Global Sustainability Panel Says a “Future Worth Choosing” must be based on true costs to people and the environment
Addis Ababa, 30 January – Now more than ever, leaders need to focus on what matters most – the long- term resilience of people and the planet – the High-level Panel on Global Sustainability urged in its report presented today to UN Secretary-General BAN Ki-moon in Addis Ababa.
The 22-member Panel, established by the Secretary-General in August 2010 to formulate a new blueprint for sustainable development and low-carbon prosperity, was co-chaired by Finnish President Tarja Halonen and South African President Jacob Zuma. The Panel’s final report, “Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing,” contains 56 recommendations to put sustainable development into practice and to mainstream it into economic policy as quickly as possible.
“With the possibility of the world slipping further into recession, policymakers are hungry for ideas that can help them to navigate these difficult times,” said President Zuma. “Our report makes clear that sustainable development is more important than ever given the multiple crises now enveloping the world.”
Addressing the Secretary-General via video, co-chair President Halonen stressed the importance of placing people at the centre of achieving sustainable development. “Eradication of poverty and improving equity must remain priorities for the world community,” noted President Halonen. “The Panel has concluded that empowering women and ensuring a greater role for them in the economy is critical for sustainable development.”
The Secretary-General, in receiving the Panel’s report, stated that sustainable development is a top priority for his second term of office. “We need to chart a new, more sustainable course for the future, one that strengthens equality and economic growth while protecting our planet,” said the Secretary-General.
“I thank my co-chairs, Presidents Halonen and Zuma, for leading the Panel, and I express my appreciation to all the Panel Members for their contributions,” the Secretary-General added. “I will count on them to continue to champion their recommendations and I call on all sectors of society to join in this effort.”
“Resilient People, Resilient Planet” calls for the integration of social and environmental costs in how the world prices and measures economic activities. It also calls for a set of sustainable development indicators that go beyond the traditional approach of Gross Domestic Product and recommends that Governments develop and apply a set of Sustainable Development Goals that can mobilize global action and help monitor progress.
The Panel’s report underscores the importance of science as an essential guide for decision-making on sustainability issues. It calls on the Secretary-General to lead efforts to produce a regular Global Sustainable Development Outlook report that integrates knowledge across sectors and institutions, and to consider creating a Science Advisory Board or Scientific Advisor.
The report of the High-level Panel is a significant contribution to the UN’s work on sustainable development, and provides a timely contribution to preparations for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Brazil in June 2012.
The 22 members of the High-level Panel on Global Sustainability included current and former heads of states, ministers, and representatives of the private sector and civil society.
The Report www.un.org/gsp.
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