Launch of the Global Transformational Forum 2015

Apr 10, 2015

Yang Berhormat Senator Dato’ Sri Idris Jala, Minister in The Prime Minister’s Department and the Chief Executive Officer of the Performance and Management Delivery Unit (Pemandu),

Yang Berhormat Dato’ Hamzah Zainuddin, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia,

Excellencies and Members of the Diplomatic Corp,

Distinguished Guests.

A very good afternoon.

It gives me great pleasure to participate in this joint briefing and to be a strategic partner with Government for this Inaugural Global Transformation Forum which Malaysia will organise and host in October 2015.

Malaysia’s hosting of this global forum will come almost immediately after the adoption of the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (or SDGs) at the United Nations Summit, which is set to take place from the 25th  to 27th of September 2015 at UN Headquarters in New York. The GTF is indeed momentous timing; and with its theme of “Operationalising Transformation: Shifting Dialogue to Effective Action”, it provides a unique opportunity, right at the outset, for a global dialogue on the concrete and measurable actions countries can take to deliver on the SDGs over a period of fifteen years beginning 2016.  It gets the global community going right out of the starting blocks and I am certain will not only give a clear message on the importance of an early start, but also of a steady and consistent effort to ensure we achieve the goals by 2030.

The post-2015 development agenda this time around is both more expansive and ambitious in its commitments.  It sets an agenda for developed and developing countries alike – in keeping with its key principle of being “universal in nature”, as Governments recognise, through the SDGs, that the overarching objectives and essential requirements for sustainable development can only be achieved by universal effort.  Poverty reduction, changing unsustainable and promoting sustainable patterns of consumption and production and protecting and managing the resource base of economic and social development, and doing so in a way that is just, equitable and inclusive and that puts people in the centre, is our collective work.

Developing countries for certain want to make tangible progress and achieve Big and Fast Results that positively impact the lives of their citizens, as Malaysia has over the years, even as Malaysia continues to press ahead with its own ambitious development agenda. UNDP fully supports this effort of Malaysia to offer a forum where countries can come together to find practical and concrete ways to tackle challenges and achieve progress on the SDGs and its indicator framework to be defined and adopted in September this year.   With our experience in monitoring MDG progress and developing methodologies and mechanisms for the acceleration of the fulfilment of MDGs in nations across the world, UNDP stands ready to continue our support to the efforts of Governments and other national stakeholders of development as we move forward to 2030.

Distinguished guests,


The Sustainable Development Goals will continue the commitment and effort of countries, which received an unprecedented push through the landmark decision of heads of state and government 15 years ago on the Millennium Development Goals.   The MDGs enabled an extraordinary global development movement to create an inclusive, resilient and sustainable world for all its people and reaffirmed the collective responsibility to uphold the principles of human dignity, equality and equity, especially for the most vulnerable.

Reviewing the global MDG score card, it is heartening to note that real and tangible progress has taken place around the world. We have undoubtedly improved the lives of many - under the MDG framework, yet much more remains to be done and the pace accelerated.

For instance, while we have seen the rates of those living under USD$1.25 a day cut in half since 1990; one in eight people around the world remain hungry and 1.4 billion people still live in extreme poverty. Inequality is growing everywhere and human rights are being undermined in the world’s most fragile and conflict affected countries while the world economy continues to falter. We have succeeded in ensuring near universal access for primary education. Nonetheless, 58 million children still remain out of school. We have gained much ground in promoting gender equality and empowering women. However, women still face discrimination in many countries in terms of access to education and jobs, and participation in decision making. And climate variability and change threatens to destroy the lives and livelihoods of millions and affect the progress we have made so far.

2) Post 2015 Development Agenda and National Consultations

The MDGs have demonstrated that tangible results are possible through clear priorities, concerted effort, focused national and global action and partnerships; and that citizen participation, particularly of citizens from excluded groups, and effective monitoring will help ensure accountability for results.

It is for this reason that, through the leadership of the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the UN embarked upon an unprecedented, and possibly the most inclusive and participatory development planning methodology ever employed to inform Governments’ efforts in developing the Post-2015 development agenda.

Since late 2012, UNDP and the broader UN development system have reached out to the world’s citizens for input into the post-2015 agenda, supporting large-scale consultations through more than 100 national dialogues, including those on the means of implementation, eleven major thematic consultations, and an ambitious social media platform and with over seven (7) million people participating in the World We Want survey to date.

The cross-cutting messages from this global dialogue are:

1) First, on Participation - that making the world a better place requires people’s engagement:

·        People want to be full partners in the implementation of an agenda that directly affects their lives. They are not passive recipients but active agents of change.

·        The dialogues have underlined that while there is an intrinsic value to people being empowered and claiming their right to be heard, their participation and ownership is also essential to achieve successful and sustainable development outcomes.

2) Second, Inclusion – whereby, a universal agenda means engaging all people at the local level:

·        The thirst for continued participation and engagement is closely linked to a second message on the importance of including all stakeholders, recognizing the heterogeneity that exists at all levels: among people, civil society, local government and the private sector.

3) Third, Capacities are the fuel of implementation:

·        The emerging development agenda looks set to encompass a set of goals that are more complex, transformative, interdependent and universally applicable than the MDGs.

·        If the implementation of this kind of agenda is to be successful, capacities are at the core.

·        The fourth message is about the importance of creating multi-stakeholder partnerships for the implementation of the post-2015 agenda.

·        If constructed carefully, multi-stakeholder partnerships can facilitate participation and voluntary engagement and draw on the assets and strengths of different actors.

Indeed, these messages came through loud and clear in Malaysia’s own national consultations in 2014.

4) Global Transformation Forum

So with an expanded, more ambitious, complex and interdependent agenda, Malaysia’s hosting of the Global Transformation Forum sets us immediately on the right course.  A transformative agenda, in each country, to deliver meaningful results for people calls for early collaboration and partnerships, exchange of experiences and innovation, and UNDP is proud to be a strategic partner with the government of Malaysia, through Pemandu, on its inaugural Global Transformation Forum 2015 and pleased that the Government has chosen to focus this inaugural GTF on the operationalising transformation and within the context of the sustainable development goals.

We congratulate the government of Malaysia for creating and hosting this global platform for national leaders, senior policymakers, think-tanks, civil society and the private sector to discuss and foster collective discourse on innovative best practices and visionary leadership to effectively drive achievement of the new development agenda.

Thank you very much and on behalf of UNDP, we look forward to the active participation of representatives from your countries in this global dialogue as we chart out a world and a future that is inclusive, sustainable and resilient for all.



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