New York

01 May 2014

Secretary-General's remarks at the Interactive Dialogue of the President of the General Assembly on Elements for an Accountability Framework for the Post-2015 Development Agenda

I congratulate you, Mr. President, for organizing this dialogue on elements for an accountability framework for the post-2015 development agenda. I commend this very timely and valuable initiative.

The contours of the new post-2015 development agenda are coming into view.

We have broad agreement that any development agenda must be a sustainable development agenda. We also agree on the need to ensure that poverty eradication, social justice and environmental concerns are taken together in one framework.

Member States are stepping up their efforts to come to a firm agreement on the sustainable development goals that will be at the core of the agenda.  They are also making headway towards identifying supportive financing and means of implementation.

It is not enough to determine what the goals are; we must also address how we will achieve them. In order to succeed, we need actions that can turn commitments into results. And we need to monitor, review, and evaluate those results and make them accessible to policy-makers and the public.

There are three important points to bear in mind going forward.

First, accountability is essential to assess progress and achieve results. This should happen at the national, regional and global levels. All actors, including governments, the UN system, civil society and the private sector, should be accountable for honouring their commitments. We need an inclusive, robust yet flexible accountability framework.

Second, over the past few years, we have heard the voices of our global conversation and more than 2 million people through the My World survey. It is worth noting that there are more than a million votes for honest and responsive government.  We must take the vision of the world’s people into account. We must recognize the strength of each of our many partners.

Third, to succeed, the accountability system must be universal. Any framework for accountability must apply to all, taking into account their different capacities and responsibilities. Accountability mechanisms and platforms should be nimble and decentralized.

I understand that you will be reviewing a number of existing mechanisms this afternoon. Let us draw wisdom from lessons learned, and discuss how we can create stronger incentives for accountability and results in the future.

For our part, we are making every possible effort to build an effective UN development system that is fit for purpose and ready for the post-2015 era.

Accountability is about results. The MDGs have galvanized the UN to be more results-oriented and focused. At the operational level, UN country teams are more integrated than ever. They share common agendas and work programmes. Internal discussions on reviewing the implementation of the MDGs are underway. The United Nations system is committed to addressing bottlenecks in achieving results on the ground.

I believe firmly in leading by example. That is why I have included accountability and reporting mechanisms as an integral part of our multi-stakeholder initiatives - these include Sustainable Energy for All, Every Woman Every Child and Global Education First Initiative.

This results-oriented approach shows our system’s collective determination to end poverty and build shared prosperity. And it demonstrates my resolve to move deeply integrate the UN’s analytical and operational work. This is key to making the UN development system fit for purpose.

We have many examples of regional peer review mechanisms that are central pillars of accountability frameworks at the regional level. We should draw some experience from those mechanisms. Similar arrangements can be explored to possibly anchor a global platform. However, the United Nations alone cannot be the sole platform for a system of accountability. It must be integrated with regional and national-level action by governments and their constituencies.

I stand ready to support you as we travel the road ahead.

Thank you.