To the Sub-Regional preparatory meeting of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development

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


Mr. Chairman,
Distinguished representatives,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a pleasure to address the distinguished participants of this Sub-regional Preparatory Meeting for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Rio+20.

I wish to extend my special appreciation to the Host Government and to our partner organizations – who have jointly organized this meeting.

Effective preparation for Rio + 20 will depend – first and foremost – on the national and regional preparations that feed into the global process.

To this end, a guidance note has been issued to UN Country Teams to work with their country partners and civil society. This note is posted on the UNCSD website.

The SIDS sub-regional PrepComs provide important opportunities for delegations to articulate their views. This includes first at the sub-regional level and then at the inter-regional level.

The outcome of this meeting will contribute to the Regional PrepCom scheduled later in the year, as well as to the SIDS Inter-regional preparatory meeting that is planned for 23 September in New York.

During the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, the specific issues of SIDS were captured in chapter 17 of Agenda 21. This recognized the unique challenges SIDS face in implementing sustainable development.

Recent global crises – arising from climate change and sea level rise increasing energy costs and the global recession contribute to the vulnerabilities of SIDS.

Many of these special challenges were captured in the five-year review process of the Mauritius Strategy of Implementation undertaken last year. I congratulate all stakeholders involved in the MSI+5 process.

I am pleased to reassure you that the key issues affecting the sustainable development of SIDS will be taken into account throughout the UNCSD process.

The themes of Rio + 20 are especially relevant for SIDS. For example, green economy may hold the key to sustainable development in SIDS.

Look at, for example:

Actions in these areas can build economic and environmental resilience…and address job creation and poverty reduction.

At the same time, I realize that the blue agenda – oceans, fisheries and other marine resources – is of particular significance to SIDS.

In regards to institutional framework for sustainable development – we may want to consider a few questions:

The significance of this meeting cannot be overemphasized.

For Rio + 20 to reach shared and actionable outcomes, we must address the concerns of all in particular developing and vulnerable countries, such as SIDS.

I look forward to a fruitful and constructive discussion.

Thank you.