New York

16 April 2015

Deputy Secretary-General's remarks at briefing to Member States on Sustainable Energy for All [as prepared for delivery]

I welcome this opportunity to brief you on the Sustainable Energy for All initiative, together with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Kandeh Yumkella.

I would like to commend Member States for taking the lead in addressing the absolutely crucial global energy agenda. At Rio+20, world leaders declared their determination to make sustainable energy for all a reality. The General Assembly subsequently established the UN Decade on Sustainable Energy for All. As we move toward the adoption of an ambitious new development agenda in September, the centrality of energy is clear as one of the proposed Sustainable Development Goals.
The Sustainable Energy for All initiative has made great advances, thanks to commitments and support from so many of you as well as other stakeholders.  The key actor in this regard, SRSG Yumekella, will provide an account of the progress to date and on priority actions needed in moving forward. 

As many of you know, Mr. Yumkella will be stepping down in July.  I wish to express the Secretary-General’s and my deep gratitude to you, Kandeh, for your drive and your tremendous accomplishments.  Because of your leadership, Sustainable Energy for All has made great strides and is poised to reach new heights.

The adoption of the Post-2015 agenda later this year is a landmark moment for this initiative. Many opportunities lie ahead for SE4All to help implement the proposed SDGs on energy and climate change. In the post-2015 era, the Sustainable Energy Initiative can be at the forefront of efforts to implement these SDGs at country and regional levels, demonstrating how we can turn these goals into reality for people around the world. 

The key role of initiative will include:

- helping translate concrete goals and targets at the national level;
- mobilising finance and investment from both the private and public sectors; and,
- helping to track and monitor progress. 

SRSG Kandeh Yumkella will provide further details in his remarks.

In order to realise this vision of the central role of SE4All in the Post-2015 landscape, a solid and clear institutional arrangement is needed.  Careful consideration was given  to the different institutional arrangements available to us at present.  The Secretary-General informed the ACABQ and the General Assembly last year that the new institutional arrangements will at this stage involve an international non- profit organization.

Understanding that we do not currently have a GA mandate to establish a full-fledged UN entity on energy, establishing this international non-profit organization is the best way to continue to drive forward the sustainable energy agenda. Through this organization, working together with the UN, the international community will be able to deepen and expand the reach of sustainable energy, building on the momentum of the past few years.

I welcome the actions agreed by the Sustainable Energy for All Executive Committee in March to take this work forward. The Committee has formed a small panel (co-chaired by Mr. Chad Holliday, Chair of the ExComm, and Ms. Kathy Calvin, member of the ExComm) to identify the non-profit organization’s leadership and definitive location.

The panel has sent notifications to all Member States that this process has begun.  I look forward to the organization’s establishment as soon as possible.

This organization will work with the United Nations through a relationship agreement. This will help to ensure that our roles are clear and activities are closely co-ordinated.  Together, we will forge a strong and clear path for the future of the SE4All initiative.

The Secretary-General and the United Nations system are strongly committed to Sustainable Energy for All.

The Secretary-General and the President of the World Bank will continue to co-chair the Advisory Board. The Advisory Board will include the leaderships of key UN system organizations working on the energy issues, namely UNDP, UNEP, UNIDO, UN-OHRLLS, and WHO.

The Secretary-General intends to appoint the head of the international non- profit organisation as his Special Representative.

The United Nations system will continue to invest in sustainable energy at global, regional and country levels.  

As requested by the Second Committee, the Secretary-General will submit a report on Sustainable Energy for All to the next session of the General Assembly.  This report will include the presentation of options for long-term institutional arrangements.

The report will provide an opportunity for Member States to consider ways to strengthen the UN system’s role in energy in support of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.  We plan to provide updates through informal briefings in due course.

There is a lot to do in a short space of time.  The Advisory Board will be meeting in May in New York to review progress and chart our next steps. The Sustainable Energy for All Forum will take place between 18 and 21 May, in New York, in order to share experiences and mobilize stakeholders in support of the initiative’s three objectives: promoting energy access, energy efficiency and renewable energy.

I look forward to the continued advice, guidance and support of Member States as we work to realize the post-2015 development agenda and sustainable energy for all.  Thank you.