Towards 2015: Open Dialogue with the High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda
Minister Gemba's Remarks

September 25, 2012

Opening remarks

Distinguished delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am Koichiro Gemba, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan. On behalf of the co-organizers, I welcome every one of you to this Side Event on the post-2015 development agenda.

Last year, Miss Helen Clark of UNDP and I held a Side Event on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), urging the acceleration of international efforts toward their achievement.

Our efforts towards the achievement of the MDGs are as important as ever. Yet the time has come to make full-fledged discussions on the world beyond 2015. I commend the leadership of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to establish the High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

This Side Event aims at promoting open dialogue among members of the High-level Panel and various stakeholders including NGOs, research institutes, private foundations and the youth. I hope that this event will facilitate an inclusive process to establish the post-2015 framework and that lively discussions will unfold in the next one and half hours.

Introduction of discussion at Contact Group

Let me take this opportunity to introduce to you the discussions of an informal policy dialogue group on the post-MDGs, which Japan has been leading.

The Contact Group has held four meetings so far and deepened discussions on challenges and major issues over the post-MDGs. The fruit of these informal discussions has been materialized in a tentative Chair's note, which I hope will facilitate discussions of the High-level Panel. The executive summary of the note is distributed to you. I hope you find it helpful.

I would like to share with you the findings of the Contact Group as much as our time allows.

First, the new framework should be established through an inclusive process anchored on a broad partnership. We need to gather the will and power of not only traditional donors and international organizations but also various stakeholders, including emerging countries, local governments, civil society and the private sector. I call this a “full-cast" force for development. This Side Event is an expression of my strong wish for combining such a “full-cast" force.

Second, the post-MDGs should build on the strengths of the current MDGs. We should aim at a set of goals, targets and indicators which are simple, clear and easy to understand. They should also be measureable so that we can learn the degree of achievement. The post-MDGs should also continue to focus on poverty reduction as well as social and human development, which are morally persuasive.

Third, the post-MDGs should be able to address emerging challenges. In particular, important challenges are: growth and employment; equity and equality; disaster reduction; and environment and sustainability. I would like to underscore that growth generates wealth which can in turn be used for development and that disaster reduction can safeguard the fruit of development efforts.

Fourth, there exist some important guiding principles in establishing the post-MDGs. Human security, equity, sustainability and resilience are four critical concepts which can be applied to a broad range of issues.

Establishing the post-MDGs requires a whole-scale discussion on realizing the future we want for all. There are numerous points I would like to touch upon, but let us continue with our schedule.

Summary and closing ceremony

On behalf of the co-organizers, I thank all of you, for the very intense and productive discussions. The atmosphere, the heat of this room demonstrates the strong expectations of the international community towards the post-2015 development framework.

This Side Event aimed at providing an opportunity to hold an open dialogue among various stakeholders. In today's discussion, a number of crucial factors for the post-2015 development were presented. They include poverty eradication, global environment and sustainability, women's roles and empowerment, views of the youth, and the role of the private sector and civil society.

These are extremely broad set of issues. I renewed my conviction that discussing the post-2015 development agenda equals discussing the future of this world, a truly significant topic. How can we translate these wide-ranging issues into a set of goals which are simple and clear? How can we galvanize global efforts to achieve such goals? These are the tasks before us.

I understand that the members of the High-level Panel will hold their first meeting this evening. I sincerely hope that the Panel members will fully take into account the dialogue at this Side Event and strive for meaningful post-MDGs fully exploiting their experience and expertise. Let us continue to join our hands for the establishment of the post-2015 development framework and a better future.

Thank you very much.

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