High Level Event on the Implementation of the Climate and Development Agendas

Opening remarks by H.E. Mr Mogens Lykketoft, President of the 70th session of the General Assembly, at High Level Event on the Implementation of the Climate and Development Agendas during Signature Ceremony for the Paris Agreement

 22 April 2016



Heads of State and Government, Honorable Ministers, Mr. Secretary-General, Excellences, ladies and gentlemen.


So much has been said, so much optimism and such vision these past few days.


But I will try to add a few brief points.


The business case for moving towards a low-carbon climate resilient future is extremely convincing.


The moral and political case for ending poverty, reducing inequality, and fostering more peaceful and just societies is equally compelling.


The issues they seek to address are tremendously intertwined. Climate is included as a dedicated Goal and is in many ways the most urgent one.


Because if we don’t act now, we will see enormous flows of migrants, crises far beyond those we are seeing today and struggling to take care of in a decent way. All of the resources we need to eradicate poverty will be lost on dealing with the impacts of climate change.


During yesterday evening’s reception on this subject, I heard many examples of the great results that we can create if we align SDG and Climate implementation.


A wave of initiative demonstrate that the shift to low-carbon climate-resilient economies is not only possible but already happening.


The 2030 and Paris agreements, however, demand a deeper and much broader change than what we had during the MDGs.


We know we need to leverage the immense experience, capacity, finance and knowledge that exists in both of these stakeholder communities.


We know we need all actors singing from the same hymn sheet and that we need to remove any bureaucratic barriers that might prevent us from moving forward as rapidly as we need to.



National governments and other actors need to align their plans and programmes with commitments made in New York and Paris.


In a framework of international coordination, regulators need to create national regulatory frameworks that will make investment in low-carbon development the most obvious and best investment – including for the private sector.\


The UN system needs to provide support to member states to do all of this.


Global follow-up forums need to both feed off and support each other.


And finally, the UN needs to strengthen its own capacity to bring policy makers and experts from non-traditional areas together.


Indeed, one idea emerging from yesterday’s High Level Thematic Debate is to establish some form of Advisory Committee whereby experts from the finance ecosystem could assist member states and the UN system to get the maximum private investment, especially from capital markets, flowing in support of the SDGs.


Indeed, one idea emerging from yesterday’s High Level Thematic Debate, is to establish some form of Advisory Committee, where experts from the finance ecosystem could help identify ways to get private finance, especially capital markets, aligned with and driving investment in the SDGs.


These are just some of the ideas on how to make implementation of both Climate and SDG agendas as mutually reinforcing as possible.


But, ladies and gentlemen, one thing is clear, we have to move from these meetings more committed and more determined than ever before.


Thank you.

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