Rebeca Grynspan: Opening Remarks at the Seoul Post-2015 Conference: Implementation and Implications

Oct 7, 2013

Opening Remarks for Rebeca Grynspan,
UN Under Secretary-General and
UNDP Associate Administrator at the
Seoul Post-2015 Conference:
Implementation and Implications

Seoul, Republic of Korea

Mr. Cho Tae-yul, Second Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea;
Mr. Kim Sung-hwan, Chair of the Institute for Global Social Responsibility and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Korea;
Mr. Ad Melkert, former Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Iraq and former UNDP Associate Administrator;
Dear members of the Government, partners, colleagues and friends.

Let me thank H.E. Cho Tae-yul, 2nd Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea for his thoughtful remarks and for putting UNDP’s contribution to Korea’s development in the light of such a successful development example that Korea represents Let me also give my special thanks to the Republic of Korea for hosting us, for its warm welcome to Seoul, and for its strong support in the Post-2015 consultation process as a member on the UN Secretary General HLP, represented by Former Minister Kim who is here with us to share its recommendations and perspectives.

Let me also welcome all the participants and speakers to this conference on the implementation of the post-2015 agenda that is no doubt a central aspect  to any agreement to be reached  by governments.

There is wide consensus that the MDGs brought together donors, Governments, civil society, the media and other partners around a common vision on time-bound, measurable, and easily understood objectives - grounded in shared values.

The success of the MDGs in bringing attention to persistent development gaps and its accountability framework, did help to advance progress on human development and improve the lives of millions around the world. But as the Vice Minister said, we still have a long way to go.
The developing world committed to achieve MDGs 1 to 7 and the developed world committed to MDG8 on specific targets on aid, debt relief, ICT and medicines. However as highlighted in the MDG gap report launched a few weeks ago by the Secretary-General, despite progress in many fronts there is a  gap between the initial level of ambition around Goal 8 and its implementation.

Falling levels of ODA specially in the last 2 years have raised concerns about the future development framework. ODA no doubt will continue to be very important specially for an important group of countries so we should not let the commitments made fade away.
Korea has to be specially commended for its growing commitment to ODA and proactive involvement in the cooperation community, an example is the fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in 2011 in Busan, that showed Korea’s leadership and commitment to the aid and development effectiveness agenda. 160 countries and 45 international organizations have endorsed the Busan principles to date.
Korea has also played a leading role in the definition of the next G-20 development agenda plan and has ensured it is aligned with the acceleration of the MDGs and on-going discussion around the post-2015 agenda.

But besides the ODA discussion there is also growing awareness that the achievement of sustainable development objectives will require an effective use of ALL sources of financing. New and innovative sources of financing - such as development bonds, travel and financial transaction taxes; climate finance; remittances; and the mobilization of domestic revenues – should all be better harnessed to advance sustainable development objectives. To this end, an Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing has been established by the U.N. General Assembly as an outcome of the Rio+20 Conference; the Committee will consider how to mobilize resources from a variety of sources and utilize effective financing to give strong support to developing countries in their efforts to promote sustainable development. I am very glad that the panel has among its members Mr. Sung Moon Up, deputy director for global economic affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Korea.

UNDP works with countries, helping them in many cases to generate and use development funds effectively. Through this work, we have learned the importance of bringing national and international stakeholders and partners together, behind concrete targets, building capacities and institutions, backed by systems of information, transparency and mutual accountability frameworks.

As we all know stronger accountability systems are and will continue to be key –  at the national, regional  and global level. The High Level Political Forum set up by the Rio+20 Conference is a step forward and might fill this role. While at the regional level, peer reviews and mutual accountability mechanisms could step in. At the local level, citizens will need to be empowered to engage, help monitor results and hold their governments to account - including through new technologies.

As we move into the future post-2015 agenda, therefore, it is critical we generate the momentum, enthusiasm, and broad engagement which make such partnerships work.
With this in mind and building on the lessons learnt from the current MDGs, the UN has launched a global conversation on the shape and nature of the future agenda.

We at the UN have been humbled by the result. Well over a million people from over 190 countries (around 2000 from Korea) have participated, sharing their perspectives and priorities for the future.

Most impressive is the commitment we have found. The people who have participated want to stay engaged – to help monitor and implement the new agenda just as they have been engaged in its design. This broad conversation was captured in the report presented in the margins of the UNGA on September 23rd.  No doubt this report helped shaped the outcome document adopted by member states on the Special Event at the UNGA on the MDGs on September 25th and is a very important step towards the post 2015 discussion.

Going forward we need to tap this energy to build a renewed Global Partnership which delivers its ODA targets, strengthens global governance and enhances policy coherence in international finance, macroeconomic and trade architectures – and account for growing migration; demographic shifts; climate change; and the volatility of the markets.

Effective multi-stakeholder partnerships are needed to support future goals. Thematic partnerships, such as the Sustainable Energy for All initiative or the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization Immunisation (GAVI), or the global Fund for HIV AIDS Malaria and TB, have proved successful in mobilizing financial resources and should be deepened.

As said before, Korea is also coming to the plate. The partnership between the Republic of Korea and UNDP, through the ROK-UNDP MDG Trust Fund is a good example: This fund supports innovative, catalytic and sustainable approaches for accelerated progress towards MDG achievement. Since its establishment in 2009, it has supported nine country projects that seek to improve the livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable.

At the global level, the Fund also supports UNDP’s efforts to build and lead a strategic coalition of partners to shape the post-2015 development agenda through global mobilization and engagement. The Korean contribution of nearly $18 million towards this Trust Fund is empowering women, expanding social services and building infrastructure to improve people’s lives. By scaling up successful projects, the Trust Fund is supporting UNDP’s work in transforming the lives of individuals, and helping build stronger and more resilient nations.

This conference is about generating broader stakeholder dialogue on these very important topics and I am confident that the discussions over the course of the day will be extremely fruitful in bringing out specific ideas on the implementation of the future agenda.  

Thank you.

UNDP Around the world