Addressing many of the world’s challenges

Addressing many of the world's challenges (UN Photo/John Isaac)

With many pressing issues on the agenda, the Second Committee of the General Assembly today opened its session. “This Committee has a broad agenda and expertise on the linkages between poverty and macroeconomic policy and sustainable development issues. Your work during this session will be a vital step towards making Rio+20 a success,” said Sha Zukang, DESA’s Under-Secretary-General and the Secretary-General of Rio+20.

The statement was delivered by Thomas Stelzer, DESA’s Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Co-ordination and Inter-Agency Affairs as the work of the Committee began under the Chairmanship of H.E. Mr. Abulkalam Abdul Momen, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN.

Sustainable development is one of the agenda items and its importance and the role of the Committee in preparing for Rio+20 was pointed out in the statement of Mr. Sha. “In just eight months, we will need to chart the course for a green economy that ensures sustainable development and poverty eradication. We must also use Rio+20 to better implement the Millennium Development Goals and help map out the post-2015 agenda, working toward sustainable development goals”.

Other issues on the Committee’s agenda include poverty eradication, macroeconomic policy questions, financing for development and globalization and interdependence. It will also address groups of countries in special situations, agricultural development and food security, and the permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

The Chair also introduced a new agenda item: “I am very pleased to announce that our agenda also includes one new item this year, Item 29, entitled “Peoples empowerment: a Peace model” for sustainable development. The mutually reinforcing nature of development, empowerment and peace are of great relevance to many countries, including my own. We will be holding a special event to assist in our consideration of this new item.”

Ambassador Momen further highlighted two events that the Committee will co-host together with ECOSOC during the month of October. The first event will be a briefing featuring eminent economists on the continuing aftershocks of the global financial crises and the current sovereign debt crises. The second will be a panel of high-level presenters on the topic “Investing in productive capacity for job-rich growth”.

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