Category Archives: Secretary Generals Messages

SG’s messages as and when they are available. Usually posted on the day of the concerned observance or activity.

Secretary-General’s remarks at the joint meeting with the Prime Minister and Cabinet Members of Burkina Faso – 7 November 2013

I would like to emphasize three priorities which the United Nations and the international community all together must do — particularly at this crucial time when we are aiming to realize the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

Three priorities […]. First, we have to accelerate our efforts to realize the Millennium development Goals by 2015. I appreciate the Government and people of Burkina Faso who have been working very closely with the UN Country Team and all the agencies very closely together. Depending upon where you are coming from, the African countries’ record of the Millennium Development Goals vary, [they are] all different. Some countries are doing well, some are not on track. We have to mobilize the political leadership role. Political leadership [from] Presidents, Prime Ministers and ministers. You have to really exercise your all your possible political will and mobilize resources.

I know that every country has problems, even Europeans and Americans, the whole developed world is going through difficult times. But depending on political will, the priority can be different. So if leaders put more priority – political priority – on MDGs, on providing dignified opportunities, dignified life for your people — I think we can do it.

The second priority [is that] we have to define the Sustainable Development Goals — the future development agenda.

This is the agreement of Member States which was adopted in Rio de Janeiro last year — “The future we want”. What kind of a future do we want? What kind of a future are we going to shape for our succeeding generations, not to mention the people who are living at this time.

The Member States have identified 26 very important challenges starting with climate change, water scarcity, agricultural problems, energy shortages, gender empowerment, education, urbanization, transportation, nutrition issues. There are so many issues [inaudible].

The Member States have begun their consultations, negotiations already to define what would be our blue print […] from 2016 when the MDGs are over. From 2016 to 2030, we have to have a blue print as our leaders will gather at the United Nations in 2015.

Open working groups have already started their work – they met six or seven times. I hope that Member States will define and agree on Sustainable Development Goals which will carry over and address in a broader and more comprehensive way – socially, economically and environmentally. All these are three aspects which will cover [every aspect] of our lives. That’s the number two priority.

The number three priority and most imminent priority is climate change. The Member States agreed in Durban, reaffirmed in Doha last year, that we will have a legally-binding climate change agreement by 2015. We have two years left. Are we ready to really do it?

Burkina Faso and most African countries have been very heavily impacted. [inaudible] Extreme weather patterns have shown that climate change is fast approaching —much much faster than one may expect. There were some scienti[fic] skeptics but these days all these skeptics have almost disappeared.

The Fifth report of the IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has made it quite clear that climate change is happening because of you, because of human beings, because of us. We cannot blame nature, we can only blame [all of us]. Therefore it is [of] paramount importance that we […] agree, we have to have a framework.

Burkina Faso as one of the African countries which has been most impacted and under the leadership of Madame Zuma – the African Union should speak us. The African Union should really champion this cause. If you are not speaking up, then who will speak?

The developed world — they have capacity, they have means, they have money to handle this – but you do not. It is only natural that developed world provide the necessary funding, necessary technology so that you can address [this] impact, mitigate and adapt to these changing situations. This will be our priority. To make this possible, we need to have energy. The Sustainable Energy for All initiative is getting a lot of support from the international community. The Global Education for All Initiative — you have to educate your people, to enlighten your people, and you have to empower women. […] If they are not given more opportunities than men, at least they should be given half […]. This is our priority. I am just emphasizing this because I have so many eminent leaders sitting here […]

As Secretary-General of the United Nations, I am appealing and I am urging you to speak out and work together with the United Nations. You have good leadership; President Compaore is a respected leader not only in your country, in the region and in the world. I have a deep admiration for his role, for his leadership. And I am sure that under his leadership and also the Prime Minister’s, you can make it different.

Let’s work together to build a future better for all. Merci pour votre engagement et votre leadership