New York – January 19, 2015
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my pleasure to open this important stock-taking meeting as the negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda begin. At the outset, I would like to thank the Permanent Representatives of Ireland and Kenya, Ambassador David Donoghue and Ambassador Macharia Kamau respectively, for their work as Co-facilitators.
Today, we embark on the critical task of negotiating an ambitious, inclusive and transformative post-2015 development agenda. We have a heavy but noble responsibility to finalize the new agenda on a strict timeline, so that our Heads of State and Government can adopt it during the forthcoming Summit scheduled for 25-27 September.
This stock-taking meeting provides an opportunity for exchange of views on the inputs for the negotiations including the proposal on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the report of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing, the recommendations from the Structured Dialogues on a technology facilitation mechanism and the Secretary-General’s Synthesis Report. You will also consider the components that the post-2015 development agenda should contain.
With less than 250 days to the target date for achieving the MDGs, Member States and the international community should spare no efforts to support countries in their final push to achieve the MDGs, or come as close as possible to doing so.
Building on the foundation and valuable legacy of the MDGs, the new development agenda will provide a framework for development and international cooperation for the next fifteen years. It should deepen our collective commitment to social development, while recognizing that to secure social progress we must also give due regard to economic development and environmental protection.
The proposed SDGs, which will be key component of the agenda, reflect the interdependence and linkages among the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.
With the proposed SDGs, it is now clear what Member States would like the post-2015 development agenda to achieve. The proposal on SDGs, with poverty eradication as its overarching objective, is ambitious and can make the new agenda truly transformative.
One aspect that will clearly differentiate the post-2015 development era centred on the SDGs from the MDG era is that the SDGs are designed to be holistic and universal; applicable to all countries while taking into account national circumstances and levels of development.
In the coming months, Member States and stakeholders will consider how they intend to achieve these ambitious goals and targets. The need to mobilize adequate means for implementing the new agenda in terms of financial resources, technology development and transfer and capacity-building cannot be overstated.
In this regard, we have to ensure that the outcome of the Third Financing for Development Conference that will be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in July is ambitious. It should contain concrete measures and actions for scaling up mobilisation of financial resources to support implementation of the post-2015 development agenda.
Adequate attention should also be put on elaborating a technology facilitation mechanism as well as capacity building, during the negotiations on the post-2015 development.
The high-level thematic debate on Means of Implementation for a Transformative post-2015 development agenda that I will convene on 9-10 February will provide an opportunity to exchange views on this important issue, and to complement the intergovernmental inputs.
Member States also need to agree on a renewed and strengthened global partnership for development. This will call for fulfilment of development assistance commitments. It will also entail enhancing North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation, as well as fostering partnerships across a broad range of areas; from building resilient infrastructure, to promoting sustainable economic development, to shifting towards sustainable patterns of consumption and production, to enhancing the sustainability of food and agricultural systems and promoting peaceful and inclusive societies.
In order to track progress, a monitoring and review framework for the new development agenda at all levels will be of critical importance. The High-Level Political Forum is envisaged to play a leading role in this monitoring and review framework. Regional processes that track the progress of countries within different regions could also play a valuable role.
In the Outcome of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), it was recognized that progress towards the achievement of the SDGs “needs to be assessed and accompanied by targets and indicators, while taking into account different national circumstances, capacities and levels of development”.
Given the technical nature of the work involved in developing indicators, and in view of the fact that there are already inter-governmentally agreed-upon indicators in many sectors, I am informed that the Statistical Commission, the apex entity of the global statistical system, has been requested to coordinate work on proposed indicators. Once finalized, the proposal will be considered by Member States.
It is important to ensure that all relevant stakeholders, including civil society, the private sector, academia and others are engaged in the post-2015 development agenda and Financing for Development processes in an open and transparent manner.
Last week I briefed members of civil society about their involvement in the upcoming discussions on the new development agenda. The interactive dialogue planned with Major Groups on 31 January as well as the interactive hearings scheduled for May will also provide an opportunity for them to provide inputs.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We have a truly historic opportunity on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the United Nations to agree on an inspiring agenda that can energize the international community, governments everywhere and the citizens of the world.
People everywhere want to live in dignity, prosperity and peace. They need responsive governments that provide essential services, ensure equal access to justice and equal opportunities for all.
They want international cooperation to solve the problems that individual countries are not able to solve on their own – problems like climate change, responding to disasters and epidemics such as Ebola.
The agenda we formulate should put people at the centre. It should be responsive to and meet people’s needs and aspirations. It should preserve our planet for the present and future generations.
I call upon you to approach the negotiations with a positive and constructive spirit. As you undertake this important work, I assure you of my full support and continued engagement.
Thank you for your attention.