Statement by Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at the United Nations Summit for the Adoption of the Post 2015 Development Agenda


Mr. President,
Mr. Secretary General
Distinguished Co-chairs (President Museveni and Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen)
Excellencies Heads of State and Government
Delegates Ladies and Gentlemen

Our new global development agenda, “Transforming Our World, “The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” is the result of the most consultative process in history. Consultations and negotiations spanned many years, starting with the 2010 Millennium Development Goals Summit and proceeding to the 2012 Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development, which crafted a vision of the future we want. Our sustainable development goals and targets were formulated following protracted negotiations in 2013 and 2014. This year’s negotiations culminated in the consensus document which we adopted this morning.

I commend member states, regional groupings, civil society organizations, private sector actors, and all stakeholders who worked tirelessly to create this new framework. Given the complex nature of the intergovernmental negotiations, we offer deserving commendation to outgoing President of the General Assembly and the Co-Facilitators, the Permanent Representatives of Kenya and Ireland who skillfully navigated the process.

We pay tribute to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for his leadership in guiding the process. I was honored in 2013 to serve, along with Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom and President Susilu Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia as one of the three co-chairs of the Secretary-General’s High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Agenda. We worked with 27 panelists from around the world to set the vision and policy framework for a bold, strategic and universal agenda. The membership of the Panel comprised representatives from every segment of society, including governments, academia, civil society organizations and the private sector.

Fifteen (15) years ago the MDGs were launched with a vision to build a better world. At the Millennium Summit in September 2000, we set time-bound targets to address critical challenges confronting.

The world has made significant progress in achieving many of the MDG targets. Average overall incomes have increased, extreme poverty has declined, child mortality rates have fallen, life expectancy has risen and more people in the developing world have access to improved sanitation services.

But progress has been far from uniform across the world-or across the Goals. There remain huge gaps across and within countries. Poverty remains the greatest challenge especially in rural areas, though urban poverty is also extensive, growing, and underreported by traditional indicators.

We are grateful that the new development agenda calls our attention to the unfinished business of the MDGs while broadening the vision to incorporate new challenges. This is why every segment of the global community contributed to making this agenda a reality.

In Africa, a High-Level Committee was established by the African Union in 2013, which I was honoured to chair. The Committee launched a consultative process culminating in the adoption of a Common African Position reflecting the priorities of our continent. I am very pleased to acknowledge today, that our priorities are substantially integrated into both the 2015 agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. Together these documents demand a universal commitment to the share vision of eradicating poverty and hunger, safeguarding our planet and opening the doors to prosperity for the benefit of people everywhere. Peaceful Societies and the revitalized global partnership are essential requirements for the achievement of these aspirations.

We must pursue single mindedly achievement of the goals enshrine in this agenda. It can be done. Our world has never been richer, more integrated and better educated than now. Therefore, with the resources at our disposal, and the creative power of all, especially those left in the margins of progress – women and youth, we will achieve success. Dignity for all, peaceful societies all around the globe, providing every human being with the means to live to his or her full potentials are well within our means. We cannot afford to fail. And we must truly leave no one behind.

The Addis Ababa Action Agenda provides the toolkit for countries, especially poor and post-conflict countries to galvanize the needed resources to implement the new global agenda. It challenges all of us to take concrete measures that will transform our commitments into practical solutions that improve the lives of our people. Base on this common framework, with sustainability at its core, we will move forward in crafting national development policies and strategies, but with the recognition that while the goals and targets are universal in nature, every country will have to develop its own priorities towards the achievements of the global ambition of a new world of peace, prosperity and dignity in a safe planet.

The post-2015 development agenda, giving its scope and level of ambition will require more effective, strengthened and improved modes of development cooperation to support its implementation. We call for a renewed and revitalized global partnership amongst nations, underpinned by North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation with specific attention on fair trade, taxation and technology, while combating illicit financial flows and terrorism. At the core of our actions, we must confirm commitment to transparency, accountability and mutual respect. These are the fundamentals of genuine partnership.

The successful implementation of the 2030 Development Agenda will depend largely on the concrete measures taken at the sub-national, national, regional and global levels. We must craft ambitious national responses towards implementation of the Agenda. We must set in motion national processes that will guide member states’ efforts to integrate and domesticate the new Agenda into local content that will engender national ownership in the implementation process. Strong follow-up and review mechanism will enhance an effective implementation process where citizens have the means to assess their countries progress in implementation. We must also embark on a data revolution, geared towards developing capacities for development planning, monitoring and evaluation.

Finally, as we made history today by adopting the 2030 Development Agenda to replace the Millennium Development Goals. In so doing, we have assumed a challenge and responsibility to deliver to the future generation, in the next 15 years, a world free of poverty and hunger and a more secure planet for everyone. This must be our legacy.
I thank you.


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