Washington D.C.

23 April 2015

Secretary-General's message to Global Philanthropy Forum Conference [delivered by Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning]

This is a pivotal year for global cooperation. Three high-level international meetings will chart a new era for sustainable development: the third International Conference on Financing for Development, in Addis Ababa in July; the climate change Conference of Parties, in December in Paris; and, in September, in New York, world leaders will adopt the Sustainable Development Goals, our pathway for the next 15 years.

Three intergovernmental processes with one universal goal: putting people and the planet at the centre – underpinned by human rights, and supported by global partnerships and a universal agreement on tackling climate change.

Let us be clear – the choices we make will foster a more equitable world, or consign hundreds of millions of people to poverty and diminished opportunity.  We are deciding what human dignity means in the 21st century.  We are deciding how we live in harmony with the environment.

The achievements of the past 15 years show what it takes to succeed: political will at the highest levels, sound policies, and resources to scale up proven methods.  But, to achieve a breakthrough in implementing this new agenda, we need an unprecedented mobilization of all traditional partners and to embrace new ones.  There is a strong call for an inclusive global partnership, with mutual accountability and a fair sharing of responsibilities.
The United Nations is deepening its conversation with actors who approach the same problems with different solutions.  Multi-stakeholder partnerships, such as Every Woman Every Child, Sustainable Energy for All, Scaling-up Nutrition, the Zero Hunger Challenge, and the Global Education First Initiative have proven effective in galvanizing broad-based joint action, defining concrete objectives and clear timetables, as well as serving as mutual accountability frameworks.

I am heartened by the key role philanthropy has been playing as a driver of social, economic and political transformation.  Philanthropy has flexible capital and can reach scale and greater impact by collaborating with official development actors and governments.  Yet we need to go beyond viewing philanthropy as a gap-filler for Government.  Philanthropy brings new actors and approaches.  It can be innovative and path-breaking. 

I welcome the strengthened engagement of new and emerging philanthropists from the global South.  As new actors enter the global philanthropic space, we have an opportunity and need to learn about differences in norms and practices; how strategy is formulated; how success is measured; and the drivers of accountability and transparency.  If differences are acknowledged and embraced, we can reap the benefits of complementarity; if ignored, they will constrain effective collaboration.

We may approach the same problems with different solutions, but there is a convergence of goals.  We are here today because we share a common objective: advancing humanity and tackling the systemic challenges that prevent development.

I wish you a successful conference.