“Rio+20 has affirmed fundamental principles – renewed essential commitments – and given us new direction,” Mr Ban said. “From governments to the world’s biggest companies, from philanthropic organizations to youth volunteers, they are part of a growing global movement for change.”
Rio+20 was attended by some 100 Heads of State and government, among them Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg. “If we are to achieve sustainable development, we must reduce poverty, and secure sustainable economic growth. Universal access to energy is key. Therefore, we need to find a way to reconcile the need for energy with the need for emissions reductions”, Stoltenberg said.
Thousands of representatives from non-governmental organizations, the private sector and civil society were also present, all seeking to help shape new policies to promote global prosperity, reduce poverty and advance social equity and environmental protection.
A key element on Rio+20 was its outcome document, entitled “The Future We Want” and agreed on by Member States after negotiations. Mr. Ban welcomed its adoption.
“The outcome document provides a firm foundation for social, economic and environmental well-being,” the Secretary-General said. “It is now our responsibility to build on it. Rio+20 has affirmed fundamental principles – renewed essential commitments – and given us new direction.”
“Sustainable development is the only option for humanity, for our shared planet, for our common future,” Rio+20’s Secretary-General, Sha Zukang, said in his closing remarks. “Let the commitments of Rio be with us all, as we continue our journey towards a sustainable future.”
Environment and development are inextricably linked. Lasting progress in the fight against poverty depends on long-term economic growth and equitable distribution of social and economic goods. Focusing only on economic growth without taking ecological constraints into consideration may yield short-term gains, but will deplete the natural resource base and thus undermine opportunities for long-term development.