New York, 24 September 2013

Distinguished MDGs Advocates;

Ladies and Gentlemen;

In less than two years, we will reach the target date for the Millennium Development Goals. And while a lot has been achieved, the world is bound to come up short.

Although the scorecard across the world has mixed results, there is no doubt the MDGs have already made a big difference in the lives of people in developing countries.

Advocates therefore have a greater challenge, to accelerate the mobilisation and deployment of resources towards meeting the MDGs.

I am honoured to also co-chair the UN Broadband Commission for Digital Development, whose agenda is to leverage the power of ICTs in to speed up achievement of the MDGs.

There is no doubt that broadband is empowering, allowing even the least sophisticated, to access critical networks of knowledge and information.

The emerging global divide in broadband infrastructure and services, poses the biggest risk of reversing the gains of MDGs, as some countries become excluded from the modern digital economy.

MDG advocates should not allow progress made against absolute poverty to be lost to information poverty, as pockets of communities are left out because connectivity infrastructure is either absent, limited or too expensive.

Over the last decade, we have observed that MDGs have been reached in countries with inclusive and accountable governance.

They have however been delayed, where the MDGs were outside a domestic development agenda and not locally owned.

And so the relevance and sustainability of development programmes can only be guaranteed by a nationally-driven process.

It is evident that we can achieve greater effectiveness when there is meaningful partnership between governments, development partners and the private sector.

Clearly there is still work to do, and the legacy of the MDGs will be the results gained over the remaining 800 days. We must therefore be innovative and remain focused on solutions that empower communities and countries to take charge of their future.

The collective commitment and creative capacity of the advocates in this room, gives me confidence that we can still make significant progress in our MDG aspirations.

Thank you for your kind attention.