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Speech by Ms. Pratibha Mehta, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative at the seminar “from MDGs to SDGs: Building on Viet Nam’s Success for the Post-2015 Development Agenda”

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Date: 17 April 2015

Event: From MDGs to SDGs: Building on Viet Nam's Success for the Post-2015 Development Agenda

Venue: Melia Hotel, 44B Ly Thuong Kiet St., Hanoi

  • H.E. Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway and Co-Chair of the UN Secretary General's High level MDG Advocacy Group;
  • H.E. Vu Duc Dam, Deputy Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam;
  • Mr. Nguyen The Phuong, Vice Minister of Ministry of Planning and Investment;
  • Global MDG Advocates, Ambassador Dho and Ms. Stein Bosse and Mr. Thomas Gass, Assistant Secretary General - UNDESA;
  • Excellencies and distinguished guests;
  • Ladies and Gentlemen;

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to this high level policy seminar and dialogue: From Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Goals: Building on Viet Nam's Success for the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

We all recognize the tremendous contribution MDGs have made to development progress – both globally and locally. Viet Nam has made impressive progress, for instance in poverty reduction and in expanding access to basic social services. However, while Viet Nam's national scorecard is impressive, significant unfinished business remains, nationally on some MDGs and sub nationally among some population groups and provinces.

Addressing the unfinished MDG agenda must be the first order of business for the post 2015 framework – both at the global and national levels. We recognise that Viet Nam is already engaged in this process – through newly adopted action plans for ethnic minority development and for improved health and nutrition.

Building on the success and lesson learnt from the MDGs, UN member states have been deliberating for well over a year on the post-2015 agenda. The process included an unprecedented level of consultations through open dialogue and public surveys involving civil society, academia and the private sector.

2015 is a year of critical importance with four key international conferences: the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai which just concluded, followed by the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa in July, the post-2015 Summit in September in New York and the Conference of Parties 21 in Paris in December. These conferences will culminate the processes of recent years and set the benchmarks and standards for the post-2015 agenda of SDGs.

Since the adoption of MDGs, the world has become far more integrated and complex. The post 2015 vision of SDGs is far more ambitious and calls for leaving no one behind. The UN Secretary General's report 'The road to dignity by 2030: ending poverty, transforming all lives and protecting the planet' issued in December for Member States deliberations, calls upon all "to rise to the challenge with a truly transformative agenda that is both universal and adaptable to the conditions of each country, and that places people and the planet at the centre."

The report recommends adoption of 17 SDGs proposed by the Open Working Group, comprised of 70 member states including Viet Nam. The proposed goals range from eradicating hunger and poverty, to achieving equitable and sustained growth and development, to protecting the environment and promoting peaceful and inclusive societies.

In addition to Government leadership, much broader and more inclusive partnerships with civil society and the private sector and new ways to collaborate with international partners will be important for implementing the SDGs. As highlighted in the recent Hanoi Declaration of the 132nd IPU Assembly, endorsed on 1 April 2015, parliaments will also have to play a much more active role in holding governments to account, to make sure that enabling laws are passed and budget allocations prioritised for the implementation of SDGs.

Implementing SDGs will also require strong inter-sectoral coordination and significant investments. For Viet Nam it will be important to integrate the SDGs into the Socio-Economic Development Plan and sectoral plans as well as into the medium-term expenditure framework.

An effective financing framework for sustainable development will be at the centre of discussions at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development organized by the UN. Such a framework will need to include international public finance beyond ODA and a much stronger contribution from private sector and other innovative financing sources. Funding will need to be stepped up for investments in many areas, including climate change mitigation and adaptation, conservation of biodiversity, science, infrastructure, innovation and new technologies.

Mobilising and using domestic resources effectively in support of nationally owned sustainable development strategies will have to be central to this effort. This is particularly the case in middle income countries like Viet Nam who will need to increasingly rely on non-ODA and grant financing. A robust national discussion in Vietnam on alternative development financing will be crucial. This could include strengthening budget and planning processes to ensure more effective use of development finance, a greater role for public private partnerships and ensuring greater linkages between foreign direct investment and the domestic economy. Such a discussion could also inform Viet Nam's contributions to the International Conference on Financing for Development Conference in Addis in July this year as well as in shaping national development plans and budgets.

We hope that today's event will contribute in such discussions. Once again I warmly welcome you all.

Xin cam on!