Brussels, Belgium

15 June 2016

Secretary-General’s remarks to the Sustainable Energy For All Advisory Board [as prepared for delivery]

I am honoured to be with you again, and I thank you for your commitment and leadership.

I also thank our generous hosts, the European Commission, represented today by the Commissioner in charge of International Cooperation and Development, His Excellency Mr. Neven Mimica.

It has been half a decade since we launched the Sustainable Energy for All initiative.

We have already achieved a lot and built a solid foundation to achieve our objective.

Now we have 15 years to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 7 on energy.

Because energy is a key enabler, meeting the targets of SDG7 is central to achieving the 2030 Agenda and implementing the Paris Agreement.

As I have repeatedly emphasized, energy is the golden thread connecting economic growth, increased social equity and a healthy environment.

Sustainable development is simply not possible without sustainable energy.

We already see a lot happening around the world.

New technologies are bringing energy to areas formerly out of reach of traditional grids.

Renewable energy prices are falling.

Energy efficiency is providing triple-win solutions across the sustainable development agenda.

National and city leaders are putting energy efficiency first.

This is essential for clean air and meeting the ambition of the Paris Agreement.

Serious efforts are also under way to understand how to unlock public and private finance.

Our goal now is to build on this momentum.

Your advice as Advisory Board members has already been invaluable.

You paved the way for SDG7.

And you have helped strengthen global cooperation on energy.

I have enjoyed a close working relationship with my co-chair, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group.

I thank him for the unique collaboration between our two organizations, which is now serving as a model for other areas of development, such as transport and water.

I also want to thank Mr. Chad Holliday, who co-chaired my High-Level Group on Sustainable Energy for All.

He has made an immense contribution from the very beginning. 

I know we all want to express our deep appreciation to Mr. Kandeh Yumkella, my first Special Representative for Sustainable Energy for All.

He embodied renewable energy!

Now we are fortunate to welcome Ms. Rachel Kyte.

As my Special Representative, and the new CEO of SE4All, she has a great and exciting responsibility in the years ahead.   

Last year you asked that SE4All be put on a more sustainable footing and that it have an institutional underpinning while retaining its close links to the UN.

The establishment of SE4All as an international not-for-profit organization in Vienna will help to build on the strong multi-stakeholder nature of the initiative.

This will ensure that momentum for action continues in addition to all your efforts in your countries through your assistance programmes and through your companies and organizations.

I look forward to new partnerships, new investments and new action from Governments, the private sector and civil society.

From the United Nations side, I am pleased to inform you that I have designated the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs to carry forward activities in support of Sustainable Development Goal 7 and the UN Decade of Sustainable Energy for All 2014-2024.

This will include support for the Advisory Board, working with the World Bank.

The Department of Economic and Social Affairs will also support Member States and intergovernmental processes related to energy, convene global dialogues on energy, support the advocacy and outreach efforts of the Special Representative, and facilitate collaboration with SE4All.

Looking ahead, this Board will remain crucial in promoting sustainable energy for sustainable development.

We will continue to co-chair this Advisory Board and are interested in your perspectives on how you can best contribute to this important agenda

You provide the guarantee and glue for a continued conversation between all stakeholders that need to be around the table as we work to implement SDG7 and the Paris Agreement.

Many of you were already working towards achieving SDG7 before it even existed.

Now – with the Goal and other agreements solidly in place – our objectives are firmly in sight.  

I look forward to working together for a world of sustainable energy for all.

Thank you.