10 October 2012
Briefing by the Mexican Presidency of the G-20
Opening Remarks by Mr. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev
United Nations Under-Secretary-General
Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva
Briefing by the Mexican Presidency of the G-20
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 9:30 am
Room XX, Palais des Nations
Vice-Minister Lourdes Aranda
Ambassador Gómez Camacho
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I am pleased to welcome back Vice-Minister Lourdes Aranda to the Palais des Nations, this time as the Sherpa of the G-20 Group under the Mexican Presidency. I greatly appreciate the commitment to engaging the United Nations family and our partners in Geneva.
This is a unique opportunity for us to hear first-hand a detailed account of progress so far, particularly since the productive and encouraging outcome of the June G-20 Los Cabos Summit.
With conflicting forces at work in the global system, the United Nations is the one indispensible rallying point in which all countries have a voice, regardless of size, region, economy or population.
The United Nations is also unique in its global reach, and its unmatched network of funds, programmes and specialized Agencies – many of them headquartered here in Geneva.
The extensive presence of the United Nations family in Geneva, along with the strong concentration of effective civil society entities and private sector partners, brings an unparalleled wealth of expertise and experience. This makes Geneva a consolidated multilateral hub that will enable us, the United Nations and our partners of the G-20, to address the challenges ahead.
The United Nations and the G-20 can and must work in mutually supportive ways. That is why the Secretary-General has participated in every G-20 Summit since Washington in 2008. The Los Cabos summit was no exception and under Mexican guidance the G-20 leaders showed strong resolve to promote growth and jobs with accountability.
In this context I would like to underscore the flexibility demonstrated by the G-20 to quickly gather political will on key issues. Your action contributes to avoiding further deterioration of the global economy.
I commend the Mexican Presidency for its leadership, resolve and emphasis on accountability and I hope the upcoming Presidencies will maintain this focus.
The message we take from Los Cabos is clear:
We must acknowledge how interdependent we are in today's global economy. Hence, to foster stability, confidence and prosperity for all, there is no other alternative for the world's leading economies than to work closely together, increasing joint understanding and global economic governance.
In this context, on 30 July, in the General Assembly during an informal briefing on the Los Cabos Summit, the Secretary-General outlined five key principles to guide the way forward in relation to the common work of the United Nations and the G-20:
• First, we need to continuously underline the importance of a powerful, coordinated solution to the worldwide jobs crisis and undertake decisive action to avoid a new global recession.
• Second, donor countries need to honour their commitments to the developing world – especially to help them achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Official Development Assistance fell last year for the first time in more than a decade. We must not allow fiscal austerity to undermine support for poverty reduction and development. The Integrated Implementation Framework launched in June 2012 is an important tool in this regard.
• Third, we must continue to put food and nutrition security at the top of the development agenda, if we are to meet the Zero Hunger Challenge launched at Rio+20. In this regard I would like to commend the G-20 leaders for supporting the Scaling Up Nutrition movement, as well as their efforts to address commodity price volatility and enhance transparency in agricultural markets. The volatility of commodity prices is a drag on global economic recovery as well as a threat to food and nutrition security.
• Fourth, we need to create opportunities for inclusive green growth. In this context, the development and finance tracks of the G-20 are particularly important. I should also like to point out the urgency to support the Green Climate Fund, which needs to be made operational as soon as possible.
• Fifth, we need further progress towards reviving the Doha Trade Round, including action against the disturbing rise in protectionist measures. At Los Cabos, G-20 leaders expressed renewed commitment to advancing in areas such as trade facilitation, where agreement seems possible. It is important that this new commitment translates into tangible progress.
Ladies and Gentlemen
We must also all work together to define a post-2015 development agenda.
To that end, the Secretary-General has established a High-level Panel co-chaired by the Presidents of Indonesia and Liberia and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
On 30 July, the Secretary-General announced the full membership of the panel – 26 eminent women and men from all regions with a wide range of complementary experience, including Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa. We are grateful to Mexico for feeding its expertise into the work of the Panel.
The Panel just held its first meeting in the margins of the General Debate of the General Assembly. Their findings will inform the report that the Secretary-General will prepare and submit to you in 2013. The Panel’s work will be closely coordinated with that of the intergovernmental working group to design Sustainable Development Goals, as agreed at Rio+20.
It is essential that the processes on SDGs and the post-2015 development agenda are coherent. This will enable Member States to define a single global development framework with sustainable development at its core.
In closing, allow me to thank the Mexican Presidency of the G-20 and President Calderón for the very productive efforts.
As the Secretary-General has stressed, “We must find ways to deliver real results if we are to address this challenge together.”
The United Nations family in Geneva remains committed to working with you and with all partners to advance our shared goals.
Thank you for your attention.