Dialogue with the Regional Commissions

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

Dear Colleagues,

Let me start by saying how grateful I am to the Regional Commissions for their active participation in the Rio+20 preparatory process.

I look forward to your contributions on all issues, including ECLAC’s planned paper on progress and gaps in implementation.

Thank you also for the collective input you provided to the secretariat study on the institutional framework for sustainable development. I am confident that this study will help inform governments about how to strengthen sustainable development governance at all levels – national, regional, and global.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Rio+20 depends on your insight. It must benefit from your experience and resources.

You have your ears close to the ground. And you also have strong links with the global political process.

Your contributions remind us of the importance of the regional level in coordination and implementation.

And they highlight the comparative advantages of regional organizations, such as your neutral convening power your multi-disciplinary, analytical skill-set and your capacity for outreach and awareness building.

Finally, your successful use of concepts, mechanisms, and instruments offers lessons for all levels of action. I am thinking in particular of a few examples: ESCAP’s pioneering efforts on green growth, ECA’s ClimDev-Africa initiative on Climate for Development and ECE’s use of environment performance reviews. And there are others like these.

Let me add a word about the national level. As you know, DESA and UNDP have joined forces to support national preparations in developing countries. My office will be in touch with you regarding the support provided to countries in your regions.

I would be most grateful for your collaboration and support. In particular, we must ensure jointly that national preparations feed properly into the regional processes you are planning.

Please freely share with me your expectations of Rio+20. And do not hesitate to let me know if there is anything I can do as Conference Secretary-General to support your work and engagement in the preparatory process.

Thank you.