Vienna, Austria

13 May 2022

Statement by the Secretary-General following the Spring session of the UN's Chief Executives Board meetings

I have just finished chairing the meeting of the UN Chief Executives Board, which brings together the heads of thirty UN entities, and where we engaged in a discussion on the challenges to the global economic recovery and how to reverse the trend of losing momentum on attaining the Sustainable Development Goals. 

We are at a moment in history where the world is facing multiple and interlinked global crises, with many countries around the globe reeling from the cascading challenges of an unabated climate emergency, an uneven recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and a triple crisis of food, energy and debt. The tragic consequences of the ongoing war in Ukraine have exacerbated these multiple crises. 

A critical ingredient of the UN system’s ability to rescue the Sustainable Development Goals and provide humanitarian assistance is predictable and additional funding. We acknowledge that a number of donors have met and, in some cases, gone beyond the 0.7% commitment to Overseas Development Aid. 

However, there are recent indications that other Member States are making deep cuts of ODA, in a reversal of their commitment. This will have direct negative impacts on the achievements of the Sustainable Development Goals. This is alarming and I urge Member States to reconsider, given the dire consequences for the vulnerable among us in these turbulent times. 

The UN system remains committed to strengthened coordination to support coherent country strategies for the 2030 Agenda. We can deliver results and ensure they meet the needs and rights of the people whom we are meant to assist.   At a time when global conflicts are at their highest levels since the creation of the United Nations, the evidence demonstrates that investing in development is the best way to prevent crises and maintain international peace, which remains the UN’s central mission. Prevention remains at the heart of my agenda.