I thank the President of the General Assembly for convening this important debate, where I am honoured to represent the Secretary-General.
This is a crucial year for global action to secure a sustainable future for all. There are high expectations that the United Nations and its Member States will be a catalyst for setting the direction for transformative change.
The theme of our discussion today, means of implementation, is one of the biggest hurdles we have in front of us in this process and we need to take it very seriously. Indeed, the attendance in this room shows the awareness among Member States of this challenge.
A couple of major milestones mark the calendar in 2015 – the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, in July; the post-2015 Summit in New York, in September; and COP 21 in Paris, in December. We also have the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction taking place in Sendai, Japan, in March. These are the stepping stones for achieving our goals and objectives.
You Member States are on the final stretch of an historic journey to define the content of an ambitious post-2015 development agenda.
Over the past two years, we have seen a great deal of impressive innovative intergovernmental work to define the contents of the new agenda.
The Open Working Group produced a set of universal goals covering the full range of sustainable development challenges.
The Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing built on the foundation provided by the Monterrey Consensus and the Doha Declaration. They presented us with a range of policy options to broaden and enhance the availability of financial resources and to guide their effective use.
Member States have also held substantive discussions around a technology facilitation mechanism.
The Secretary-General, in his Synthesis Report, built on this work and put forward further ideas on charting the road ahead, including recommendations on the crucial means of implementation.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We know that the level of ambition in the Open Working Group proposal is very high.
An agenda containing wide and far-reaching goals and targets naturally calls for high ambition in mobilizing the means for their implementation.
Together, we must answer the question: how are we going to deliver on these ambitious goals?
The Financing for Development Conference in July – only five months away – presents an opportunity to define a comprehensive financing framework, other means of implementation, and the global partnership for sustainable development.
A strong agreement in Addis Ababa will lay the ground for a successful Summit on the post-2015 agenda in September.
It can also give momentum to a meaningful universal climate agreement in Paris at the end of this year.
Achieving the SDGs, and addressing the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental – in an integrated manner, will rely on a coherent and holistic package of financial and non-financial means of implementation.
There are many building blocks that have to be brought in place.
They include financing from all sources -- public, private, domestic and international.
Efforts to maintain international financial stability and to create an enabling environment will be crucial.
You are all aware of the work of the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows by former President of South Africa, Mr. Thabo Mbeki, who has shown that Africa loses more than US$ 50 billion annually in illicit financial flows.
International trade and debt sustainability and relief can play an important role. The same goes for subsidies, taxation measures and addressing illicit financial flows.
So, too, can technology, innovation and capacity building.
In the coming months, you will need to work in an open, innovative and even in an unconventional manner on the specific ways that we can mobilize financial and non-financial sources and tools to support and finance the SDGs.
There are many questions that need answers.
How can we increase technology cooperation in support of our shared goals?
How can we identify and meet the main needs for capacity development?
How can we ensure effective cooperation at all levels and among all actors who can make a difference, for instance finance ministers, the banking community and the private sector?
How can we ensure the coherence of the international monetary, financing and trading systems in support of sustainable development?
What will be the role of multi-stakeholder partnerships in implementing our agenda in an inclusive manner?
How can we ensure accountability?
What are Member States prepared to agree in each of these areas?
And, very importantly, what should be the deliverables in Addis?
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is clear that today’s financing and investment patterns will not deliver sustainable development – even though current global savings are actually sufficient to finance sustainable development needs.
Intensified international cooperation on many fronts and in new ways is needed to change the way finance for development works.
That is what is meant by a revitalized, effective global partnership for sustainable development.
Last month, you reflected again on this critical question -- in the intergovernmental negotiation on the post-2015 development agenda and in the first drafting meeting for the Third International Conference on Financing for Development.
These sessions were closely coordinated, which is very encouraging and forward-looking.
It will be critical to continue this coordination and ensure synergy of all processes.
Today’s event is another opportunity to focus on the pressing challenges and create momentum for the road ahead.
It could not be more timely, coming two weeks before the zero draft of the Addis Ababa outcome document.
In closing, dear colleagues, as the post-2015 summit approaches, all your efforts will be needed to arrive at an agreement on means of implementation that matches the ambitious substantive agenda that you are proposing.
Many of the suggestions that you will make today will substantially influence and inform the upcoming intergovernmental discussions.
I wish you a productive and creative debate, which will help clarify the path ahead.
And I wish you every success on this crucial last stretch of the journey to the post-2015 development agenda and the chance for a life of dignity for the many millions of people around the world who look to the United Nations to bring this about.
We are in a unique position to honor the legacy of the Millennium Development Goals established in 2000 and we now need to chart the road ahead to 2030. As daunting and as difficult it may be, it is also an incredibly inspiring task to be able to send a message from this world body that we can deliver meaningful solutions to the peoples of the world. Indeed, we must never forget the first three words of the United Nations Charter “We the Peoples”.
Ultimately, it is to the people on the ground, that we in September must deliver an outcome that we are all proud of.