UN chief urges change in resource consumption patterns for sustainable development

13 May 2011
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (C) addresses ministerial dialogue on "Moving towards Sustainable Development Expectations"

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today stressed the need for fundamental changes in humanity’s resource consumption patterns and values, saying the planet’s natural environment is under unprecedented pressure with far-reaching social and economic consequences.

“Our vision must be clear; a sustainable green economy that protects the health of the environment while supporting achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through growth in income, decent work and poverty eradication,” Mr. Ban told the high-level segment of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, whose current session is due to end later today.

“Equity, not only within societies but globally, will need to become more fully integrated into our institutions and our policies,” said the Secretary-General.

This year’s high-level segment of the Commission focused on a number of critical issues, including chemicals, mining, transport and waste. It also considered a 10-year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns.

“We must also create an enhanced architecture for sustainable development governance at the national, regional and international levels. This is critical to advancing sustainable development. Our watchwords must be ‘implementation’ and ‘action’,” said Mr. Ban.

Government ministers from about 50 countries are attending the segment, which was 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.

The Secretary-General said the initiative and energy generated during the current session of the Commission, the final one before Rio+20, provides both direction and momentum for the way forward.

“You have the full support of the UN system as you embark on the next important leg of the journey to Rio and beyond,” added Mr. Ban.


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