Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 30 January 2012 - Secretary-General's remarks at launch of Global Sustainability Panel Report, "Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing"
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am pleased to be in Addis to receive the report of my High-level Panel on Global Sustainability.
It is fitting that we meet in Africa where the challenges of sustainable development are starkest and the opportunities the greatest.
Sustainable development is a top priority for my second term.
The reasons are clear.
Both science and economics tell us our current path is unsustainable. Ecosystems are under stress. Economies are faltering. The human appetite for resources keeps growing.
We need to chart a new, more sustainable course for the future, one that strengthens equality and economic growth while protecting our planet.
Sustainable development offers our best chance to change course.
I thank my co-chairs, Presidents Halonen and Zuma, and all the Panel Members, for their contributions.
They have put their political expertise and credibility behind this report.
I will count on all Panel Members to continue to champion their recommendations.
The Panel has grappled with some of the most complex and serious issues we face: food? water?. energy? climate change? population trends? gender equality.
I asked the Panel members to be bold but practical – never an easy task, and especially difficult now in these times of austerity.
The report deserves careful study, for it has far-reaching implications.
I look forward to studying it in detail. However, I have already noticed a few points directed to my attention.
The Panel has asked me to appoint a task force to develop a set of indicators to measure progress toward sustainable development.
It has also asked me to establish a task force to define new Sustainable Development Goals for the post-2015 period.
This latter step figures prominently in the five-year Action Agenda I announced last week.
The Panel has also asked me to bring together key stakeholders to prepare a regular Global Outlook Report and to periodically convene world leaders to discuss sustainable development issues.
It is essential that we act on the science of sustainability.
Among the other recommendations of the report, I am already moving ahead with two.
I am strengthening our Sustainable Development Strategy for the UN system.
And I have launched my Sustainable Energy for All Initiative.
I commend the Panel's report to Member States and all stakeholders in our common future.
It is a valuable input in the lead-up to the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in June.
Sustainable development is a social, economic and environmental imperative.
I call on all sectors of society to join in this effort.
We need everyone – government ministers and policy makers, business and civil society leaders, and young people – to work together to create a future worth choosing – a future we want.