Washington, D.C.

18 April 2015

Secretary-General's remarks to the International Monetary and Finance Committee

It is a great honour for me to participate for the first time as Secretary-General of the United Nations.  Thank you for your very kind, even historic invitation. I will really cherish this honour.  Thank you very much again.

We meet at a pivotal moment.  2015 is a time for global action for people and our planet Earth.

Sustainable development is our vision and mission. 

This year, we have the opportunity to chart a course and a vision of sustainable development which is very ambitious – one that is both universal and adaptable to the conditions of each country. 

Together, we can formulate a new vision that pursues economic growth, economic transformation, environmental stewardship and social development. 

Our aim is to eradicate poverty and create shared prosperity.  People are at the centre of the new agenda.

Done wisely, this transformation will not come at the cost of economic growth.  Indeed, it can be a catalyst for growth that is cleaner, more sustainable and more equitable. 

As leaders of public finance, you can help plant the seeds of this transformation.

Now is the time.

In September at the United Nations Special Summit for three days, starting from 25 September to 27 September, world leaders are to adopt a new universal, ambitious and integrated post-2015 development agenda -- including a set of Sustainable Development Goals, which will be called SDGs, instead of MDGs.

The SDGs will guide development efforts over the next generation. They will be universal, applying to every country, serving as the bedrock of long-term sustainable, resilient and stable economic growth.

In December at the climate negotiations in Paris, the international community will gather to adopt a universal and ambitious climate change agreement for the first time.

Financing is key to both of these efforts, which are interrelated and mutually reinforcing. 

We need an ambitious and comprehensive global climate financing framework to stimulate investment, boost inclusive, low-carbon growth and create decent jobs.

We need a credible trajectory for realizing the $100 billion goal per year by 2020, as well as the operationalization of the Green Climate Fund. This was a commitment which was made in 2009 during the Copenhagen climate change summit meeting. It has been five years, four or five years.  We have only mobilized $10 billion as an initial capitalization of this Green Climate Fund.  I would really hope that there will be a trajectory, a path, which will be shown to the Member States.

We need implementation of the private sector commitments made at my Climate Summit, and  strong policy incentives to drive low-carbon growth, including pricing carbon.

And we need a strong finance package to support Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States.

Distinguished Members of the IMFC,

We are now less than two months from the Third International Conference on Financing for Development which will take place in Addis Ababa, from 13-16 July.  I urge all Member States to be represented at the highest level.  Your participation will be crucially important, while we expect delegations will be led at the highest level.

The Conference provides the opportunity to agree to a new sustainable development financing framework that taps into all sources of development finance.  This is the best time ever to intensify our efforts – as real interest rates are low and rates of return in sustainable development are high.

Domestic resource mobilisation will be critical, including through national and international action, particularly on issues related to tax cooperation. We must tackle tax evasion and tax avoidance, as well as illicit financial flows.

Official Development Assistance will remain crucial. However, it alone will not be enough to meet our financing needs.

We must also join together with partners in the private sector and create incentives and regulatory frameworks to encourage long-term sustainable growth and development.

A conducive international enabling environment is also critical. That means addressing issues of global economic governance and ensuring that all our international institutions are fit for purpose.

A successful outcome at the Addis Ababa Conference will require consistency and coherence of policies.

Sustainable development is not a top-down exercise. It needs country ownership. Governments are in the driver’s seat for producing coherent and integrated country policy frameworks. 

Economic, financial, social and environmental policies must be mutually supportive.

Trade, tax and investment agreements must be supportive of sustainable economic growth.

Macroeconomic environments must work both for people and for the planet.

We will also need strengthened data on financial flows to monitor progress.

I look forward to working with the IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and the World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim to ensure coordination and alignment for maximum impact.

Creating a holistic approach to financing for sustainable development can only be accomplished with your active support.

We need your voice and expertise at the Addis Ababa Conference.

Ministers of Finance can make the difference by ensuring that fiscal and macro-economic policies stimulate economic development.  You are entrusted with the power to make our macroeconomic environments work for people and the climate; for building economic, financial and social policies that are mutually supportive.

You link financial resources with results through Medium Term Expenditure Frameworks and public budgets.  The SDGs offer you a universal framework, a centre of gravity for defining the outcomes of the policies, programmes and projects you decide to finance.

I also ask that you mobilise the highest level of representation and political support within your government and regions.

The strong participation and engagement of Finance, Trade and Development Cooperation Ministers and Central Bank Governors will be crucial to success.

I look forward to your cooperation and continued collaboration towards and beyond Addis and Paris.

Let us work together in this pivotal year for global action to truly build a safer and more sustainable world for all.  I count on your strong engagement and leadership.

Thank you very much