New York

25 September 2014

Secretary-General remarks to the “moving to implementation: findings from the UNDG dialogues on post-2015 implementation”

We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity before us.

Next year – 2015 – will mark the culmination of the Millennium Development Goals.

We will define a successor framework in the name of Sustainable Development Goals.

And leaders have agreed to finalize a new global climate pact by the end of next year. So 2015 has all three important priorities which we have to achieve.

These are ambitious goals but they are doable, they are achievable, if we are united. The energy and commitment you are showing today should continue. If this continues and generates and keeps up this momentum I think we can do it.

The MDGs have proven that when we work together, transformational change is possible.
Member States came together and turned noble principles and high aspirations into a set of time-bound common goals and targets for development.

Over the last 14 years, countries have made tremendous headway in reducing poverty and disease, improving access to education and water, and moving the world closer to gender equality.

Of course, we have much work ahead – and new challenges have emerged.

Now we must stay committed to the MDGs until the finish line.

If I may say it this way, you see many marathoners. They have a long, long distance [to run]. Some people go first, some people go behind, but the most important thing [is that the one who] gets the medal is the one who makes the last spurt, just a hundred meters.

We have less than 500 days. As of today, we have 463 days, already half a day has passed, so maybe 462. The clock is ticking so we have to work hard and we have much work ahead, the last spurt. I really count on you. Now we must stay committed to the MDGs until we achieve them.

We must learn from both success and failure.

The post-2015 development agenda presents the chance to recalibrate our efforts.

Member States are now shaping the new sustainable development agenda. But that cannot be left only to negotiations in these halls.

The new framework has to connect with people. That is why, for the last two years, the United Nations has spearheaded an unprecedented global conversation on the world we want.

As of today, over 5 million people have made their voices heard – in face to face meetings and in the MY World survey.

We have made special efforts to engage the excluded and marginalized, and vulnerable, those that remain hungry.

I thank the governments, civil society organizations, businesses, experts and thousands of volunteers who are making this effort possible.

We have found that people want to be involved in shaping the new development agenda. In fact the United Nations under the leadership of UNDP’s Helen Clark, and also DESA [the Department of Economic and Social Affairs], we have had the United Nations systemwide assessment and consultation. We have reached out to civil society. As I said, 5 million people responded that, “this is the world which I want.”

We have been collecting all these views of young people, particularly women and girls and marginalized groups of people. This is a sort of global vision, a shared global vision.

Implementation needs to be inclusive.

People want to be a part of delivering this new agenda and holding governments to their promises.

The quantum leaps necessary for the success of the sustainable development goals will come from broad partnerships to galvanize political will, fill financial gaps and add value through diverse coalitions.

Let us draw inspiration from these vibrant discussions – and keep up the momentum.

That is why as we work to advance the negotiations, the UN system will continue to bring the voices of the people to the table. 

We will support nationally driven efforts to prioritize and shape the sustainable development agenda at country level.

Let us make the most of this historic, generational opportunity to move the sustainable development agenda forward.

Together, we can identify practical means to realize our goals – and people’s dreams.

Thank you for your passion and commitment.