– As delivered –

Remarks by H.E. Mr. Volkan Bozkir, President of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly

20 April 2021

Distinguished delegates, Excellencies,

I am pleased to welcome you to the first virtual informal dialogue to explore alternatives for the United Nations Pledging Conference for Development Activities. I would like to thank you, Ambassador Arriola, for accepting the role as facilitator of this important process.

I welcome the timeliness of this meeting and process. New pledging mechanisms are needed to advance our goal of increasing the resources for operational activities for development on a predictable, continuous and assured basis. This is particularly critical as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the necessity and impact of the UN’s Pledging Conference, it is useful to recall that the current format was designed in the 1970’s. The world has changed a lot since then! Our development needs and capabilities have evolved, as has the UN system around it.   However, pledging conferences have not changed.

Dear colleagues, Excellencies,

Public pledging events have value. They are a central part of the development process. They give Member States the opportunity to publicly announce their intended contributions. They allow us to share information and lessons learned and express our appreciation to partners and donor agencies.

The United Nations is at the centre of global development. The organization plays a particularly a crucial role in strengthening and supporting the delivery of national development objectives of Member States. The organisation is uniquely placed to coordinate timely and sustainable responses to global development needs.

The 2030 Agenda instigated the major reform process of the UN development system. Member States recognised the need for a more integrated and coordinated responses that bring the whole UN system together in support of the agenda at global, regional and domestic levels. We must ensure our limited resources are employed as effectively as possible to deliver maximum impact to the people we serve. The success of this reform will have direct impact on SDG progress and acceleration during the Decade of Action.

A well-designed pledging event can encourage other donors to give generously, particularly when objectives and outcomes are clearly defined.


Today I encourage you to use this process to explore alternative formats for the Pledging Conference that would create a more dynamic pledging event. This is in line with my call to implement the necessary reforms to ensure that the United Nations is fit for purpose and can deliver the future we want.

I hope this process considers the existing proposals for an arrangement that would better correspond to the evolving functions and objectives of a pledging event.

My Office and I are committed to support this process and the leadership of Ambassador Arriola. I wish you all a fruitful exchange here today. Your efforts will support the United Nations to remain fit for purpose, so we are able to deliver for the people we serve.

I thank you and I wish you all the best in your endeavours, and I also thank the Chair Mr. Arriola.