Paris, France

28 April 2015

Secretary-General's remarks at the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development [as prepared for delivery]

Merci de votre accueil chaleureux.

Je suis très honoré d’être parmi vous aujourd’hui, pour la première fois en qualité de Secrétaire général de l’ONU.

Before I begin, I would like to express my condolences to the people and Government of Nepal.

The death toll from the recent earthquake is rising and tens thousands have been made homeless.

We are all shocked by the terrible images of destruction.

Humanitarian needs are huge and urgent.

The United Nations is supporting international operations for search and rescue and strengthening relief efforts.

I count on the generosity of the international community in Nepal’s hour of need and the longer term rebuilding efforts that will be needed.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

2015 is a critical year for sustainable development.  I am delighted that at this watershed moment, we have this opportunity – a historic first – to engage in a dialogue here
at the OECD. 

Let me begin by commending the work of Secretary-General Gurría.  Under his leadership – and thanks to your cooperation and commitment – the OECD is making enormous inroads in advancing global social and economic development. 

As you may know, I have just met at the Vatican with His Holiness Pope Francis. 

Earlier this month, I took part in spring meetings of the World Bank and IMF. 

I was very impressed by the enthusiasm and dynamism of Ministers of Finance in supporting our collective efforts to usher in a new era of sustainable development. 

For all these reasons, this is particularly fitting time for us to gather together.

In the coming months, the international community will gather three times, on three different continents, to build a sustainable development agenda for generations to come.

In July, we will meet in Addis Ababa to agree on a comprehensive financing framework for the future development agenda. 

In September, leaders will converge in New York for the United Nations special summit for the adoption of a universal and transformative post-2015 development agenda.

And in December, governments will gather here in Paris for COP 21 where they have pledged to forge a new path forward on climate change and adopt a meaningful, universal climate change agreement.

These efforts will rely on the full engagement and leadership of the member countries of the OECD.

We must translate the post-2015 agenda into action around the world. 

The OECD is a vital forum for helping to build such momentum.  You can rally your members around this vital agenda.  You can inspire and inform the policy changes we need.

The OECD has a long history of addressing challenges such as policy coherence – which will be crucial to address the sustainable development challenge. 

Your peer review mechanisms can also serve as important instruments to support the achievement of the sustainable development goals.  And, of course, you are in the forefront of efforts to work towards more and better aid.

For these and many more reasons, I am honoured to be with you today.


I put forward six Essential Elements in my Synthesis Report last December to help to frame and bring clarity to the post-2015 development agenda.  Those six elements are: dignity, people, prosperity, planet, justice and partnership.

To secure a future of dignity for all, we must radically reform our economies; tackle inequalities and protect our planet. 

We need to ensure the full participation of women and eliminate gender inequalities.

We must engage our youth and change mindsets and behaviours that will address destructive patterns of production and consumption.

We must ensure no one is left behind and build resilient and cohesive societies, in pursuit of a more peaceful and just world.

Member States have come a long way in agreeing on the broad contours of the post-2015 development agenda.

Our aim will be to end poverty, achieve shared prosperity and peace, live in harmony with our environment and leave no one behind.

Poverty eradication will remain at the heart of our efforts. We must tackle the unfinished business of the MDGs, consolidate achievements and fill the remaining gaps.
But we cannot stop there. We are faced with global challenges that affect all countries, developing and developed.

This is why the post-2015 agenda will be universal, addressing the needs and seeking contributions of all people across the planet. It will aim for economic progress, social inclusion and environmental sustainability. 

Sustainable development will be at the core of this agenda. The proposal of the Open Working Group of a set of 17 goals encapsulates a transformative sustainable development agenda.

To successfully deliver this agenda and the SDGs, we will need a global partnership to help mobilize financing and other means of implementation.

This partnership and the comprehensive financing framework must match the ambition of the SDGs.

The financing needs for sustainable development are indeed enormous.

Global savings are plentiful, but current investment patterns do not deliver sustainable development.

The Addis Conference on Financing for Development is a unique opportunity to change this trajectory.

Working together, we should ensure three key outcomes of the Conference:
A cohesive and holistic financing framework for sustainable development;
Concrete deliverables, particularly in crucial areas such as infrastructure, agriculture, social needs, and Small and Medium Enterprises;
A strong follow-up process to ensure that no country is left behind.

The draft of the ‘Addis Ababa Accord’ is now being negotiated by Member States.

I would like to highlight six key components of that document. 

First, the draft addresses the full remit of financing resources -- including public, private, domestic and international financing sources -- and the domestic and international enabling environments and systemic issues.   But it goes further, by addressing all the financial and technical means to achieve sustainable development.

Second, the draft emphasizes the importance of domestic resource mobilization and fighting illicit flows. This includes both strengthening domestic capacity and international tax cooperation.

The draft welcomes the important work of the OECD and the Global Forum
on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes.  But it calls for more inclusive deliberations to ensure that these efforts benefit all countries.

Third, Official Development Assistance will remain critical, particularly for Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States. 

The draft welcomes the agreement of members of the OECD Development Assistance Committee to reverse the declining trend of aid to Less Developed Countries.
But it calls on all of us to do more.

Reaffirming ODA commitments with concrete timelines is critical to build trust and confidence in the global development agenda. Ensuring more ODA is our collective responsibility.

Fourth, the draft also emphasizes the important role of development banks in implementing the new agenda. This includes addressing the needs of lower middle income countries that have lost access to many forms of concessionary finance upon graduation from LDC status.  Development banks also can play important roles in financing critical areas, such as infrastructure, agriculture, and SMEs.

Fifth, the draft stresses the important role of private investment. Investments in sustainable infrastructure, for example, are recognized as a major cross-cutting driver that can contribute to achieving all the SDGs.

In this regard, I welcome the work of the OECD and the G-20 on High-level Principles of Long-term Investment Financing by Institutional Investors.

Sixth and finally, the draft also includes chapters on the importance of international trade, debt sustainability, systemic issues, and technology and capacity building.

The OECD has a leadership role in many of these areas. And I trust that you will undertake every effort to make Addis Ababa a success.

I look forward to welcoming your delegations to the Third International Conference on Financing for Development at the highest possible levels.  The Heads of State
or Government of your countries can support by their presence the ambition of the Addis Accord.

We have been making systematic efforts to ensure highest level participation from every nation. I can inform you that the heads of the World Bank, the IMF, UNCTAD, WTO
and UNDP will be in Addis accompanying me.

I am very pleased that today Mr. Gurria confirmed to me his participation in Addis – and we look forward to the OECD’s continued strong cooperation in this vital effort.

If we leave Addis with a strong outcome in hand, I am convinced we can also succeed in New York and in Paris.


In recent months, we have already seen strong progress on climate change. At the Climate Summit I convened last September, I said we needed all hands on deck.

I am pleased to say that this is indeed what happened: Governments, along with leaders of finance, business and civil society, came together to announce significant new actions that can reduce emissions and strengthen resilience.

We must move forward to Addis with the same level of commitment and the resolve for results.

Let us continue our cooperation for development, for climate, for the sustainable prosperity of all people and our planet, our common home.

Thank you.