Bonn, Germany

3 September 2011

Secretary-General's Video Message to the 64th Annual United Nations DPI/NGO Conference

Mayor Nimptsch, Distinguished guests and delegates,

Thank you for taking part in this year's United Nations DPI/NGO Conference.

And I also want to thank the city of Bonn for hosting.

You have chosen an important and timely theme.

Voluntary action is one of the highest expressions of our common humanity.

Sustainable societies need responsive citizens.

This year we have seen how individuals can make a difference by uniting through social networks and working for change.

We need to harness the same energy in the service of the planet that sustains us.

Next year world leaders will meet for the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.

Science tells us we are contributing to dangerous climate change.

We are exhausting the capacity of our planet to guarantee our sustainable future.

The solution lies in a fundamental transformation of our consumption patterns and life styles.

We must create a sustainable green economy that will protect the environment and help us to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

Such change will not occur overnight.

And it will not be possible without the involvement of all sectors of society.

Your voices, your actions, and your grassroots organization can help to move us closer to our goals.

Each one of you, individually and collectively, has an important role to play.

We need your networks and your best ideas.

I count on you to commit? encourage? and volunteer.

And I thank you for coming together to do just that.

I wish you a productive meeting.