I am very pleased to join you today representing the Secretary-General.
I commend Ambassador Peter Thomson and the Government of Fiji for so successfully leading the Group of 77 and I look forward to your continued leadership during this important General Assembly session. At the same time I warmly welcome Ambassador Llorentty Soliz of Bolivia to his important new post.
Recent events have proven yet again that global threats demand global solutions. The more interconnected humanity becomes, the more we need to cooperate on answers to our common problems. Climate change, bio-diversity loss, youth unemployment, social upheavals, threats to security and economic turmoil all require an international responses. And the United Nations is the best place as the main universal organization to facilitate this global collaboration.
Members of the Group of 77 and China have a long history of contributing to and shaping the work of the United Nations. We deeply appreciate your close attention to the committee work of the General Assembly, your contributions to the Economic and Social Council, and your valuable and central role across the international agenda.
I applaud the Group of 77 for its unfailing commitment to multilateralism and to enduring solutions through the United Nations.
On behalf of the Secretary-General, I thank you for your support and I look forward to working closely with all of you as we prepare for the upcoming historic 50th anniversary of the G77 next year.
I am delighted to congratulate Bolivia on assuming the leadership of the G77 at the beginning of next year. I thank Ambassador Llorentty Solíz and the Government of the Plurinational State of Bolivia for taking on this responsibility. Bolivia is a founding member of the G77 and has successfully chaired the Group in the past. We look forward to your leadership of this indispensable body of Member States.
You can count on the full cooperation of the United Nations system.
This year is crucial as we speed up our efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals while starting to craft the post-2015 development agenda.
I thank the President of the General Assembly, Ambassador John Ashe, for setting the stage so thoroughly and systematically for this extremely important enterprise for the peoples of the world.
The Secretary-General stated his vision in his recent report “A Life of Dignity for All”. It calls for renewed efforts to reach the MDGs by the end of 2015. It also recognizes that the post-2015 era demands a new vision and a transformative framework.
The MDGs have galvanized unprecedented national commitment and international support. They have resulted in substantial progress in many areas. I value the important South-South cooperation that the G77 helps to promote and foster. I was impressed by the Global South-South Development Expo during my recent visit to Nairobi. I saw several innovative new forms of cooperation among developing countries. I fully support the dynamic work of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation.
But there are still sharp differences in meeting the Goals across and within countries and regions.
About one billion people still live in extreme poverty. Far too many people, and especially women, face serious deprivations in health, education and access to sanitation and clean water. That is why I, on behalf of the Secretary-General, launched a Call to Action on Sanitation. Inequalities violate human rights, undermine development and threaten security.
We must continue to do everything we can to achieve the MDGs by the end of 2015. For many countries, this is a major challenge. Every commitment we make now to achieve the MDGs translates directly into better conditions for people and their communities. The steps we take now will become the stepping stones for our future development agenda.
I count on the G77 and China to actively help formulate the post-2015 development agenda.
The Special Event of the General Assembly on the MDGs in September called for a post-2015 development agenda that is universal. It will have poverty eradication as its highest priority and sustainable development at its core. The only way to make poverty eradication irreversible is by putting the world on a sustainable development path.
This agenda will apply to all countries, developed and developing, recognizing shared interests, different needs and mutual responsibilities.
The agenda will be carried out in a changing international environment. The geography of poverty is shifting. We face rising inequalities. Globalization is speeding up and global growth is slowing down. This has an impact even on those countries experiencing high growth rates. We need better common approaches to our collective challenges.
I commend Member States for calling for a new agenda that should also promote peace and security, democratic governance, the rule of law and institution building as well as gender equality and human rights for all.
We especially have to focus on the means of implementation of this universal agenda. We must ensure that sustainable development is properly financed and that the development agenda is one that responds to the needs of all countries. Official development assistance (ODA) will remain crucial, particularly for the least developed countries. In addition, other resources, domestic and international, public and private, will need to be mobilized.
In this effort, we count on the G77 and China to continue to bring fresh ideas, flexible and creative negotiating approaches and practical as well as principled proposals to the table.
Let us, together, make the most of this moment for the United Nations and the world.