21 April 2015
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am very glad we could all meet here today.
The torch that has been travelling the world to mark the International Year of Evaluation has now made its way to Vienna for this event.
It is a well-chosen symbol, as rigorous evaluation seeks to shed light on what we do, and can help to tell us what works and what needs to be fixed, and how we can do better in future.
By increasing transparency, and enhancing learning and critical thinking, evaluation can empower people, and in this way support positive change.
This year, we are marking the 70th anniversary of the United Nations. The international community is coming together to agree a transformative post-2015 development agenda.
It is also fitting that 2015 is the first-ever International Year of Evaluation, because the 70th anniversary of our Organization is an opportunity for reflection.
It is a chance to renew our sense of purpose and shore up our efforts to promote peace, security, the rule of law and development.
By supporting accountability and continuous improvement, evaluation can help us deliver on the promises of the UN Charter.
Evaluation can also play a critical role in supporting the international community's efforts to build sustainable development.
As UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said, the Millennium Development Goals were not adequately supported by sufficient monitoring and evaluation, and we must not make the same mistake with the Sustainable Development Goals.
Evaluation can help ensure genuine national ownership of a post-2015 development agenda with clear, meaningful targets that can be agreed globally, and customized at the national level.
GA Resolution 69/237, which established the Year of Evaluation, emphasizes the importance of strengthening capacity building for the evaluation of development activities at the country level.
By strengthening such capacities, we can promote a clear understanding of what development outcomes are being pursued at the national and local level, which in turn can inform responsive, effective policies and programmes to achieve the desired results, and enable us to monitor progress.
Moreover, by integrating these endeavours and asking the same questions across all countries, we can make connections between global, regional and national-level evaluation efforts and reach a holistic understanding of the impact of the new development agenda.
In short, evaluation can help us to provide clarity in a complex, inter-connected world.
This applies not only to national development strategies but our own work.
As part of integrated UN system efforts, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime stands ready to support implementation of a post-2015 development agenda that promotes health, security, justice and the rule of law, while addressing the factors that undermine them, namely crime, drugs, terrorism and corruption.
In my role as Executive Director of UNODC, I have made a rigorous evaluation plan, here at headquarters and in the field, a top priority.
All our projects and programmes undergo an independent evaluation, and we have already seen the benefits of this in our work.
Ladies and gentlemen,
In order to effectively support States in implementing the post-2015 development agenda, and its attendant follow-up and review framework, the international community must come together to ensure integrated strategies and comprehensive support.
I am therefore pleased that through this event we are reaching out, and building new alliances and partnerships to strengthen evaluation.
Coordination and cooperation are essential.
This high-level panel can help to address these key questions, and ensure that the full potential of evaluation is harnessed as a force for development, contributing to the improvement of peoples' lives everywhere.
I look forward to the results of the discussion. Thank you.