Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am honored to serve as Chair of the Second Committee during the sixty-ninth session of the General Assembly. This is a pivotal session for the United Nations as we are about to embark on a new phase for development. I would like to thank you for your confidence in my stewardship at this important time.
You have elected highly competent members of the Bureau. I congratulate each of them and I know I can count on their full collaboration and support in carrying out our work.
On behalf of the Bureau, I would like to assure you of our commitment to a most productive session, one that will draw upon the important accomplishments of the Committee in past years, to contribute to the ongoing efforts to formulate a post-2015 development agenda.
In this regard, I wish to convey my deep gratitude for the tremendous work done by my predecessor, His Excellency Mr. Abdou Sallam Diallo of Senegal, in tackling last year’s rich program of work. I acknowledge the significant progress made on several fronts under his leadership.
We enter this session once again confronted with formidable global challenges such as climate change, Ebola and high unemployment. We have witnessed that the outbreak of Ebola could risk the reversal of gains made in achieving MDGs in the countries affected by the epidemic. All these challenges have once again reinforced the need for collective global action. Multilateral action is absolutely essential for a prosperous and secure future for all. The U.N. has taken swift action. It is important that all States and concerned organizations contribute to this effort.
We have the last chance to make a final push to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the opportunity for a significant contribution to the formulation of the new agenda. Maintaining and accelerating development progress in the face of new and continuing threats, and, setting the course for a successful transition to a transformative, universal post-2015 agenda should be our top priorities.
The Second Committee is well placed to do that. Its broad agenda covers most of the key issues that are central to the development of societies. That is the focus of the post-2015 development agenda. It is about the future of humanity, of each and every person living on our planet, and of the well-being of our planet itself.
Much has already been achieved at the intergovernmental level. The outcomes of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals; the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing, and; the Structured Dialogues on a technology facilitation mechanism, are tangible expressions of what can be achieved when we work together towards common objectives. These outcomes provide a compass for the work ahead.
We will be guided by these achievements to advance the discussion on attaining sustainable development in all its dimensions. Addressing adequate means of implementation and forging a strengthened global and inclusive partnership for development will be imperative to this discourse.
The current session of the Second Committee is undoubtedly of a special nature. The timing offers us a unique opportunity to contribute and enrich the debate on attaining sustainable development in all its dimensions. At the same time we should make efforts to avoid unnecessary duplication of work and efforts. I intend to work with you to ensure that this session is effective, efficient and impactful. This should also help in improving the work of future sessions.
A way to achieve this is to make further progress in the improvement of our working methods. Progress has already been achieved and best practices have emerged. Implementation of our shared views on more efficient and effective working methods will be crucial. I look forward to hearing your views during the discussion scheduled for Thursday the 9th of October.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Globalization, rapid urbanization, and climate change have demonstrated that development challenges and risks are highly interrelated, inter-generational, and universal. Policy decisions that we make in a given sphere can have the power of counteracting, or enhancing, outcomes in other areas.
Policy choices that are made – be they on infrastructure, energy, education, social provisioning or institutional structures – will impact longer-term sustainability and people’s wellbeing.
The Second Committee must break new ground in forging the inter-linkages between these dimensions.
We must evolve new tools and instruments for effective macroeconomic policies that can act as multipliers of growth, social inclusion, and the responsible management of finite resources. Social Impact Bonds or Development Impact Bonds are one way to galvanize new financing for sustainable development, which we will reflect on.
Linking the normative work and operational activities for development work should be another area of focus.
Defining a new global partnership for development is yet another priority. We can also help in shaping discussion on how to support it by a whole range of various forms of cooperation that are needed for implementing a transformative agenda.
Our attention must be focused, too, on the challenges of countries in special situations. The preparation of the Second International Conference on the Land Locked Developing Countries in Vienna in November this year, as well as the upcoming Climate Change Conference in Lima will be key opportunities for breaking new ground. This Committee could send strong messages to these meetings.
As is the tradition, we will benefit from the insights of various experts on several of these themes, in a number of Special Events and joint meetings. Details of these were shared with you during the organizational meeting on 19 September. Details can also be found on the Second Committee website.
During this session, I encourage you to embrace innovative thinking, and bring new approaches and ideas to our deliberations both on substantive and procedural issues. We will shortly be hearing from a distinguished academic, Professor Janet Gornick, who will help us set our dialogue on a fresh course. She has focused the bulk of her research on the crucial theme of inequality, and has pursued new ways of analyzing this issue.
Once again, I count on your collaboration and support in our collective endeavor.