UN Economic and Social Council launches online forum on sustainable development

20 September 2012 – The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) has launched a global online forum where audiences can ask questions of Government officials from around the world on the steps needed to address challenges on sustainable development issues.

The forum, which is being conducted through various social media platforms, seeks to provide people with the opportunity to be part of ECOSOC’s Special Ministerial Meeting on Monday, which will focus on making progress on the issues discussed at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Brazil in June.

Selected questions from the forum, which has theme of “Building the Future We Want”, will be answered by experts during an interactive dialogue at the Meeting, which will also be broadcast live from UN Headquarters in New York.

Some 100 Heads of State and government, along with thousands of representatives from non-governmental organizations, the private sector and civil society attended Rio+20, all seeking to help shape new policies to promote global prosperity, reduce poverty and advance social equity and environmental protection.

The event’s outcome document, entitled “The Future We Want,” called for a wide range of actions, including beginning the process to establish sustainable development goals; detailing how the green economy can be used as a tool to achieve sustainable development; strengthening the UN Environment Programme (UNEP); promoting corporate sustainability reporting measures; taking steps to go beyond gross domestic product to assess the well-being of a country; developing a strategy for sustainable development financing; and, adopting a framework for tackling sustainable consumption and production.

It also focuses on improving gender equity; recognizing the importance of voluntary commitments on sustainable development; and stressing the need to engage civil society and incorporate science into policy; among other points.

“In Rio, governments renewed and strengthened political commitment to sustainable development. They provided a foundation for building the future we want,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told ECOSOC members during the Council’s recent high-level segment. “We need an agenda that is concrete, action-oriented and focused on poverty eradication, inclusive economic and social development, environmental sustainability and peace and security for all.”


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