Secretary-General, at Launch of Global Sustainability Panel’s Report, Calls It Valuable Input in Lead-up to ‘Rio+20’ Conference

30 January 2012

Secretary-General, at Launch of Global Sustainability Panel’s Report, Calls It Valuable Input in Lead-up to ‘Rio+20’ Conference

30 January 2012
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Secretary-General, at Launch of Global Sustainability Panel’s Report,


Calls It Valuable Input in Lead-up to ‘ Rio+20’ Conference

Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks at the launch of the Global Sustainability Panel report, “Resilient People, Resilient Planet:  A Future Worth Choosing”, in Addis Ababa on 30 January:

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 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 [Tarja] Halonen and [Jacob] 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 towards 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 United Nations 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” United Nations 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 policymakers, business and civil society leaders, and young people — to work together to create a future worth choosing, a future we want.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.