Ban urges balance between global resource use and environmental impact

11 May 2011

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged the world to must find ways to bring global resource consumption and the resulting environmental impact within safe limits and called for international cooperation in the effort to achieve sustainable development.

“At the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, participants recognized that unsustainable consumption and production patterns form the biggest threat to the Earth’s capacity to satisfy human needs,” Mr. Ban told the opening of the high-level segment of the current session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development.

“A decade later, in Johannesburg, Member States endorsed a framework to support national and regional efforts to promote sustainable consumption and production. Yet, the challenge continues to loom large,” the Secretary-General said in a message to the session, delivered on his behalf by Sha Zukang, the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs.

He said this year’s high-level segment of the Commission will focus on a number of critical issues, including chemicals, mining, transport and waste. It will also consider a 10-year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns.

“The sustainable consumption and production agenda should be viewed as a strategic priority that is embedded in an appropriate institutional framework,” Mr. Ban added.

The need for the 10-year framework was agreed upon at the high-level meeting in Panama earlier this year, Mr. Ban said, encouraging the Commission to “mount a concerted response, conclude negotiations on just such a framework, and launch it without delay.”

“This would be an important contribution to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio [de Janeiro] next year,” he added.

Government ministers from about 50 countries are attending the high-level segment, which is designed to give impetus to preparations for the Fourth UN Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20, which will be held in the Brazilian city in June 2012.

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