Shanghai, China

19 May 2014

Secretary-General's remarks at the Shanghai Institute of International Studies

Mr Chen Dongxiao, President of SIIS,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure to be in Shanghai.  Your Institute’s proud mission is ‘to introduce the rest of the world to China’.  You are doing just that today! I thank you for your warm welcome. 

I am grateful to the SIIS for working with the United Nations Development Programme UNDP as an academic partner for the 2nd Global Governance Forum to be held this October.

I also hope that SIIS will play an important role at the International Symposium on the Post-2015 Development Agenda on June 3rd.  This is particularly important as we prepare for the post 2015 development goals. 

Both events will also ensure that the voices of the developing world are better heard.

Ladies and gentlemen,

This is a time of enormous challenge.

The Syria conflict is becoming ever more entrenched.  Tensions over Ukraine remain high and there are maritime tensions in Asia.  We must never forget that all tensions are best resolved through dialogue and in accordance with the principles enshrined in the UN Charter.

Last month I travelled to the Central African Republic, the scene of horrific fighting between Christians and Muslims.

More recently still I visited South Sudan, where a power struggle has displaced more than 1.2 million people, and raised the spectre of ethnic cleansing and exposed the country to the threat of famine.

Globally there are longer-term risks and trends.

Inequality is growing.  Intolerance is on the rise.  Injustice is prevalent and all of these aggravate insecurity.  Women are yet to fully enjoy their equal rights.  Young people are looking for hope and very often for jobs.

Key resources – energy, food, land, water, clean air – are in progressively shorter supply. 

The impacts of climate change are being felt already and will affect generations to come. 

More than half the earth’s people are under the age of 25 – the largest generation of young people in history.  By 2050, there will be more people over 60 than under 15.

The world’s people are on the move as never before.  Migration is expected to double in the years ahead.

The United Nations must rise to the moment.  Three related efforts over the next 18 months will be crucial.

First, the post 2015 development goals.  Important progress has been made.  One of the goals was to cut poverty and hunger by half by the year 2015.  Thanks in large measure to China; the world has met that ambition years in advance.  This is a remarkable achievement of leadership and political will.  But there is still a long way to go elsewhere.  The end of 2015 – the agreed deadline – is less than 600 days away. 

Second, the period beyond 2015.  The shaping of a new development framework is an opportunity to end extreme poverty.  This will allow us to focus on sustainable development as a model for the global economy.

Third, climate change.  We all know what scientists and the public are telling us.  It is in all our interest to address climate change now! Here in China you are on the frontlines of the fight – with new carbon markets, large investments in renewable energy and strong new laws on pollution.
So I am convening a Climate Summit in September and calling on all leaders to be on the right side of history.  Member States have pledged to reach a new agreement next year. 

As with the post 2015 development goals I look to China to provide global leadership, and I look to all of you to provide ideas and encouragement.

Thank you.