New York

31 July 2012

Secretary-General's remarks to informal meeting of the General Assembly on G20 Summit

I am pleased to see you all so soon after my visit to China, South-Eastern Europe and the United Kingdom.

It was a successful trip. 

In China, I had intensive discussions with President Hu Jintao, Vice President Xi Jinping, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and other leaders.

I also participated in the China-Africa Cooperation Forum.  The world’s largest developing country is providing ever more support to the continent with the most developing countries.  I encourage further partnership to reduce poverty, strengthen capacity and build green economies. 

In Bosnia and Herzegovina I was deeply honoured and moved to pay my respects at the Memorial Centre in Srebrenica. 

At all my destinations in the former Yugoslavia, I stressed the importance of dialogue, mutual respect and understanding. 

I came away deeply impressed by the resilience and dynamism of the region, and emphasized the readiness of the United Nations to continue to assist in building on the significant progress I saw.

In London, I was privileged to participate in the Olympic opening ceremony and help carry the Olympic flag and Olympic torch.  I commend the London organizers and United Kingdom Government for their efforts to create a green Olympics.

I also attended an event on the Olympic Truce and Sport for Social Change.  The Olympic movement and the United Nations share the same values and ideals, and are working ever closer in the cause of peace and development.


Let me now turn to today’s meeting.

This is a welcome opportunity for us to hear a detailed account of the outcome of the June G20 Summit from Vice-Minister Lourdes Aranda.

This is her third visit to New York under the Mexican Presidency, and I appreciate it.  We are all grateful to Vice-Minister Aranda for her commitment to engaging the United Nations. 

I have always argued that the UN and the G20 can and must work in mutually supportive ways.  That is why I have participated in every G20 Summit since Washington in 2008.

I travelled to Los Cabos with five clear messages. 

First, I emphasized the importance of a powerful, coordinated solution to the worldwide jobs crisis and decisive action to avoid a new global recession.

I welcome the Los Cabos Action Plan for Growth and Jobs, including its measures to address the urgent issue of youth unemployment.  I am particularly pleased that the Summit acknowledges the importance of ensuring the full participation of women in the labour force.

The Los Cabos Action Plan also introduces an Accountability Assessment Framework and lays out country-by-country commitments.  I commend the Mexican Presidency for its emphasis on accountability and I hope the upcoming Presidencies will maintain this focus.

Second, I repeated my call to donor countries to honour all their commitments to the developing world – especially to help them achieve the Millennium Development Goals.  The Integrated Implementation Framework launched in June is an important tool in this regard.

Official Development Assistance fell last year for the first time in more than a decade.  We must not allow fiscal austerity to undermine support for poverty reduction and development.

Third, I urged G20 leaders to continue to put food and nutrition security at the top of the development agenda.  We will need sustained effort if we are to meet the Zero Hunger Challenge launched at Rio+20.

I thank G20 leaders for supporting the Scaling Up Nutrition movement, as well as their efforts to address commodity price volatility and enhance transparency in agricultural markets.  The volatility of commodity prices is a drag on global economic recovery as well as a threat to food and nutrition security.

Fourth, I emphasized the opportunities presented by Rio+20, especially for inclusive green growth.  I am pleased that both the development and finance tracks of the G20 took this subject on. 

Looking forward, I urge G20 leaders to support the Green Climate Fund, which needs to be made operational as soon as possible.

Fifth, I encouraged further progress towards reviving the Doha Trade Round, and warned against the disturbing rise in protectionist measures. 

G20 leaders have expressed renewed commitment to advance in areas such as trade facilitation, where progress seems possible.  It is important that this new commitment translates into tangible progress.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The synergies between the Rio and Los Cabos summits benefitted both and advanced the cause of sustainable development.

Looking ahead, I encourage G20 countries to align their work programme with the outcome of Rio+20.

We must also all work together to define a post-2015 development agenda.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

To that end, I announced in May that I was forming a High-level Panel co-chaired by the Presidents of Indonesia, H.E. [Susilo Bambang] Yudhoyono and Liberia, H.E. [Ellen] Johnson-Sirleaf and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, H.E. David Cameron.

This is part of the process I have established in fulfilment of the mandate I received from Member States at the MDG Summit in 2010.

Today I am pleased to announce the full membership of the panel – 26 eminent women and men from all regions with a wide range of complementary experience.

The Panel will hold its first meeting at the end of September in the margins of the General Debate, and its findings will inform the report that I will prepare and submit to you next year.

The Panel’s work will be closely coordinated with that of the intergovernmental working group to design Sustainable Development Goals, as agreed at Rio+20.

It is essential that the processes on SDGs and the post-2015 development agenda are coherent with each other.  This will enable Member States to define a single global development framework with sustainable development at its core. 

Ladies and gentlemen,

In closing, allow me to thank the Mexican Presidency of the G20 and President [Felipe] Calderón [Hinojosa] for its leadership and very productive efforts.

The UN remains committed to working with you and with all partners to advance our shared goals. 

Thank you very much.