BAN CALLS ON HEADS OF STATE TO MAKE RIO+20 THEIR PRIORITY
SG urges consensus building, says he’s “cautiously optimistic” about conference
Courtesy of UNifeed
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon once again addressed the media regarding the discussions leading up to Rio+20 on Wednesday. A mere two weeks before the conference is set to commence, Mr. Ban stressed the vital importance of this conference, and urged heads of state and government to recognize this importance and attend.
“We need world leaders to make the issues on the table at Rio+20 their own personal priority,” he remarked. “Nothing else will do. We live in a world of economic uncertainty, growing inequality and environmental decline.”
Mr. Ban’s remarks comes days after many high profile international leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron, have announced that they will not be attending the conference, which aims to usher in a new era of sustainable development. Despite these disappointments, Mr. Ban made the case to remain positive and hope for the best in Rio.
“I am cautiously optimistic,” he said. “I am sure that the member states will act for the interest of human beings, for humanity. This is once in a generation opportunity. Once they miss this opportunity they may have to wait long time.”
As time winds down on the prep work leading into Rio, numerous UN officials, including Mr. Ban, have expressed frustration at the perceived inability to arrive at consensus on the form of an outcome document. While all parties seem to agree that the relevance of the conference cannot be overstated, arriving at a tangible set of policies has remained an elusive task.
In his role as mediator, Mr. Ban urged unified action to overcome the impasses that have sprung up to date, and ensure that this conference results in meaningful action.
“We need to be very practical,” he said. “This world has a limit in terms of resources. Then we have to use these resources to the best purposes for our future generations and for environmentally hospitable, sustainable world. That’s what I’d like to really emphasize.”