To The Ministerial Interactive Discussion: Strengthening Country Level Implementation (CSD-19)

Statement by Mr. Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Secretary-General of the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainalbe Development

Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am very pleased to be part of this interactive ministerial discussion on strengthening country level implementation.

Country level implementation is at the heart of the sustainable development agenda. The Rio Summit in 1992 recognised that progress toward sustainable development requires concerted and collective efforts by all stakeholders, working together, and supporting each other’s work. Then, the Johannesburg Summit in 2002 brought wider recognition to the need for accelerating implementation at the country-level. It also drew attention to the need for improved monitoring of progress toward compliance with international commitments.

Implementation of Agenda 21, the MDGs and other international agreements have all had their successes and their challenges. Although scaling up of successful practices has been noted as the best way to accelerate implementation, evidence shows that this path has not been pursued aggressively.

Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

How can we address the challenges we face? One thing is clear. We can only do it through collective and coordinated action. A first step in this direction will be to benefit from lessons learned and experiences gained. This will help us shape our future course of action.

From the UN perspective, we will continue to promote broad UN system action and, to that end, efforts will be geared toward mainstreaming CSD decisions in all relevant programmes of UN system departments, funds, programmes and specialized agencies.

The ultimate aim is to have a coherent and integrated UN response to address the challenges facing sustainable development.

UN Country teams have a unique comparative advantage in advocacy, capacity development, policy advice and programming for the achievement of national priorities related to sustainable development. These teams need to make conscious efforts to integrate CSD decisions into their country assistance strategies.

At the national level, we must also seek better institutional arrangements to implement the sustainable development agenda. Sustainable development covers many areas, ranging from economics to social and environmental issues. Therefore, in addition to strengthening coordination among national institutions, implementation of sustainable development requires these institutions to be more inclusive and participatory.

Hopefully, Rio+20 Conference will yield a proper institutional framework for sustainable development at global, regional and national levels.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This session is called “Straight Talk” due to its informal nature. It is intended to allow for an open and frank exchange of views among Ministers and Heads of delegations.

Let us speak about what has worked and what has not worked for us. Let us share why we have succeeded in some areas and not in others. And let us also share new and creative ideas for the future.

I look forward to your highly useful input into the ongoing process of translating international agreements into results at the country level.

Thank you.

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