New UN facility on sustainable development opens in Republic of Korea

Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

19 October 2011 – A new United Nations research and training facility designed to help poorer countries pursue sustainable development to accelerate economic growth while improving the quality of life and protecting the environment was inaugurated today in the Republic of Korea.

The UN Office for Sustainable Development, a joint effort of the UN, the Republic of Korea’s environment ministry, the city of Incheon and Yonsei University, was opened at a ceremony in Seoul, the country’s capital. It is based at the university in Incheon.

“The establishment of the UN Office for Sustainable Development 20 years after [The new office] will contribute to advancing the implementation of the outcomes of the Rio+20 Conference.the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development underscores the fact that the world’s commitment for sustainable development is as strong as ever,” said Sha Zukang, the Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), to be held in Brazil in June next year.

The Office will be managed by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and will serve as a training and research institution, and a centre for pooling sustainable development knowledge and making it usable and accessible through a knowledge portal that will integrate the three pillars of sustainable development – economic growth, improving the quality of life, and protecting the environment.

Mr. Sha said that in the short term, the new office will support developing countries and major groups in their preparations for the Rio+20 Conference, while in the longer term, “it will contribute to advancing the implementation of the outcomes of the Rio+20 Conference.”

The centre will also organize training programmes for national representatives and major groups from developing countries to advance the sustainable development agenda. In addition, it will undertake policy research and seek synergies through mobilizing sustainable development research institutions and universities.


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