Let me begin by extending deep thanks to the Republic of South Africa for its able stewardship as the Chair of the Group of 77 and China throughout such a historic year for multilateralism.
I would also like to warmly welcome Thailand’s chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China, and look forward to working with you to ensure another year of success.
The year 2015 marked a turning point in our efforts to safeguard our planet and build a world of peace and sustainable prosperity for all.
The Group of 77 and China can look back with great pride. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is our guide to a better world, captured in 17 goals.
The Addis Ababa Action Agenda is an ambitious and strong agreement on the mobilization of resources, technology and the global partnership needed for sustainable development.
The Paris Agreement on climate change is a triumph of multilateralism, which can benefit all of humanity for generations to come. I will continue to advocate for more attention and resources to be directed toward the poorest and most vulnerable, who are suffering most from the increasing impacts of climate change.
None of these historical outcomes would have been achieved without the commitment and leadership of the Group of 77 and China.
You worked to forge consensus. You scaled up ambition. You have helped redefine development.
Now, our attention must shift to implementation. This year offers several strategic opportunities to chart the course of implementation.
I am finalizing my report on the follow-up of Agenda 2030. I have all the confidence that, together, we will ensure coherent and effective methods for follow-up and review.
The centrepiece is the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) under the auspices of ECOSOC and the General Assembly.
The HLPF this July will discuss the follow-up and review processes at the global, regional and national levels to bolster implementation of the new agenda. I invite all of you to share your experiences at the HLPF.
Funding will be critical and we will have a number of opportunities to mobilize resources. These include: the inaugural ECOSOC Financing for Development Forum; the first Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation; and the ECOSOC Development Cooperation Forum.
Furthermore, as a first step in implementing the Paris Agreement, a signing ceremony will take place in New York on April 22nd. I invite your governments to attend this momentous event at the highest level to maintain strong political momentum on climate change and to facilitate the early entry into force of the Agreement.
Alongside these signal efforts, we look forward to the next Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review of United Nations operational activities for development. The Group of 77 and China has always played a leading role in this regard.
This year there are heightened expectations for the directions the United Nations development system can take to support Agenda 2030.
The test for success will always remain what happens on the ground.
We need to get this right – so that our operational and normative work can converge and make a difference where it matters most – at the country level.
I count on the commitment and support of the Group of 77 and China, under the able leadership of Thailand, to make these processes a success.
You can be assured of my full support and that of the entire UN system.
Thank you very much.