Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

12 July 2015

Secretary-General's closing remarks at Global Civil Society Forum

Thank you for your very warm welcome and for inviting me to address this important forum.

I am inspired by your passion, commitment and energy.

Your engagement in this Forum marks the culmination of your untiring efforts to ensure a successful and meaningful Third International Conference on Financing for Development.

Above all, it shows the determination of billions of people all around the world to build a better future.

Over the last year, you have called on Member States to be ambitious to secure the resources we need for the well-being of all people and the health of our planet.

You have reminded them that a successful outcome in Addis will be necessary to securing an ambitious post-2015 development agenda and a comprehensive agreement on climate change.

The Addis Ababa Action Agenda provides a comprehensive financing framework for sustainable development.

I know that views differ on the level of ambition it contains.

Stakes and expectations are very high.

The negotiations were very difficult.

But the agreement contains several concrete commitments and deliverables that would not have been there without your robust engagement and advocacy. And I thank you for your strong efforts again.

The real test, of course, will lie in its implementation.

The Addis Ababa Action Agenda highlights the need to tap all sources of finance – public and private, domestic, national and international -- to meet the enormous financing needs of the post-2015 development agenda.

I see four areas where civil society has a key role to play.

First, domestic resource mobilization.  This is critical.

In too many countries, taxation is hampered by illicit financial flows.

The Action Agenda takes a small but important step in improving international cooperation on tax matters.

We need your continued support to increase the voice and participation of developing countries on these matters.

Second, donor countries need to fulfill their commitments on Official Development Assistance as well as climate finance.

I encourage you to continue to hold governments accountable to help the poorest countries and those with special needs. I specifically think of the Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States.

Third, the quantity of private investment is crucial, but so, too, is the quality.

Governments and businesses must address private sector incentive structures and business regulations that encourage short-term or unsustainable investments.

We need your continued pressure to ensure that they better align these structures and regulations with the shift towards sustainable development.

Fourth, I count on you to remind the international community to go beyond the different flows of finance and include trade, debt, systemic issues and domestic and international enabling environments.

The global financial system has become more complex.

National and international mechanisms for managing finance must keep pace with this complexity and the imperatives of sustainable development.

We need your full support here in Addis and beyond.

2015 is the time for global action. This global action is for our people and our planet Earth.

The following years will be the time for implementation.

One important achievement of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda is a strengthened follow-up process.

Let us seize this opportunity to usher in a new era of international cooperation on financing for sustainable development.

I am personally committed to keeping the doors of the United Nations open to you.

Now, more than ever, the world needs your advocacy, expertise, and ingenuity.

You are the voice of the people.

You can count on the UN to make it heard, loud and clear.

Thank you.