I am pleased to convey my greetings to this important event and thank the government of Nigeria for its leadership, initiative and important coordinating role.
The Millennium Development Goals are our collective promise to the world’s most vulnerable people. Meeting the Goals requires partnerships, policies and resources that accelerate progress.
The MDG Acceleration Framework, introduced by the government of Nigeria with the support of the UN, is a stellar example. I applaud the leadership and commitment of Nigeria – and also the governments of Ghana, Kenya and South Africa – in striving to accelerate progress.
At the same time, we must set a development agenda for beyond 2015 with poverty reduction and sustainable development at its core. This means greater focus on decent jobs, better governance, freedom from crime and violence, and living within the natural boundaries of our planet.
Nigeria was an early mover on the MY World survey in which more than 140,000 people took part. The information gathered has provided a vast amount of insight on the concerns and hopes of women, men, girls and boys throughout the country. The top 8 priorities for Nigeria in the MY World survey reflect similar results for Africa as a whole, and notably include better job opportunities and infrastructure.
Your commitment in Nigeria and across the continent of Africa will help us all improve our efforts to meet people’s needs at national, regional and global levels. In turn, this will contribute to a more effective multilateral system that is ‘fit for purpose’ to deliver on the post-2015 next development agenda.
Thank you for your continued engagement and leadership.