Brussels, Belgium

15 June 2016

Secretary-General’s remarks at European Development Days Forum

I am pleased to join you today.

For 10 years, the European Development Days have fostered partnership and innovation for a better future for some of the world’s most vulnerable people and nations. 

The global partnership for development was integral to the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals. 

The result was unprecedented gains in health, prosperity, education and empowerment.

The MDGs made their mark on the world.  But we know there is still much more to do. 

Now we have a new vision -- an ambitious and transformative sustainable development agenda that will build on our achievements and take us even farther over the next 15 years.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with its 17 global goals, is an action plan for people, planet, peace and prosperity. 

The Sustainable Development Goals address the core human development challenges of our time, such as poverty, hunger, education, inequality, health, water and sanitation and climate change.

Every day, the headlines speak of more climate-related disaster – mass coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef; soaring temperatures in the Arctic; wildfires and floods.

In April, a record-number of Member States signed the Paris Agreement on climate change. 

Now we need to bring that Agreement into force this year.

To help advance the process, I will convene an event during the September high-level week of the General Assembly for countries to deposit their instruments of ratification.  

Ladies and Gentlemen,

National borders do not defend against climate change, emerging diseases or economic shocks.

Our challenges are global, and it is only as a global family that we can overcome them.

That is why the SDGs are universal.

They address existing and emerging global challenges, and they recognize that they are faced by developing and developed countries alike.

While developing countries need special attention, all countries have inequality and youth unemployment; all countries need to promote gender equality; and all countries are vulnerable to economic instability.

The goals set out a path for the future of our planet, and all who inhabit it.

Everyone, including and especially those who live in the most developed nations, has a role to play in ensuring that our planet can support the people of coming generations.  

The 2030 Agenda represents a paradigm shift.

It challenges us to rethink how we do development.

Sustainable development must become integral to all our policies and decision-making.

Our world view needs to be holistic and long-term.

Every actor, every country, every international and regional organization has a responsibility to translate the 2030 Agenda into practice.

Implementation will not be easy.

Countries at every level of development will encounter obstacles.

That is why development cooperation is critical.

Let me emphasize that word – cooperation.

Every effort should be made to meet Official Development Assistance targets.

I commend those countries that have met the 0.7 target, and urge all EU Member States to do so.

The quality of ODA also needs to improve.

And we need better links between development and humanitarian relief.

Last month I convened the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul.

In preparation I published an Agenda for Humanity with five priorities that complement the Goals of the 2030 Agenda.

First, leaders must assume their responsibility to prevent and end conflict.

We must move from managing crises to preventing them.

Second, States must affirm their responsibility to uphold the norms that safeguard humanity.

Even wars have rules.  It is time to enforce them.

Third, we must leave no-one behind – and reach those who are furthest behind, first.

This principle lies at the core of the SDGs.

Among those furthest behind are people who have been forcibly displaced – often for decades.

We need to find better ways to share this responsibility equitably and predictably.

Fourth, we must change people’s lives by moving from delivering aid to ending need.

This will require UN agencies and international actors to commit to work across mandates, sectors and institutional boundaries. 

Donors will need to commit to finance differently.

Fifth, and finally, we must invest in humanity.

All countries must maintain and increase their commitments to long-term poverty eradication, humanitarian assistance and sustainable development.

At the Summit, representatives from 173 UN Member States, more than 700 local and international NGOs, the private sector and other stakeholders demonstrated overwhelming support for the Agenda for Humanity. 

Now we must take those commitments forward, through intergovernmental and inter-agency processes, with regular progress reviews.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, we need comprehensive financing and broad, inclusive and innovative partnerships.

The Addis Ababa Action Agenda has given us a holistic framework for mobilizing resources and aligning all financing flows and policies with sustainable development.

Let us act on it.

And let us work together for a revitalized global partnership for development.

This is the key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Achieving this universal agenda is premised on national leadership, on domestic mobilization and action, and on an unprecedented spirit of cooperation and solidarity.

It also requires an earnest appraisal of the capacity of trade and finance policies to buttress sustainable development.

We must bring together and align all stakeholders, including Governments, civil society, the private sector and the philanthropic community.

We must mobilize all available resources, and make the best use of science, technology and innovation.

This Forum is timely and influential.

The United Nations counts on your ideas and your partnership to build a better future for all of humanity – for people, planet, peace and prosperity.

Thank you.