Excellencies, Dear Friends:
This has been a chequered decade for development, but an extraordinary one for the UN's role in development.
When I took office in 1997, official development assistance had been declining for more than a decade. Funding for the UN system had dropped precipitously, amidst fierce ideological debates with the Bretton Woods institutions and other partners about the right approach to development. And the world was falling rapidly behind in tackling new challenges, particularly HIV/AIDS.