Rio 1992 Commemorative Ceremony

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)

Minister Patriota,
Minister Teixiera,
Senator Fernando Collor
Mr. Strong,
Distinguished co-Chairs,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

As Conference Secretary General for Rio+20, it is a special honour for me to join you at this historic ceremony.

This occasion celebrates what we, working together, have achieved in making our world a better place for all.

This evening’s occasion celebrates the leadership of a great country, Brazil.  

Whatever successes we have achieved since 1992 would not have happened without Brazil’s leadership.

This occasion also celebrates the United Nations. It celebrates the process of multilateralism.

It celebrates the spirit of partnerships.

The 1992 Earth Summit showed that when nations of the world work in harmony, great things happen. 

The three Rio Conventions bear testimony to some fundamental truths…

–  that we can arise above short-term, narrow interests.

–  We can be inspired by common goals.

–  And the international community can sign up to legal commitments and make renewed efforts to fulfill them.

On a personal level, this is a moment for me to express my deep gratitude.

I am thankful to Brazil, our host once again after 20 years, for leading a renewed charge to achieve sustainable development. 

I am thankful to Maurice Strong, who has shared his insights and guidance with me.

I am thankful to Senator Fernando Collor for his unwavering support for Rio+20.

Finally, ladies and gentlemen, I hope tonight’s celebration reenergizes us.

Tomorrow, when we resume our work, let the Spirit of Rio 1992 reinvigorate us and lead us to the results we desire.

Let us not forget – when nations of the world work in harmony, great things happen.

Thank you.