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3rd Implementation Cycle: Policy Session
4-15 May 2009
New York

In-session Activities

High-level Segment

(13-15 May 2009)


The High-level segment opens with welcome remarks by the Chair of CSD-17 followed by addresses by the Secretary-General, a Head of State (the President of Guyana), two Ministers (Namibia, Argentina), and two expert speakers who will focus on implementation respectively from the environmental and developmental perspectives.

An important feature of the High-level segment is the organization of three Ministerial roundtables aimed at fostering interactive dialogue with the objective to produce a collective vision for meeting the development challenges highlighted within the thematic cluster of CSD-17.

CSD-17 Innovations:

This year, the Bureau introduces several innovations in the organization of work which include the following:

  • The presentation of summaries of roundtables, policy dialogues, and Chair’s summary (“Shared Vision”) in the final plenary session.
  • The promotion of interactive dialogues among Ministers and other stakeholders in lieu of the presentation of written statements as was customary in previous years.

Ministerial Roundtables:

Ministerial Roundtables are seen to be a vital component of the High-level segment. A much more focused discussion in terms of sharing of lessons learned on issues of critical importance will provide the way forward for scaling up of best practices.

Each roundtable begins with 3-4 keynote presentations by eminent speakers in a plenary session, followed by discussions by the Ministers and other stakeholders in two sub-roundtables.

Roundtable 1: Responding to food crisis through sustainable development


  • Mr. Achim Steiner, Executive Director, UNEP
  • Ms. Anna Tibaijuka, Executive Director, UN-HABITAT
  • Mr. Alexander Mueller, Assistant Director-General, FAO
  • Ms. Rajul Pandya-Lorch, Head of the 2020 Vision Initiative, IFPRI


Background paper Responding to Food Crisis through Sustainable Development
Discussion Paper, Prepared by UN-DESA/DSD and FAO
Summary Summary of High-level Segment: Roundtable 1

Roundtable 2: Realizing a sustainable green revolution in Africa


  • Mr. Robert Watson, Director, IAASTD, United Kingdom
  • Mr. Matthew Wyatt, Asst. President, External Affairs Department, IFAD
  • Mr. Tecle Tesfai, Special Adviser to the Chairman, AGRA


Background paper Realizing a Sustainable Green Revolution in Africa
Discussion Paper, by UN-DESA/DSD and UNEP
Summary Summary of High-level Segment: Roundtable 2

Roundtable 3: Integrated management of land and water resources for sustainable agriculture and rural development


  • HRH. Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange, Chair UNSGAB
  • Ms. Kathy Sierra, Vice President, World Bank
  • Mr. José de Jesus Romo, General Director for Rural Development Supports SAGARPA, Mexico


Background paper Integrated Land and Water Management for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development
Discussion Paper, Prepared by DSD/DESA
Summary Summary of High-level Segment: Roundtable 3

Other Documents

Policy Dialogues Summary of the Interactive Dialogue with Ministers, Major Groups & the UN System
Summary of the Dialogue with the Policy Research Community
Statements Statements on the HLS
Chair's Note Chair's Note Elaborating the Proceedings of the High Level Segment
Shared Vision Shared Vision for Sustainable Agriculture & Rural Development
Governments, Major Groups, and UN bodies share their vision on the future of sustainable development and their understanding of the deep interconnection among the issues under consideration, including their relationship to the eradication of hunger, extreme poverty and climate change.

Past Sessions

Ministers’ participation in past CSD sessions