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Taking responsibility

“Sustainable development emphasizes a holistic, equitable and far-sighted approach to decision-making at all levels in both public and private sectors. Therefore, embracing it more forcefully cannot be delayed any longer”, stated Mr. László Borbély, Chair of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-19), at the opening of the high-level segment of the Commission today at UN Headquarters in New York.

The high-level segment consists of four ministerial roundtables focusing on: developing programmes and a framework to accelerate the shifts toward sustainable consumption and production patterns (SCP); enhancing access to sustainable urban and rural transport; moving towards zero waste and sound management of chemicals; and creating and enabling an environment for sustainable mining. 

Professor Jeffrey Sachs of the Earth Institute of Columbia University, examined the global crisis in regards to the exploitation of resources while the poor are being abandoned. “The world needs to take collective responsibility in sustainability and development,” he said.

The world is facing multiple crises when it comes to poverty, population, politics, climate, biodiversity and finance. Mr. Ashok Khosla, President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, stated “all of the risks and crises are interrelated; they all have the same root causes and common solutions.”  

Mr. Khosla continued discussing two different states of living, explaining it as two diseases, “Affluenza” as over-consumption and “Povertitis” as the need for practical survival, which has become a major critical issue.

Stakeholders will discuss the implementation of the decisions made at CSD-19 during this challenging time. In a statement of the UN Secretary-General, delivered by Rio+20 Secretary-General Mr. Sha Zukang, Mr. Ban Ki-moon concluded: “the United Nations system stands ready to work with Member States and other partners to help implement your decisions.”

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