ACCESSIBILITY AT UNOG A A A A The United Nations in the Heart of Europe

Briefing by the Russian Presidency of the G-20

22 November 2013
Briefing by the Russian Presidency of the G-20

Opening Remarks by Mr. Michael Møller
United Nations Under-Secretary-General
Acting Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva
Briefing by the Russian Presidency of the G-20

Friday, 22 November 2013 at 10:00 a.m.
Palais des Nations, Room XXIV

Ambassador Lukov
Ambassador Borodavkin
Ambassador Woolcott
Excellencies
Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am really very pleased to welcome you all this morning for a briefing by the Russian G-20 Presidency. A warm welcome to Ambassador Lukov for being with us and thank you for taking time out to brief the diplomatic community and the United Nations family in Geneva. Outreach has been a priority for the Presidency, and I know this is appreciated by all of us. This spirit of partnership is essential to our work together.

As we have seen over the past months, with talks on Iran and Syria, Geneva is a key platform for diplomatic activity – and this is no different when it comes to the issues tackled by the G-20.

The United Nations family in Geneva is engaged across all of the priorities identified by the Russian G-20 Presidency. We welcome the focus on promoting growth and employment, restoring trust and transparency in the markets, and advancing energy and food security.

The efforts of the G-20 in addressing the crisis in the global economy, improving the system of global administration and increasing the efficiency of collaboration between multilateral development institutions are all in synch with United Nations objectives.

It is right and necessary to place job creation at the top of the agenda. Across the G-20 countries, according to ILO, some 93 million people are unemployed. Earlier in the week, our UNCTAD colleagues highlighted in their latest report on the Least Developed Countries that the youth population in these countries is expected to increase from 168 million in 2010 to some 300 million by 2050. Millions of new jobs need to be created to provide opportunities for these coming generations. Over 75 million young people are already left out of the job market. We simply cannot afford to allow the jobs crisis to deepen.

Sustained, inclusive growth and employment creation need to be firmly placed in our broader efforts for sustainable development. Earlier in the week, at the UN Climate Change Conference in Warsaw, the Secretary-General urged the G-20 to lead international efforts to tackle global warming. G-20 countries can – and should – play an important leadership role in the fight against climate change and in poverty reduction. Both issues have to be at the heart of our post-2015 development agenda. And we need to ensure innovative thinking, better use of technology and adequate financing to address them effectively. The development debates within the G-20 have been encouraging in this regard. We all hope this momentum is going to be maintained.

The attention paid by the G-20 to ongoing crises is particularly important. At the Summit in St. Petersburg, G-20 leaders reaffirmed that they strive to tackle some of the most pressing crises such as the conflict in Syria. The issue is complex but we all agree that a political solution must be found. The support of the G-20, and of the entire United Nations membership, in bringing about the Geneva II conference is therefore of great importance.

The United Nations family in Geneva remains committed to working with the G-20, this year under the Russian Presidency and next year under the Australian Presidency, to advance our common goals.

I look forward to your briefing, Ambassador, and the discussion.

Thank you very much.