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High-level Event, UN Headquarters, New York, 25 September 2008

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Secretary-General's concluding remarks to the High-Level Event on the Millenium Development Goals (as prepared for delivery)

25 September 2008

Mr. President,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,

This has been an inspiring day at the United Nations. At the same time a sobering reminder that we cannot continue with the culture of indifference that has prevailed so far. I remain optimistic.

I am grateful for all the energy invested in this High-level Event by developed and developing countries, civil society, faith groups, foundations and the private sector.

Special thanks to the President of the General Assembly H.E. Mr. Miguel d'Escoto, to our opening speakers, and to our co-chairs, lead discussants and rapporteurs in the roundtables. Thanks are also due to the organizers and participants of the over 60 events that were held. It reflects a new model of partnership, which I strongly support.

Your actions here today show that the world is ready to intensify dramatically the effort to achieve the MDGs in all countries by 2015.

We have heard from countries on the development efforts they are making at the national level. National actions towards the MDGs must be matched by the promised international support.

On Monday, leaders from Africa expressed their determination to achieve the MDGs. They also reaffirmed that NEPAD provides an agreed foundation. But this framework can only be implemented if the international community fulfills its commitments to tackle the myriad challenges faced by Africa.

We have heard concerns on the global financial crisis and how it threatens the development gains made so far. Faced with this and other ongoing crises, we have to work together in the spirit of solidarity and partnership.

I am heartened by such an encouraging response to my call for Member States to convene a formal summit on the MDGs to review implementation in 2010. In this regard, we should honor the call made this morning for effective monitoring of the commitments made in MDG8. It is important to continue work on developing a framework for evaluating the implementation of this particular goal.

I promise that the United Nations will intensify its own efforts – in advocacy, support for national strategies, forging and strengthening partnerships, mobilizing global action and increasing accountability.

I would like to acknowledge all commitments and reaffirmations made at this meeting. The account I am about to give is not exhaustive. In due course, we will report all your announcements.

Some $1.6 billion was pledged to bolster food security. We have a new initiative “Purchase for Progress” to buy surplus crops directly from poor farmers in Africa and Central America.

$3 billion committed to launch the Malaria Action Plan.

New pledges were made of almost half a billion dollars to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Commitments were made on MDGs relating to child mortality and maternal health, totaling almost $2 billion next year, rising to $7 billion in 2015.

The Global Campaign for Health aims to mobilize an extra $30 billion by 2015, including to train over 1 million health workers, saving 10 million lives by 2015.

An extra $12 billion to provide 21 million trained birth attendants helping to prevent deaths in childbirth.

Over $800 million has been committed over the next three years to support national health plans in eight of the poorest countries, and an additional $90 million pledged for neglected tropical diseases.

Access to clean water and sanitation are critical for progress on health and education, especially for girls. I welcome initiatives and agreements to provide water and sanitation to 30 million people by 2015 – an investment of $2.2 billion.

In the coming year, I look forward to following up on global health, by jointly working with the President of the General Assembly.

$4.5 billion in new pledges for the launch of the “Class of 2015: Education for All” multi-stakeholder partnership, which aims to put several million children into school by 2010.

In overall terms, fresh contributions and commitments to the MDGs could amount to around $16 billion. They could be more.

I warmly welcome the attention given to climate change and sustainable development. More and more countries are committed to national sustainable development strategies. As regards climate change, over $750 million has been pledged by Member states. This is encouraging, but much more is needed.

Strong commitments have been made to intensify efforts to slow deforestation.

The Cool Earth Partnership, East Asia Climate Partnership and the Africa-EU partnership on climate change were given new impetus. A number of innovative financing proposals have been advanced.

I welcome the initiatives to empower women all over the world, such as the Global MDG3 Champion Torch Campaign, with its 100 substantial commitments.

I commend the investments being made to bring information and communication technologies within reach of all.

Thank you for such a great response.

Your resolve to act is evident. Yes, you have stepped up to confront growing challenges. Now, I urge you to move with more speed and focus.

Today, we have strengthened the global partnership for development. I have also seen a new spirit of South-South cooperation. Developing countries, big and small, are making significant contributions for the achievement of the MDGs.

Yet, we must do more. I welcome these initiatives and commitments, but additional efforts are required to fill the remaining gaps. I welcome the renewed commitment by the European Union to achieve the target of 0.7 per cent of GNI as ODA.

We should rededicate ourselves to reaching an ambitious, pro-poor outcome to the Doha Development Round. We must also seize the opportunity provided by the upcoming review of implementation of the Monterrey Consensus in Doha.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

My great hope for today was that all development partners would join forces to accelerate MDG progress.

We have succeeded. We did this together. And now, we must forge ahead. We must make it happen.

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