Commitments press conference, 22 June

Closing Remarks by Mr. Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Secretary-General of the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20)

Let me thank all the distinguished speakers.

You shared powerful examples of sustainable development in action.

We heard about a number of extremely impressive commitments to catalyze leadership and tackle sustainable development challenges on the ground.

As Conference Secretary-General, I know how important it is to have a firm understanding of the basics of what truly makes a difference on the ground.  And what can make a difference are serious, implementable initiatives that will advance sustainable development.

Going forward, these commitments must galvanize action where it really matters – on the ground.

Let me be clear: Rio+20 has adopted a substantive, path-breaking outcome. The registry of commitments is an action-oriented complement to the official outcome.

But let us not forget that the hard work begins now. Making promises is easy. Keeping them takes sustained effort.

Before I conclude, let me highlight what differentiates a commitment from a good intention.


That is why those who are committing, are asked to provide deliverables with estimated completion dates. And, to report on their achievements.

I look forward to promises being kept, and to hearing of many success stories.

Thank you.