one for the people and the planet.

The ambitious goal ahead for the world is to eradicate poverty and hunger in this generation, and to achieve sustainable development through promoting inclusive economic growth, protecting the environment, and promoting peaceful and inclusive societies.

The Addis Ababa Conference must provide the means to achieve this ambition. The outcome of the Conference will be an important landmark for our future. Governments, international organizations, the business sector and civil society must step up to improve people’s well-being and put our planet on a sustainable path.

Addis should leave a strong legacy. It must be remembered as the Conference where world leaders set the means to achieve a universal sustainable development agenda that leaves no one behind.

As Conference Secretary-General, I would like to thank the Ethiopian Government, the World Bank, the IMF, the WTO and our colleagues at the Economic Commission for Africa for their close collaboration to make this Conference a success.

Thank you.