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

High-level Segment of ECOSOC
Introduction of the Reports of the Secretary-General

Your Excellency Mr. Martin Sajdik, President of the Economic and Social Council,
Distinguished Ministers,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have the honour to introduce two reports of the Secretary-General to the High-level Segment of the Economic and Social Council.

The two reports analyse the requirements for transitioning to a new development agenda based on the sustainable development goals. The analysis reflects the contributions received from a large number of UN entities, as well as ideas drawn from independent research. Preparation of the reports was also informed by consultations with leading experts.

Mr. President,

The international community has made important strides in defining the scope of the new post-2015 development agenda. We now need to understand how the proposed goals would be implemented.

We have learned from the MDG experience that a goal-oriented agenda alone is not sufficient to produce positive change. Development goals translate into development results when they are supported by a comprehensive and integrated policy framework. Such a framework requires strong institutions, broad-based partnerships, and robust and rigorous monitoring and review mechanisms.

The new development agenda encompasses a much broader, more integrated and universal scope than the one captured by the MDGs. Delivering on the new agenda will require unpacking more complex policy interlinkages. It will require building on the potential synergies across all dimensions of sustainable development. This will translate into practical changes, with the adaptation of existing institutions, policy frameworks, accountability systems, and partnership arrangements.

Mr. President,

The first report, E/2015/68, is on the 2015 ECOSOC main theme: “Managing the transition from the Millennium Development Goals to the sustainable development goals: What it will take”. The report stresses the critical importance of managing the transition to the new development agenda effectively.

Four priority areas are addressed in particular, namely:

  1. Pursuing policy integration for a unified development agenda;
  2. Institutional structures required for the transition from the Millennium Development Goals to the sustainable development goals;
  3. A revitalized global partnership for sustainable development; and
  4. Follow-up and review.

At the policy level, increasingly complex development challenges will call for integrated policy responses. This will require deepening policy integration and cooperation at all levels. Policy integration across the three dimensions of sustainable development will need to become the new operational standard, supported by a greater emphasis on achieving integration and coherence across different actors and sectors.

Such an approach will need to be facilitated by strong, adaptable and inclusive institutions at all levels. Institutional reforms will be required to ensure that institutional arrangements at the global, regional, national, and sub-national levels keep up with new and emerging challenges and leave no one behind. A fundamental shift in the mindset and attitudes, underpinned by strong leadership and vision, will be critical to allow such institutional transformation to take place.

A revitalized global partnership for sustainable development, stronger in scope and depth, will be critical to meet the demands of the new agenda. Such a renewed global partnership should be built on strong political will, action, and a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities of national and international, as well as public and private, constituencies.

Finally, a strong, rigorous, multi-tiered, and inclusive follow-up and review of progress will be key to the implementation of the new agenda. While Member States continue to deliberate on the development of a fitting arrangement, we stand ready to provide you with all the data, information and analysis necessary to enable you to accomplish this task.

Mr. President,

The second report of the Secretary-General, E/2015/69, addresses the theme of the Thematic Discussion: “Strengthening and building institutions for policy integration in the post-2015 era”. This report delves deeper into the institutional implications of the transition from an MDG- to an SDG-based development agenda. The starting point of the analysis is the recognition that institutions are both essential enablers of development, as well as important development outcomes.

The report emphasizes that achieving the transformative vision of the post-2015 development agenda will depend on institutional arrangements that can enable more comprehensive, coherent and integrated approaches to sustainable development.

Existing regulatory, policy and implementation gaps across sustainable development dimensions and levels of governance will need to be filled to make policy integration work in practice.

Effective and competent institutions for the post-2015 era would need to bridge these gaps and be able to cut across existing analytical, operational, and political boundaries.

The report highlights a number of key messages resulting from the analysis.

Innovation at all levels of governance will be critical to ensure the necessary institutional adaptation and transformation. It should go in the direction of more flexible, dynamic, horizontal, participatory, and multi-stakeholder arrangements.

Strong national ownership and transformative leadership, accompanied by supportive organizational processes and structures, will be key factors in institutional innovation.

New and effective governance structures should facilitate multi-stakeholder engagement in the various stages of policy making.

Communication and capacity building will help ensure the full and effective engagement of all stakeholders with the government, and with each other, in the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda.

Mr. President,

The United Nations will continue to support the work of the Economic and Social Council and the High-Level Political Forum, including through sound analysis of experiences and trends and through research in support of the new post-2015 development agenda.

Thank you.