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United Nations, New York, 2 June 2011

Green Economy as a pathway to sustainable development

Green Economy as a pathway to sustainable development

On the occasion of a Thematic Debate on Green Economy held today at the United Nations, the President of the sixty-fifth session of the General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Joseph Deiss, stated that a "firm commitment and resolute action are needed at all levels of government - local, national, regional and global" to promote green economy. President Deiss added that "all actors must cooperate, whether from the public sector, the private sector or civil society". Moreover, the President underlined that there are already examples of green economies in both developed and developing countries, showing that environmental protection and conservation of resources bring economic benefits no matter the level of development.

Green economy is one of the two themes of the upcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), which will take place from 4 to 6 June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro.

The thematic debate underscored the linkages between green economy, economic development, poverty eradication and environmental protection. Summarizing the discussions, President Deiss hoped that the debate will help promote a better understanding of green economy and positively contribute to relevant international processes, including the preparation for Rio+20.

Panelists included H.E. Mr. Paul Toungui, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gabon; H.E. Mr. Du Ying, Vice Chairman, National Development and Reform Commission, People's Republic of China; H.E. Mr. Søren Søndergaard Kjær, Deputy Permanent Secretary for Environment, Denmark; Ms. Suzana Kahn Ribeiro, Green Economy Sub-Secretary, State Environment Secretariat, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Dr. Kandeh K. Yumkella, Director-General, UN Industrial Development Organization; Mr. Harsha V. Singh, Deputy Director-General, World Trade Organization; Ms. Marianne Fay, Chief Economist for the Sustainable Development Network of the World Bank; Mr. Clay Nesler, Vice President for Global Energy and Sustainability, Johnson Controls; and Mr. James Leape, Director General, World Wide Fund for Nature.

Moderated by Ms. Tundi Agardy, Executive Director, Sound Seas, and Mr. James Leape, Director General, World Wide Fund for Nature, the debate was concluded with closing remarks by President Deiss and Mr. Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.

International Federation of Red Cross and red Crescent Societies

On the margin of the Thematic Debate on Green Economy, Mr. Tadaretu Konoé, President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, paid a courtesy call to President Deiss.