21 September 2010
New York, New York
CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY
Thank you very much. Co-chairs, Mr. Secretary-General, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, The Millennium Development Goals set benchmarks that enable us to measure our collective progress towards building a better future for those most in need. They eloquently express a conviction that nations must act together for the good of all. Written goals are a good start, but it is our actions that really matter.
When we speak of the Millennium Development Goals, it will be critical that our words here today ultimately translate into simple realities like food on the table, improved health and a better life for children around the world. Together, we must keep our promises and work towards practical, durable solutions.
At this Summit, our discussions should be less about new agreements than accountability for existing ones. Less about lofty promises than real results. Less about narrow self-interest in sovereignty’s name, than an expanded view of mutual-interest in which there is room for all to grow and prosper.
As we move forward, we must also develop and sustain this shared sense of responsibility. And we must demonstrate that responsibility by being accountable. Canada has a clear, open and transparent record. And we are proud of what
we have accomplished.
After last year’s G8 Summit, we doubled support for agriculture development.
We now have a comprehensive food strategy that commits us to concrete action. We’ve untied the strings that used to be attached to food aid. We doubled international assistance. We’ve doubled aid to Africa. And we have forgiven more than $1 billion in debt owed by the poorest countries in the world.
Most important, we have established clear priorities for aid. We are focussing on three priorities: food security, children and youth, and economic development, so that we can ensure our aid dollars are used more efficiently. In turn, that means a more focussed and effective effort in reaching the Millennium Development Goals.
As host of this year’s G-8 Summit, Canada introduced a new tool to measure aid effectiveness. For the first time, an aid accountability report was presented to G-8 leaders. Leaders agreed to this, because we all know it’s not enough for nations to make promises. We must get results. We must all be held accountable. And people in the developing world must see that we deliver on our word.
Ten years after the Millennium Development Goals were written, much remains to be done. Especially when it comes to reducing child mortality and improving maternal health. Goals number four and five, to be exact. It is a sad reality that each year hundreds of thousands of mothers die in pregnancy and nearly nine million children die before their fifth birthday. It does not have to be this way.
Progress is possible. But only if we are all willing to take collective action. At this year’s G-8 Summit, together, leaders agreed to enact the Muskoka Initiative for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. We are mobilizing support from G-8 and non-G-8 leaders, key donors and private foundations. Together, it is anticipated that we will mobilize more than $10 billion over five years.
The Muskoka Initiative will save millions of lives and make a significant,
tangible difference to the world’s most vulnerable people. And to make that real difference in the lives of vulnerable people has been the purpose of the Muskoka Initiative.
Accountability for results will be an integral part of the plan.
Our rigorous accountability framework will make it possible to measure progress, monitor results and ensure that funds intended for aid really contribute to a reduction in the mortality of mothers and children on a lasting basis. By working together, and tracking our results, we really can save millions of lives.
To that end, I am further pleased to announce that Canada will continue to contribute to the struggle against some of the world’s great killer diseases. We will be increasing our replenishment of the UN Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, for the years 2011 to 2013.
In closing, we donor nations must deliver on our commitments. As we work toward
the Millennium Development Goals, we must be focussed, we must be pragmatic, and above all, we must be accountable. If we stay the course, then, and only then,
will we see results, measurable improvements like better nutrition, healthier children and longer lives.
Thank you very much.