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Ahead of key forum, UN agency urges global commitment to sustainable development

Ahead of key forum, UN agency urges global commitment to sustainable development

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today urged world leaders attending the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development to arrive at an agreement that demonstrated their commitment to helping overcome poverty while protecting the planet for future generations.

"Since the poor suffer most from the degradation of their land, air, water and biological resources, we must address these critical links between poverty, environment and energy that will make or break our efforts to achieve sustainable development and the [UN Millennium Development Goals]," said UNDP Administrator Mark Malloch Brown.

UNDP said its Capacity 2015 programme aimed to help developing countries and countries in transition build their capacities to implement Agenda 21, the blueprint for sustainable development that the Johannesburg Summit seeks to revitalize, and achieve the Goals at the local level.

Among the activities the agency has scheduled for the Summit, which opens on Monday in Johannesburg, South Africa, is the UNDP Partnerships Initiatives. The programme will explore communities' role in sustainable development and launch a series of new UNDP-led strategic partnerships that cut across the Summit framework issues of water, energy, health, agriculture and biodiversity.

Sweden, France and UNDP will also launch the International Task Force on Global Public Goods to help clarify the concept and make recommendations to policy makers and other stakeholders on how to provide for and finance them.

Meanwhile, an interactive panel will provide recommendations on improving water governance, a crucial global issue for improving health and productivity and reducing poverty. UNDP Goodwill Ambassador and Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer is scheduled to participate.