UN chief joins Finn, S. African leaders to launches panel on global sustainability

September 20, 2010 10:36 am 

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 20 — UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, joined Tarja Halonen, president of Finland and Lindiwe Zulu of South Africa here Sunday to launch a high-level panel on global sustainability.

Ban told reporters that he asked the panel, co-chaired by Halonen and Jacob Zuma, president of South Africa to "draft a bold and practical blueprint for how countries can develop in a sustainable manner," during its first meeting.

"I encouraged the panel members to think big, to connect the dots between poverty, energy, and food, water, and environmental pressure and climate change," Ban said.

Ban told reporters that the task facing the panel is formidable. The world population, Ban said, is estimated to increase by nearly 50 percent by 2050, and by that time, global greenhouse gas emissions will have to be reduced by 50 percent.

"I call this the 50-50-50 challenge," he said. "We will need to provide a dignified life for nine billion people, while at the same time preserving the resources and ecosystems that sustain us. "

The panel's work will help determine how the 50-50-50 challenge can be met, and also help the UN prepare for continuing climate change negotiations as well as the Rio + 20 Conference on Sustainable Development.

Halonen told reporters that despite these looming challenges, the high-level panel is "very committed to our work, and we think that we can help the United Nations."

"Green economy will require big changes in the way the world does business, changes in our production and our consumption patterns and also in national and international decision making," she said. (PNA/Xinhua)

ALM/ebp

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