OECD Secretary-General

Reviewing progress towards the Millennium Development Goals and charting a way forward


Remarks by Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General, delivered at the UNGA President’s Special Event on MDGS

25 September 2013, New York, United States

Prime Minister Hasina, Deputy Prime Minister Gilmore, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Let me thank the President of the General Assembly for convening this event at such a critical juncture for the global development agenda. It is more important than ever that we deliver on our existing commitments, and define a new and more ambitious post-2015 vision for the world.

First, we must finish what we started with the current set of MDGs. This requires a significant acceleration of our efforts, given the highly uneven progress across countries, regions and goals. Progress in Africa and South Asia, for example, has been significantly slower than in other regions. We also need a greater focus on fragile and conflict-affected states. “No low-income fragile or conflict-affected country has achieved a single MDG”. This is not acceptable. We have the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding, which launched the “New Deal” in 2011, to draw on. So let’s use it!

Second, we must look at the challenge of poverty eradication through a new lens. Reducing extreme poverty to zero by 2030 should remain a key goal. But we also need to design a Framework that embraces inclusive, green and sustainable growth.

Inclusive growth requires us to look beyond income poverty to tackle inequalities and consider the broader dimensions of people’s well-being, such as access to quality education and health care, and the availability of clean air and water. In this context, the post-2015 education goals must play a leading role. The OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and the “PISA for Development” initiative can help define a universal learning metric. The OECD’s Better Life Initiative will also support the international community in the measurement of the critical dimensions of well-being.

Green and sustainable growth calls for a unified sustainable development agenda that accounts for the interlinked nature of growth, poverty and the environment. The OECD’s Green Growth Strategy is one important tool to ensure that natural assets can deliver their full economic potential on a sustainable basis.

Third, our mantra should be “implementation, implementation, implementation”. The Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation offers the ideal forum by providing impartial analysis on the quality and effectiveness of development co-operation, and a framework for sharing knowledge and ensuring mutual accountability.

Of course, we also need sufficient resources. The OECD is widening its tracking of development finance to look beyond traditional ODA and help ensure that new financial sources and instruments best contribute to the post-2015 framework.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have a responsibility not only to meet our existing commitments, but also to explore new ways of developing and implementing targeted policies in pursuit of inclusive, green and sustainable growth. The OECD has a number of tools and partnerships to offer beyond the few that I have mentioned to you today.

In fact, all of the skills, experiences and capacities we have accumulated over 50 years on economic, social and environmental policies are now being mainstreamed into our development work. It is part of our effort to design, promote and implement better development policies for better lives.

Thank you.


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