In Seoul, Secretary-General Says Development Not Side Issue; ‘Investing in Development Is Investing in Everyone’s Recovery’

12 November 2010

In Seoul, Secretary-General Says Development Not Side Issue; ‘Investing in Development Is Investing in Everyone’s Recovery’

12 November 2010
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

In Seoul, Secretary-General Says Development Not Side Issue; ‘Investing

in Development Is Investing in Everyone’s Recovery’


Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks to the Group of 20 (G-20) Leaders’ Session on Development, in Seoul, 12 November:

Mr. President [Lee Myung-bak], thank you very much for your excellent organization of the Summit, and particularly your visionary leadership and commitment for placing the development item high on the G-20 summit meeting for the first time.

This is the time.  This is the place.

We meet in a country, Korea, that has proved that poverty can be eliminated — a country that has made the historic leap from aid recipient to donor.

And from here, all of you are sending a strong message:  Development is not a side issue.  Investing in development is investing in everyone’s recovery.

The G-20’s development focus is an essential contribution to the Action Plan adopted by 192 Member States of the United Nations at the MDG [Millennium Development Goals] Summit in September.

You all came to the United Nations and renewed your political commitment.  And I thank you very much for your strong leadership.

Throughout that Summit, we heard one word repeated again and again.

That word was “accountability”.

Promises made must be promises kept.

Our words must translate into action on the ground.

I see three keys to laying a firm foundation for progress.

First, by keeping the focus on the MDGs by demonstrating strong political will.

They are a universally accepted blueprint for economic growth, decent jobs, education, health care, women’s empowerment, clean water, and a clean environment.

Second, by making strategic investments that multiply progress across all MDGs.

In that regard, I will work on Prime Minister of India, [Manmohan] Singh’s proposal to stimulate capital flows for infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa and in other low-income countries.

Food and nutrition security.  Investments in sustainable energy and other infrastructure.  Women’s and children’s health.

Third, by following through on our funding commitments.  Economic uncertainty should not be an excuse to do less.  It is a reason to do more.  It is the way to building markets, jobs, and opportunity everywhere.

The United Nations leads on global development and we will continue to be your essential partner.

Let me close by updating you on our progress on advancing accountability.

We are developing an Integrated Implementation Framework — IIF — for our work on the MDGs.

WHO [World Health Organization] is leading an accountability framework for the Global Strategy on Women’s and Children’s Health agreed in September.

We are also making progress on the United Nations Global Pulse which is harnessing cutting-edge technology to provide an early warning system on emerging vulnerabilities.

We will continue to lead with you through the French and Mexican presidencies and beyond.

The people of the world are watching.  Many are anxious, angry and hurting.

They fear for their jobs, their families, their futures.

It is up to us now to show that we understand and are willing to act.

Let’s deliver.  Here and now.

Thank you very much for your leadership.

* *** *

For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.