New York

22 September 2010

Secretary-General's closing remarks at High Level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on the Millennium Development Goals

Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Heads of State and Government, Ministers, Ladies and Gentlemen,


This Summit has laid a solid foundation for the progress we need in our quest to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by the internationally agreed deadline of 2015.

Through the participation of a large number of Heads of State and Government as well as leaders from civil society, the private sector and the philanthropic community, this event has galvanized worldwide attention.

The Summit outcome document sends a clear sign that you remain committed to the goals even in a difficult international environment.

Special thanks go to His Excellency Dr. Ali Abdussalam Treki, President of the 64th Session of the General Assembly, and to His Excellency Mr. Joseph Deiss, President of the 65th Session of the General Assembly, and the co-chairs of the roundtables.

I also commend the organizers and participants of the more than 80 side events, which added great vibrancy to the Summit.

The two co-facilitators -- Ambassador Staur of Denmark and Ambassador Badji of Senegal -- who worked tirelessly over the past few months to reach agreement on the Summit outcome document.

Last but not least, I would like to express my deepest appreciation to the distinguished members of the MDG Advocacy Group. Their participation has brought a new level of hope to the MDG Action Agenda.

That agenda gives us a roadmap for dramatically accelerating MDG progress.

Many of you have already committed to launch new initiatives. Others have pledged to do so in the near future.

I am very encouraged to know that many Member States used the Summit to announce concrete support.

All the key issues and ideas have been on the table -- part of the discussion -- and now part of the outcome document.

Jobs, especially green jobs.

Inclusive and sustainable development.

The need for a successful DOHA trade round outcome.

Smallholder farming, food and nutrition security.

Inclusive financial services.

Women's health and empowerment.

A rejuvenated global partnership.

All of this and more is where it should be: at the forefront of our attention as we ready ourselves for the push that begins now, this very minute.

In the past, we have seen that when the spotlights are switched off, world attention quickly moves on to other issues.

With only five years left, we cannot let that happen.

Between now and 2015, we must make sure that promises made become promises kept. The consequences of doing otherwise are profound: death, illness and despair, needless suffering, lost opportunities for millions upon millions of people.

We must hold each other accountable.

The UN system and I personally will do our utmost to promote accountability on all sides.

The MDGs were never meant to be a one-way street -- something that rich countries do for poor ones. Quite the contrary: our long-standing work for development in general has always been based on global solidarity -- on a shared interest -- on a powerful sense of community and linked fates in an interconnected world.