Countdown to Rio+20 featuring Rio the Movie

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

Madame Maria Teresa Mesquita Pessoa,
Director Carolos Saldanha,
Friends and Colleagues,

It is a pleasure for me to welcome Madame Maria Teresa Mesquita Pessoa, Minister Plenipotentiary in the Permanent Mission of Brazil and Director Carlos Saldanha to this special screening of the movie, Rio.

As you know, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20, will be held in Rio in June 2012. We were very pleased to host this screening, along with the Permanent Mission of Brazil, to mark the one-year countdown to Rio+20.

Earlier this month, I was in Rio de Janeiro, where the Mayor hosted a kickoff ceremony marking the countdown. While there, I also met with the President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, and other Brazilian officials. I can assure you that Brazil is just as committed to making Rio+20 a resounding success as we are at the UN.

Rio de Janeiro hosted the 1992 Earth Summit. That Summit changed the world. It launched the world on the journey toward sustainable development.

Rio+20 will generate political will and momentum to ensure that we stay on track in our shared pursuit of sustainable development.

The film we are showing tonight tells us a lot about sustainable development.

It conveys many of the sustainable development messages that will be highlighted at Rio+20.

I don’t want to give away the plot. But you will notice environmental, social and economic issues treated in an integrated, holistic way. In fact, Mr. Saldanha and his colleagues have created a highly entertaining film that follows the UN approach for sustainable development.

We congratulate them on their fine work.

One other point — and I will be brief. Youth are essential for achieving sustainable development goals. This film, with its youthful appeal, is very appropriate to mark the one-year countdown to Rio+20. We need young people engaged in these issues and we are happy to see so many here this evening.

With our co-host, Maria Teresa, let me thank the Director, Mr. Carlos Saldanha for taking the time to join us. We appreciate 20th Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios for allowing us to screen the movie on the UN premises.

Please enjoy the movie! Thank you!