Sustainable development will be critical to achieving long-term progress, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told foreign ministers from Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries in Europe and the Americas today in New York.
“Advancing economic growth, lifting people out of poverty, protecting the environment are one and the same cause,” he said in a message delivered by Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Alicia Bárcena.
“We must connect the dots between climate change, water scarcity, energy shortages, international crime prevention, global health, food security and women’s empowerment. If we do this, solutions to one problem can become solutions for all,” he said.
Mr. Ban said that today’s challenges require governments to engage more dynamically with their citizens on long-term goals, and this required them to operate more transparently and to forge links with social actors.
He also talked about the upcoming Ibero-American Summit, which will be held next month in Asunción, Paraguay, and welcomed its theme – the links between transformation and development.
“By focusing on the kind of State required to strengthen the region’s development prospects, you are building on the significant progress you have made towards democracy and more inclusive societies,” he said.