23 May 2012
UN chief says Rio 'once-in-a-generation' chance
The upcoming UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) will provide an important chance for the international community to ensure sustainable development for the future, said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday, writes Xinhua.
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
"We are one month from a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform ideas and aspirations into bold action for sustainable development," said Ban. "One month from seizing our chance to scale-up the policies and solutions that we know deliver profound results."
His statements came as he addressed the UN General Assembly as it held an informal thematic debate on "The Road to Rio+20 and Beyond."
The Rio conference, which will run from June 20-22 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will provide an opportunity for officials and groups from all over the world to evaluate progress made in sustainable development since the last Rio summit in 1992. The meeting will also provide a chance for the international community to set goals for the future of sustainable development.
"But what we achieve one month from now will depend on what we do today and every day to Rio," Ban said. "Above all, we need a fundamental re-think of our current economic model and new tools such as green economy policies and strategies."
Ban recommended that the officials at Rio+20 decide on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to help garner political commitment and facilitate progress on sustainable development.
"Leaders should agree in Rio that SDGs with clear and measurable targets and indicators will be a central part of the post-2015 global development framework," he said. "SDGs would give concrete expression to renewed high-level political commitment for sustainable development."
Despite demands for action in Rio from media and regular people, Ban said, the current pace of negotiations in the run-up to the conference is "sending all the wrong signals."
"We cannot let a microscopic examination of text blind us to the big picture," he said. "We do not have a moment to waste. It is time for ambitious leadership. It is time for us to focus on what really matters. It is time for common ground, for the sake of our planet and our children."
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