United Nations member states, including Nigeria, have been called upon to make progress in the last round of negotiations before the Sustainable Development Conference (Rio+20) Conference starts next month in Brazil.
To this effect, top UN officials have stressed the need to achieve concrete commitments ahead of the crucial conference, where various global issues like climate change, green global economy and carbon credits are to be thrashed out.
In his remarks to the Assembly’s thematic debate on The Road to Rio+20 and Beyond, the President of the General Assembly, Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, said, “I encourage Member States to end the negotiations in a timely manner, in order that Heads of State and Government will come to Rio prepared and ready to sign up to a
forward-looking, action-oriented document. There are still some crucial decisions to be made.”
Next week, delegations from all over the world will gather again in New York for an additional five days of deliberations on the outcome document for Rio+20. The extra days were added earlier this month so that countries can bridge the differences that have kept them from making further progress in negotiations.
Al-Nasser praised the collective efforts of delegations that are working towards consensus, but warned that much more still needs to be done. In particular, he noted that today’s debate should help shed light on the creation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and an institutional framework for sustainable development.
“On the issue of the Sustainable Development Goals, many country and stakeholders are looking to Rio for a concrete outcome, including priority areas,” Al-Nasser said, adding that the conference can make a significant contribution to the development agenda after 2015, without distracting attention from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the anti-poverty and social development targets that have an achievement deadline of 2015.
In his remarks to the Assembly’s debate, the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, drew attention to the need for progress in negotiations.
“The world is watching. The media are focused. People – young and old – are demanding action,” Ki-moon said. “Yet the current pace of negotiations is sending all the wrong signals. We cannot let a microscopic examination of text blind us to the big picture, we do not have a moment to waste.”
He noted that UN Member States have the opportunity to forge agreements on many thematic issues, including: decent jobs, food security and sustainable agriculture, efficient and cleaner energy sources, access to safe drinking water and sanitation, conservation of the world’s oceans, strengthened institutions to support sustainable development, and progress in defining SDGs that build on the MDGs.