I am honoured to be part of this High-level event on behalf of the Secretary-General who is now on travel. I thank the President of General Assembly, Ambassador Ashe, for his leadership for this initiative.
Member States are now in the midst of shaping the historic post-2015 sustainable agenda. We have seen a great deal of welcome attention to the means of implementation, not least financing of development, and to ways to bring about a global mobilization for development. There have recently been a number of constructive discussions on these important subjects.
At the same time, we are pressing ahead to achieve the present Millennium Development Goals. The deadline next year is approaching fast. We can be proud of some of the progress made so far. More children are in school. Fewer families live in poverty. National capacities have been strengthened. And progress is building across other areas, even if it is seriously lagging in areas like maternal health and sanitation.
There is also still a wide gap between the targets and policy delivery on MDG 8 – the global partnership for development. More must be done to deliver on these commitments.
Official development assistance (ODA) reached a record high in 2013 after two consecutive years of falling volumes. I commend those who are meeting their aid commitments, despite national budget pressures. When you invest in shaping a better world, your own country will benefit, that is the logic of today’s globalisation. I call on others to act on the irrefutable conclusion that global progress is in the national interest in today’s world.
North-South cooperation is a critical means of implementation – and it will play an even more important role beyond 2015. This is especially true for the least developed countries, countries in conflict and countries that are bypassed by international financial flows.
The Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation has committed to meeting aid commitments and improving aid effectiveness. This is an important objective that can be met through positive actions and by mobilization of political will to live up to these commitments.
Meanwhile, we must recognize that the world has dramatically transformed. South-South and triangular cooperation is growing fast representing a great and growing potential to contribute to sustainable development.
South-South cooperation has proved its strength in boosting sustained economic growth. South-South trade represents over a quarter of all global trade. Thanks in part to South-South investment, foreign direct investment flows to Sub-Saharan Africa have remained stable.
Southern partners are developing infrastructure in many other countries in the South. Emerging partners are helping least developed countries less expensive access to affordable technological innovations and to boost productivity.
South-South and triangular cooperation is also making a valuable contribution to social protection. It is helping countries to organize, expand and reorient their social protection systems. South-South health cooperation is improving access to affordable medicines and health care.
In the area of environment, countries of the South are sharing practical experiences and lessons learned. They are designing clean energy technologies that can reduce emissions and diversify energy sources. This promotes economic growth and enhances access to clean energy.
We should acknowledge and commend this progress. But we also recognize that despite its growing contribution, South-South cooperation cannot substitute for North-South cooperation.
This reality must be addressed, in particular when we deal with financing of the post-2015 development agenda.
In a world endowed with great wealth and technological advances, no person should be left behind. We must vigorously deal with inequalities which are growing- It is deeply disturbing that so many people still lack access to information and communications technology. This hampers development – and it poses a serious challenge to the implementation of the post-2015 agenda.
We must address the issues of technology transfers, capacity-building and financing in order to promote structural change. If we are to help shift to more sustainable patterns of consumption and production, we need inclusive economic transformation backed by sustainable technologies.
Also, we must not lose sight of universality as a guiding principle of our work on the new agenda, both as a call for solidarity and as an expression of interdependence and the enlightened self-interest in truly global cooperation as I mentioned earlier.
The MDGs taught us the importance of a renewed global partnership for development. The post-2015 global partnership for development must rally all forms of development cooperation around a universal and unified agenda with high national and local relevance.
The renewed global partnership should capture a spirit of mutual respect and mutual benefit. It should finish and develop the job started with MDG 8. All partners should deliver on past commitments, particularly those on ODA, resource mobilization. and climate finance.
The success of the global partnership depends on assigning clear roles, clear responsibilities and clear accountability.
Acting together, we are powerful beyond the sum of our parts in delivering results. Or if I phrase it differently the parts are strentherned by acting together. It's not a zero-sum game, it's a win-win, [It's] guiding the work for one UN, at Headquarters and the field.
We now have a number of important opportunities to reflect on and develop the shape and substance of the global partnership. The General Assembly High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation is taking place alongside this meeting today. The Development Cooperation Forum will be held at the ECOSOC meeting in July. And in November, the United Nations Global South-South Development Expo will be held.
Let us build on today’s meeting and these related opportunities to forge a strong common concrete understanding of our vision of a better future for all, a life of dignity for all.
The Secretary-General and I look forward to continuing to work together with all of you on these issues. They are central to the mission of the United Nations and above all to the lives of millions of people around the world.