Press Releases

    For information only - not an official document

    UNIS/SGSM/575
    3 November 2014

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

    Remarks at Ribbon-cutting at Sustainable Energy for All Office

     3 November 2014

    VIENNA, 3 November (UN Information Service) - Thank you very much for your support for this Sustainable Energy for All Initiative.

    You are already fully engaged in the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative by launching [it] in 2011.  I did launch it on the firm condition that without energy, nothing can be done.

    We cannot promote any Millennium Development Goals, or Sustainable Development Goals or climate change. This is what we call a cross-cutting issue and this affects the whole spectrum of our life and it very much depends on the strong leadership and vision, global vision of Kandeh Yumkella.

    This initiative has got the most extensive and strongest support from Member States and business communities and civil society. It is possible because everybody believes that without electricity, without energy, we cannot be anything. We cannot promote however lofty goals, however ambitious goals we might have, in promoting and implementing all the challenges.

    I highly commend the leadership of  Mr. Yumkella and I would like to take this opportunity to highly appreciate the very generous support of the Austrian government. This time again, the Austrian government and people have shown such a great commitment and engagement and generosity by providing this office.

    This may be a small office compared with some other offices, but I can tell you that this small office will generate huge, dynamic power and energy. I am already feeling energy coming from the office. This energy should be turned into all our goals and objectives.

    First implementing the Millennium Development Goals next year, and shaping development agenda, future development agenda in the name of Sustainable Development Goals and finally, by the end of December next year, we have to have global, legal documents, an agreement on climate change.

    Those are the three priorities. Without the support and without the contribution of energy, we cannot achieve [them]. I have launched many initiatives, on energy, maternal mortality, zero hunger, health, malaria etc etc. but two initiatives have got the most support: Every woman, every child and Sustainable Energy for All. Because they know that without the health of women and girls we cannot fully materialize the potential of half of the population. Without energy, we cannot do anything in our life. This is a firm belief.

    I come from South Korea. When I was a young boy and until I grew up to become a college freshman, I lived in darkness, as 1.4 billion people in the developing world are still living in darkness. That's why I am much more committed, much more aware of the importance of this.

    We have three priorities in the Sustainable Energy for All. First, we have to provide energy access to everybody in the world by 2030. That is recognized by the Member States. Second, we have to double the energy efficiency. I am very happy again and grateful to the Austrian government for supporting this energy efficiency hub at the United Nations. This one is a very important one.

    And thirdly, we have to redouble the use of renewable energy in the global energy mix. These are three priorities which the Sustainable Energy [initiative] is promoting. I think it is ambitious, it is doable, it is achievable if we work together.

    And let us work together, ladies and gentlemen, with strong engagement and commitment to make this world better. And let us light our world, let us give light to all the people so that nobody should be left behind.

    I thank you very much and I wish you all the best.

    Thank you.

    * *** *