I am pleased to address this meeting on the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the specific partnership for Least Developed Countries (LDCs)
I thank the governments of Benin representing the LDCs and the United Kingdom for their leadership. This event is an excellent example of the kind of partnerships we need going forward. I especially thank Ambassador Jean-Francis Zinsou and Sir Mark Lyall Grant for this important initiative.
Successful sustainable development strategies require robust partnerships and active participation.
Goal 8 of the Millennium Development Goals stresses the global partnership. It has played an important role in galvanizing support for the international development agenda and bringing greater focus to the needs of the LDCs.
Looking at the challenges we face today, it is clear that a new global partnership for post-2015 should be broader in scope, more dynamic, flexible and innovative. We also have a responsibility to ensure that future human and economic development is environmentally sustainable.
At the same time the LDCs, who will bear the most severe consequences from climate change, need to retain sufficient space for their structural transformation.
Systematic integration of the three dimensions of sustainability –economic, social and environmental– will require stronger commitment and contributions from all partners.
So far, sustainable development financing has mostly been equated with climate-change financing.
However, as sustainable development moves centre stage, a sustainable financing strategy will need to go further. It must include resources for adaptation and the sustainable use of natural resources.
Official Development Assistance (ODA) will remain important in this framework. The commitments made under MDG 8 and in the Monterey Consensus must be upheld. For LDCs, ODA is still the single largest financing source for national budgets and is expected to remain so in the coming years.
But let’s face it - ODA to LDCs declined in 2011 and 2012. The current decline must be reversed.
At the same time, other financing channels must be further explored and utilized.
These could include domestic resources, South-South partnerships, philanthropic organizations and revenues generated from private finance.
Fulfilling the Doha Round and continuing to provide other assistance to LDCs should complement the financing needs of the LDCs.
The importance of policy coherence and improved coordination of international trade, financial and development institutions cannot be overemphasized.
The integration of sustainable development will have consequences beyond financing. All stakeholders need to work together.
Many of you have heard the term ‘sustainable production and consumption patterns’ in the ongoing discussions. This is one of the most important aspects of sustainable development.
This is also an area where the business community can play a major role.
Businesses can adopt and follow sustainable guidelines in production. They can develop and expand access to technologies for climate change mitigation and adaptation. They can foster more sustainable agriculture and food production.
An environment enabling such initiatives needs to be created in LDCs.
Finally and crucially, LDCs should be at the forefront as we seek to accelerate progress towards the MDGs and craft a new development agenda for the post-2015 era.
This is not only a moral imperative but also a means to ensure a stable and peaceful world. Serious inequalities within and among nations are not only unfair – they are dangerous. This work is also crucial to meeting our common goal of helping countries graduate from LDC status.
The recently-released report of the Secretary-General “A Life of Dignity for All” provides an important reference.
His vision for post-2015 for transformative actions to fit closely with the development priorities of the Istanbul Programme of Action. This goes especially with respect to productive capacity, food security and rural development, trade, human and social development, financing, capacity-building and governance at all levels.
While not all questions are yet answered and consultations continue in New York and around the world, the post-2015 agenda provides a key opportunity to eradicate poverty, protect the environment and promote economic opportunity for all.
I urge all Member States to come together around one global development agenda with sustainable development at its centre.
We must work together to create a world where all people live with dignity and fulfil their potential.
I thank you for your commitment to these goals.