The Second Preparatory Meeting of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development

Remarks by Mr. Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Secretary-General of The 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development

Thank you, Ambassador Park.

Distinguished Delegates,

Thank you for your active participation during the past two days.

I am especially pleased with the high level of engagement by the wide cross-section of stakeholders, including governments, representatives of the major groups, intergovernmental organizations and agencies of the UN system.

I believe that together we are making measured progress towards the objective of the Conference.

But the journey ahead remains arduous.

Over the past two days, we had a very rich discussion on how a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication has the potential to benefit all.

Many highlighted win-win options. A number of countries showed that a green economy can create jobs. It can improve efficiencies in resource use. And it can help restore the ecosystems, while at the same time preserve the welfare of the poor.

And we received a clear message on the importance of the sectors which should receive priority in implementing green policies.

We also heard the concerns over the costs of transition to a green economy and the need for financial, technological and capacity-building support. And we heard calls for a green economy roadmap.

The challenge in the remainder of this process will be to identify the key elements of this roadmap and forge consensus on the principles that guide its implementation.

The discussions on institutional framework for sustainable development were equally broad-ranging. Delegations stressed the need for coming to grips with the fragmentation and duplication in international environmental governance, and the need for strengthening coherence in the institutional framework for sustainable development.

A variety of options for strengthening sustainable development governance have emerged from the discussion. These options will provide an important basis for further consideration as we move ahead in the preparatory process.

Indeed, in coming months, we have far more work to do.

I urge all stakeholders to keep the core objectives of this review process in focus.

In the coming months, the preparatory process will pick up its pace. In addition to the regional PrepComs, several countries will host important preparatory meetings on the objective and themes of the conference.

National preparations in the form of multi-stakeholder consultations will begin. The Bureau will also initiate a process for the preparation of the outcome document.

For countries that have not done so, I would like to reiterate the invitation to continue sending us responses to the questionnaires you received regarding inputs for the synthesis report. Your responses will allow us to present you with an updated synthesis report at the next intersessional meeting.

Finally, I wish to thank you once again for your commendable participation during this second PrepCom. Your continuing engagement and contributions will be critical to a successful outcome of the Conference.

I look forward to seeing you at the next intersessional in mid-December.

Before I conclude, I wish to reiterate my earlier statement on finances needed for the preparatory process. As Secretary General of the Conference, I wish to ensure that developing countries and major groups are fully involved in the preparatory process, here in New York, in their national contexts, and in expert meetings. We need resources for this, and I would like to call upon all countries in a potision to do so to provide the required support.

Major Groups are a key partner in sustainable development. We look forward to and welcome your participation. CSD rules cover all the preparatory process, including PrepComs, informals… you have the full right of participation.

I wish to express my sincere appreciation to all those who worked tirelessly to make this event a success, the interpreters, the security staff, the UN colleagues, the members of the Bureau, and of course my team.

I also wish to express a special apology to the UN agencies and Major Groups. The room was so full that you could often not get a chair or a microphone. As Secretary General of the Conference, I take full responsibility.

But please remember my friends, that it was your enthusiasm and your commitment that filled the room to capacity.

I hope when you go back from here, you will remember the enthusiasm but not the frustration.

I thank you.