Good morning. I am pleased to join you for this important event.
The drafters of the United Nations Charter recognized the importance of regional action.
And the drafters of the 2030 Agenda also took that appreciation for the pivotal role of regionalism to a deeper level for the 21st century.
World leaders recognized the crucial role of regional cooperation in implementing and assessing progress.
Regionalism is being harnessed in addressing issues like trade, food and energy security, climate change, connectivity and the outbreak of health epidemics.
I am proud that we have strengthened our partnerships with regional organizations such as the African Union, the League of Arab States, ASEAN, and the European Union.
Of course, the UN Regional Commissions are central to our work. Every day, they promote regional cooperation and integration and extend their expertise for socio-economic development.
They are spearheading UN regional efforts to support their member countries in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, including by promoting integration, policy coherence, strengthened data and statistical capacities, and peer learning.
They are stimulating innovative ideas, including on financing for development and other means of implementation.
The Regional Commissions have been instrumental in building strategic partnerships with regional and sub-regional organizations. This joint work has helped bring universal values and norms to the regions, while tailoring actions to regional specificities.
As countries advance implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, regional cooperation will be essential. You have my full support.
From day one as Secretary-General, I have reached out to regional partners to find common solutions to problems across the international agenda.
I now have, personally speaking, less than 100 days left. But I will use each and every one of them to strengthen our work together.
Country by country, region by region, let us keep building a better and more sustainable world for you. I count on your leadership.
Thank you very much.