New York

11 September 2014

Secretary-General's opening remarks at High-Level Stocktaking Event on the post-2015 Development Agenda

This an exciting time of year at the United Nations.

With one session of the General Assembly drawing to a close and another due to start, there is a high level of energy and expectation.

This year there is even more anticipation with the 2015 deadline approaching.

We have three priorities.  I have been repeating this so many times. I hope you will bear with me, because it is always important to repeat and repeat – to remind.

First, we must make a final push to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by the end of next year.

Second, we must agree on and launch a new development agenda that builds on their legacy.  And I appreciate Member States for your hard work and vision through this open working group.

Third, Member States must fulfil their repeated pledge to deliver a meaningful universal climate change agreement by the end of next year.

The coming year will be full of hard work, in-depth discussions and vigorous debate.

But let us never lose sight of the historic opportunity we have been given.

Those of us engaged in crafting the post-2015 development agenda are privileged.

We can leave a legacy that we can be truly proud of.

As the Secretary-General, personally, and I am sure that personally or officially all the delegations who are working through this period will be very proud after you finish all these three priorities by the end of next year. You will have a lot to tell your junior officers and to your children, that this is the vision which you were there at the United Nations and you made [happen], so let us work hard to make this happen – all three things – by the end of next year.

At the Rio+20 Conference Member States made it clear that they want to be in the driver’s seat when planning the new development agenda.

The Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals has taken this task on board by demonstrating bold leadership and genuine ownership of the process.

Countries have been working constructively together to identify the most important challenges that we need to tackle together.

I am proud to say that the UN system has been delivering as one throughout this process.

The UN System Task Team on the post-2015 agenda has provided senior expertise from throughout the UN family.

For the Open Working Group on the SDGs, more than 40 UN entities contributed to the Technical Support Team.

We stand ready to continue serving Member States in the coming deliberations.

I thank the President of the General Assembly for championing the work from his side.

The many important thematic debates and high-level events have given Member States and other stakeholders important arenas for open discussions and avenues for progress.

The report of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing provided important directions on the sources and uses of financial resources for development.

The Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa in July next year should further advance these discussions.

Important discussions on the issue of technology have progressed in the General Assembly within the Structured Dialogues on a technology facilitation mechanism.

Further to the President of the General Assembly interactive dialogue on accountability, the Regional Commissions are undertaking a set of consultations.  Some of the outcomes are already available and will inform this stocktaking meeting.

In addition, Member States have addressed the challenges of the new development agenda in several important fora, including the High-level Political Forum on sustainable development, the Economic and Social Council, and the UN Environment Assembly.

Meanwhile, ongoing UN system consultations, including My World and the Global Youth Call, have sought the voices of the people around the world – millions and millions of people around the world.

The General Assembly has asked me to produce a synthesis report bringing together the results of all these different work streams on the post-2015 development agenda to facilitate your further deliberations.

This meeting is an opportunity to hear your views.

As I craft the synthesis report, I will do my utmost to remain faithful to the key elements and the high level of ambition that Member States and all other stakeholders around the world have set.

We have an intense and important year ahead.

All the elements of a transformative post-2015 UN development agenda will need to coalesce in a way that meets the expectations of all Member States and all citizens of the world, especially at the country level. 

We must build a framework that will sustain and finish what we have accomplished with the MDGs in our fight against poverty, hunger, ignorance and disease. 

We must rise to challenges old and new, not least climate change.

Our goal is simple but daunting -- prosperity and dignity for all in a world where humankind lives in harmony with nature.

We have a year to put the final pieces of this complex puzzle in place.

This stock-taking event will help us to identify how far we have come and what we need to do.

I wish you a successful and productive meeting.

Thank you.