Washington, D.C.

18 April 2015

Secretary-General's remarks to the Development Committee (as prepared for delivery)

Today marks the first time a United Nations Secretary-General has addressed the Development Committee, as well as the International Monetary and Financial Committee. 

We meet at an unprecedented moment.  2015 is perhaps the most important year for development since the founding of the UN 70 years ago.

We have three powerful opportunities to put our world on a safer, more sustainable and equitable pathway and forge a successful post-2015 agenda.

First, we must renew the global partnership for development at the International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa in July.

Second, countries must adopt the post-2015 development agenda and embrace a new set of sustainable development goals at the United Nations in September.

Third, governments must make good on their commitment to adopt a universal, meaningful climate change agreement at the COP21 Paris Climate Conference in December.

In short, we have before us the chance to chart a new era of sustainable development. This is a paradigm shift towards a truly transformative agenda that is both universal and adaptable to the conditions of each country.  Together we can eradicate poverty once and for all.

The test of the post-2015 development agenda will be implementation.

A successful outcome in Addis Ababa on finance is crucial.

Governments must produce a comprehensive financing framework with concrete deliverables and a strong follow-up process.


The efforts of your institutions --  the IMF, World Bank Group and Regional Development Banks -- will be critical to the achievement of the sustainable development goals over the next 15 years.

Let me thank you for your substantial contribution to the debate about transforming development finance through the excellent report “From Billions to Trillions”.  This study is a timely and very much welcome contribution to enhance global understanding and action to meet the investment needs for sustainable development in the years to come.  

It is essential to strengthen cooperation within the multilateral system to forge a comprehensive package on the means of implementation. 

That means we also need a paradigm shift in financing sustainable development.

Let me quickly point to six guideposts to help get us there.

First, domestic resource mobilization is at the heart of the agenda. Coherent and integrated policy frameworks are at the core -- expenditure frameworks that better link policies, and programs with sustainable development outcomes

Official Development Assistance (ODA) will remain critical –  as will climate finance, particularly to support countries most in need such as Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States.  As such, developed countries must do more to meet their financial commitments in a timely fashion.

Second, the agenda cannot be built on public funds alone.  All resources – public and private, national and international – must be tapped.  The Sustainable Energy for All initiative is one example of the kind of innovative partnerships we should build upon. 

Third, we will need new instruments and policies to significantly increase non-concessional finance and more effectively blend concessional and non-concessional support to the public sector in the developing world.

Fourth, the Paris Climate Conference should become a watershed in mobilizing climate finance.  This includes a clear trajectory for realizing the $100 billion per year goal by 2020 and ensuring that the Green Climate Fund is operational.  I welcome the $200 billion of private sector commitments made at my Climate Summit last year. 

Fifth, the quantity of private investment is crucial, but so, too, is the quality.  We must address private sector incentive structures and business regulations that encourage short-term or unsustainable investment behaviour.  We must better align these structures and regulations with the shift towards sustainable development.

Sixth, innovation and transfer of appropriate technologies are important non-financial means of implementation.  This is now being incorporated into the Financing for Development process as an important means of implementation for the SDGs.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We need the leadership, ingenuity and commitment of the Ministers of Finance, the financial sector and business leaders, as well as the International Financial Institutions to create the right instruments and mechanisms.

Your role around the world – as well as your strategic role within your governments – can create and transform markets.  It can help us build a lasting foundation for sustainable development and a life of dignity for all. 

As we work to ensure that our institutions are fit for purpose, it is crucial that the governance structures of our international institutions enhance the voice and participation of developing countries.

Sustainable development is country-led and needs country ownership. It is not an exercise that can be designed top-down. Governments are in the driver’s seat.

Along those lines, I look forward to working with all of you to ensure greater coherence between the UN System and the Multilateral Development Banks, including practical mechanisms for enhancing the cooperation of the Regional Development Banks with the UN Regional Economic Commissions and the UN Country Teams.

This could be an important feature of a strengthened follow-up process to the Financing for Development Conference – including in our preparations for the COP21 in Paris.

Once again, I thank you for this opportunity to address this esteemed committee.  I look forward to your continued engagement and to seeing all of you at Addis Ababa Conference in July.

Thank you.