8 June 2015

Secretary-General Calls on G7 Leaders to Seize ‘Historic Opportunities’ of 2015

Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, at a working luncheon for outreach partners in Schloss Elmau, Germany, today:

I thank Chancellor Merkel for her wise leadership at this Summit.  I am delighted to see so many influential partners here.  The United Nations is deeply engaged in the issues we will discuss at this luncheon.  I will offer a brief overview on the post-2015 development agenda, financing for development, climate, Ebola and migration.  Then I look forward to your views.

The year 2015 is a time for all of us to rise to this moment in history.  Member States are discussing a new, universal development agenda for the next 15 years that will integrate the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development and place poverty eradication at the core.  The G7 (Group of Seven) countries should support this vision and show commitment to the sustainable development goals in national strategies.

I also encourage G7 leaders to attend the Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa in July.  Success in Addis Ababa is crucial to generating strong political momentum for the Special Summit on Sustainable Development in New York in September and the Climate Conference in Paris in December.

Paris will be a turning point and not an end point.  Efforts to decarbonize our economies must be accelerated.  We must conclude a credible and meaningful climate agreement in Paris that sets the pathway towards achieving the below-two-degree goal.

I am working to promote full capitalization of the Green Climate Fund.  I commend Chancellor Merkel for announcing last week that Germany will double climate finance by 2020.  I applaud this bold leadership toward the $100 billion commitment by 2020.  And I call on you as G7 leaders to fully embrace the challenge of honouring the $100 billion commitment.  A specific support package to address resilience, financing and access to clean energy will be needed for the least developed countries and low-income small island developing countries.

Let me say a word on Ebola.  This moment is critical.  After so much progress and so many investments, we cannot become complacent.  Ebola has taught us the importance of people-centred, whole-of-society approaches to prevent health crises.  I count on the continued generosity of the international community — especially the G7 — in our global response.  These and other issues will be addressed by my High-Level Panel on the Global Response to Health Crises and by the International Ebola Recovery Conference next month.

The world must also come together to address the challenges of international migration — while recognizing the benefits to countries of origin and destination.  I understand the difficulties for European countries.  I applaud their plans to find comprehensive solutions.  In April, I travelled to Sicily with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, to see the challenges up close.  I also had good meetings with European leaders in Brussels in May.

Saving lives is the most urgent priority.  We also need to see more effective law enforcement actions against traffickers and smugglers.  And we need a substantial expansion of safe and legal avenues for labour migration, refugee resettlement and family reunions.  The United Nations supports all countries in a comprehensive approach.  We are especially focused on conditions that drive people from their homes, including civil strife and conflict, repression, poverty and human rights abuses.

With that in mind, let me also stress the great importance I attach to next year's World Humanitarian Summit, to be held in Istanbul.  This will be an opportunity to highlight the vulnerabilities that affect so many millions of people and to set in motion an ambitious change agenda for the future of humanitarian action that is fit for purpose.  I urge you to give the process your full support.

To seize the historic opportunities in 2015, we need all of our partners.  I count on you to join forces with the United Nations to forge a life of dignity for all.

For information media. Not an official record.