It is a nostalgic pleasure to join you. This is my first public statement to a UN body since taking up my duties as Deputy Secretary-General earlier this week. I can assure you, I had a hectic week. As someone with fond memories of service as Vice President of ECOSOC 20 years ago, I am glad that my new incarnation here brings me so quickly to this forum, which plays such a crucial role in the work of the United Nations.
On behalf of the Secretary-General, I congratulate the Economic and Social Council for convening a successful third Development Cooperation Forum.
Once again, the Forum succeeded in bringing a wide range of stakeholders together to discuss the world’s most critical development cooperation issues.
A clear message has emerged from your deliberations.
The global context for development cooperation has changed dramatically.
There have been triple shocks on food, fuel and the economy, as well as social upheavals that have re-shaped the world and the policy agenda.
There have been many serious natural disasters and humanitarian crises that have summoned every ounce of our response capacity.
There are several countries in political transitions and special situations, requiring support in multiple spheres: development, humanitarian assistance, human rights and peacekeeping.
Amid these changes, there remains an urgent need to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.
And there is a need to ensure that the global financial crisis does not undermine efforts in and contributions to development cooperation.
But let us not only be daunted by this evolving landscape.
Many current trends are potentially beneficial for development cooperation.
Developing countries are more vigorous in aligning aid with national development plans and strategies, with greater involvement of stakeholders.
They have deeper and stronger economic ties among themselves.
They have sustained recent world economic growth.
There is progress in poverty reduction in all regions.
Several countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa are now providing resources of their own.
A geo-economic realignment is taking place.
This transformation includes the emergence of influential groupings such as the G20 and powerful actors in civil society and the business community.
The United Nations is responding actively to this new environment.
We are striving to tap the great potential of the dynamic economies that have emerged.
We are pressing to make development cooperation more responsive, result-oriented, participatory and accountable.
Our shared goal should be to enhance global economic governance so that it is more inclusive and more effective.
We cannot talk about development cooperation without talking about the post-2015 development agenda.
We have much to build in articulating that agenda.
The vision set out at Rio+20 gives us a foundation for a sustainable future, including an agreement to establish a set of Sustainable Development Goals.
Our experience with the MDGs has brought some successes and equally important lessons.
Any new global development framework should build on this progress and very importantly fill any remaining gaps.
And while we talk about what will happen after 2015, we must never forget that we still have three and a half years to go before the end of 2015 to achieve the MDGs.
A new framework should provide a long-term strategy that integrates complex and overlapping challenges, from energy, hunger and population to urbanization, infrastructure, agriculture, health and climate change. We have a daunting task ahead of us.
Let us be clear: the development challenges we face will remain hard to meet for some time.
We will need strong, far-reaching mutual efforts.
Development cooperation lies at the heart of the work of United Nations. That is why we need a strong, effective United Nations Development Cooperation Forum.
I thank all of you for your active attendance and for your commitment to strengthening the DCF and the UN development agenda.
The Secretary-General and I look forward to working with all of you to help build a future of shared prosperity for all in a healthy and peaceful world.