World leaders to discuss concrete implementation of sustainable development at the UN General Assembly’s new session
President of the General Assembly Vuk Jeremić (right) with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the opening of the 67th session of the Assembly. UN Photo/Evan Schneider
20 September, New York – More than 120 world leaders will be in New York for the UN General Assembly General Debate and they will have a staggering number of issues on their agenda, including a wide array of sustainable development issue.
With the June Rio+20 conference setting a new sustainability agenda, countries will have to take action on a number of issues, including advancing work on the new sustainable development goals, strengthening UNEP, and establishing a new high-level forum on sustainable development.
Sustainability issues feature prominently in the UN’s agenda. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “Earlier this year I set out an action agenda that identified five generational imperatives: sustainable development, prevention, a more secure world, helping countries in transition and empowering women and youth. Next week I will outline where we are and where I believe we need to go.”
The new General Assembly President, Vuk Jeremic, from Serbia, says he’s dedicated to fulfilling the commitments made during the UN Sustainable Development Conference--Rio+20.
“Our objective should be the full implementation of the mandate this body received at the Rio+20 Conference. This will require a decisive commitment to observe not only procedural deadlines but also the political and financial objectives it has been designed to accomplish.”
Some of the discussions and high-level meetings on sustainable development are as follows:
On Monday, 24 September, at 3pm, the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Group on Sustainable Energy for All will have a meeting, where the Secretary-General will announce major new steps related to the initiative.
On the same day, the UN Economic and Social Council—ECOSOC, is holding a special ministerial meeting on sustainable development as a follow-up to Rio+20 with over 30 government ministers.
The first meeting of the Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Post-2015 development agenda will take place at 4pm on Tuesday, 25 September, to shape up the new development agenda after the Millennium Development Goal reaches its end in 2015.
On Wednesday, 26 September, at 10:30am, there will be a press conference by the Convention for Biological Diversity, followed by another press conference at 3pm by Ms. Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Ms. Figures will be speaking about the upcoming Doha Climate Change Conference in November.
Water and food security issues, in the context of climate change, will be discussed at a side event sponsored by Qatar on Thursday, 27 September at 3pm, in the context of the innovations for climate change.