Global Sustainability Panel Says a “Future Worth Choosing” must be based on true costs to people and the environment
Addis Ababa, 30 January – Now more than ever, leaders need to focus on what matters most - the long-term resilience of people and the planet - the High-level Panel on Global Sustainability urged in its report presented today to UN Secretary-General BAN Ki-moon in Addis Ababa.
The 22-member Panel, established by the Secretary-General in August 2010 to formulate a new blueprint for sustainable development and low-carbon prosperity, was co-chaired by Finnish President Tarja Halonen and South African President Jacob Zuma. The Panel’s final report, “Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing,” contains 56 recommendations to put sustainable development into practice and to mainstream it into economic policy as quickly as possible.
“With the possibility of the world slipping further into recession, policymakers are hungry for ideas that can help them to navigate these difficult times,” said President Zuma. “Our report makes clear that sustainable development is more important than ever given the multiple crises now enveloping the world.”
Addressing the Secretary-General via video, co-chair President Halonen stressed the importance of placing people at the centre of achieving sustainable development. “Eradication of poverty and improving equity must remain priorities for the world community,” noted President Halonen. “The Panel has concluded that empowering women and ensuring a greater role for them in the economy is critical for sustainable development.”
The Secretary-General, in receiving the Panel’s report, stated that sustainable development is a top priority for his second term of office. “We need to chart a new, more sustainable course for the future, one that strengthens equality and economic growth while protecting our planet,” said the Secretary-General.
“I thank my co-chairs, Presidents Halonen and Zuma, for leading the Panel, and I express my appreciation to all the Panel Members for their contributions,” the Secretary-General added. “I will count on them to continue to champion their recommendations and I call on all sectors of society to join in this effort.”
“Resilient People, Resilient Planet” calls for the integration of social and environmental costs in how the world prices and measures economic activities. It also calls for a set of sustainable development indicators that go beyond the traditional approach of Gross Domestic Product and recommends that Governments develop and apply a set of Sustainable Development Goals that can mobilize global action and help monitor progress.
The Panel’s report underscores the importance of science as an essential guide for decision-making on sustainability issues. It calls on the Secretary-General to lead efforts to produce a regular Global Sustainable Development Outlook report that integrates knowledge across sectors and institutions, and to consider creating a Science Advisory Board or Scientific Advisor.
The report of the High-level Panel is a significant contribution to the UN’s work on sustainable development, and provides a timely contribution to preparations for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Brazil in June 2012.
The 22 members of the High-level Panel on Global Sustainability included current and former heads of states, ministers, and representatives of the private sector and civil society.
In addition to the Co-chairs, the Panel included Sheikh Abdallah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates; Hajiya Amina Az-Zubai, Former Senior Special Assistant and Adviser to the President of Nigeria on the Millennium Development Goals; Ali Babacan, Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey; James Laurence Balsillie, former Co-Chief Executive Officer of Research in Motion; Alexander Bedritsky, Adviser to the President of the Russian Federation, Special Envoy for Climate; Gro Harlem Brundtland, Former Prime Minister of Norway; Micheline Calmy-Rey, Former President and former Minister for Foreign Affairs of Switzerland; Julia Carabias Lillo, Former Secretary of the Environment of Mexico; Gunilla Carlsson, Minister for International Development Cooperation of Sweden; Luisa Dias Diogo, Member of Parliament and former Prime Minister of Mozambique; Han Seung-soo, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Global Green Growth Institute and former Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea; Yukio Hatoyama, former Prime Minister of Japan; Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action; Cristina Narbona Ruiz, former Minister of the Environment of Spain, Jairam Ramesh, Minister of Rural Development of India, Susan E. Rice, United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations; Kevin Rudd, Minister for Foreign Affairs and former Prime Minister of Australia; Freundel Stuart, Prime Minister of Barbados; Izabella Mônica Vieira Teixeira, Minister of the Environment of Brazil, and Zheng Guoguang; Administrator of the China Meteorological Administration. Mr. Janos Pasztor was an ex-officio member as Executive Secretary of the High-level Panel on Global Sustainability.
The Report will be available on Monday, January 30 at 12:30 p.m. (Addis Ababa time) at www.un.org/gsp.
For more information, please contact Dan Shepard, UN Department of Public Information, tel. +1 646 675-3286, email firstname.lastname@example.org or Julie Larsen, The High-level Panel on Global Sustainability Secretariat, tel +1 212.963.6894 email: email@example.com.