Ban Calls for 'Focused Action' on Sustainable Goals

World leaders will gather at Rio de Janeiro for the Rio+20 summit in 2012. Photo by: Rodrigo_Soldon / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Rodrigo_SoldonCC BY-NC-SA 2.0

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged the international community to deliver on its promises to pursue sustainable development goals in an effort to save the environment.

Ban warned that the world is lagging far behind the goals it set during the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, which sought to reshape development and end the pollution of the planet as well as the destruction of its natural resources.

“Good ideas are not enough. We need focused action,” the secretary-general said at the conclusion of the 18th session of the U.N. Commission on Sustainable Development, “We know what we need to do. We know what works. The time for delay is over. The time for delivery is now.”

Ban said few of the environmental challenges identified in Rio have been adequately addressed, and “new ones have gained added urgency.”

The secretary-general also announced the appointment of Sha Zukang, the U.N. undersecretary-general for economic and social affairs, as chairman of the Rio+20 conference, which is due to take place in Brazil in 2012.

Meanwhile, in Geneva, the 172-party Basel Convention administered by the U.N. Environment Program recommended a 10-year plan for moving hazardous wastes across country boundaries. The plan highlights the links between improving waste management and health and achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

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  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.