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Ban Ki-moon

Sustainability has become the foundation

Ban Ki-moon 55%

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Sustainability has become the foundation for almost all economic thinking nowadays. It is essential not only to economic recovery today, but to ensuring peace and security tomorrow. 

Factoring sustainability into all our thinking is necessary because, as a global society, we are living on the edge. The last two years have brought a series of crises: energy, food, climate change, and global recession. I fear that worse may be in store. Indeed, today’s global economic crisis, if not handled properly, could evolve into a full-scale political crisis – one defined by social unrest, weakened governments, and angry publics who have lost faith in their leaders and their future. 

In addition, we are entering a new age of austerity. We are facing more problems with fewer resources. National budgets have shrunk. Aid programs are being squeezed. Voluntary contributions are drying up. 

Yet there is a third reality, which provides cause for optimism: the challenges that we face are interrelated, so, if we are smart about it, if we spot and utilize the inter-connections among these problems, solutions to each problem can be solutions to all. We can get more bang for our collective buck, peso, and real, and find effective, efficient, enduring paths to a more sustainable, inclusive, and prosperous future. 

At the recent G-20 summit in London, world leaders explicitly recognized these linkages. 

They agreed on a genuine global stimulus that advanced the interests of all countries, not just a few. They stood against protectionism, and they recognized the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals as an engine for development, growth, and creation of quality jobs worldwide. They took a major step toward a “Green New Deal” and vowed to reach agreement at the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen in December. 

This last development is vital. I have seen shrinking glaciers in Antarctica and the Andes. I have seen the effects of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon and the loss of biodiversity. The very existence of some Caribbean countries, including portions of Trinidad and Tobago, could be threatened if sea levels rise. 

But bold, visionary leadership will be needed to seal a successor deal to the Kyoto Protocol in Copenhagen later this year. The agreement reached there must be ambitious, effective, and fair, offering rich countries a way to cut greenhouse-gas emissions while supporting poorer countries as they adapt to the adverse impact of climate change. 

We need to protect vulnerable populations, including indigenous peoples, and we need financial incentives to preserve forests and the livelihoods of those who depend on them. 

By tackling climate change, we also deal with the economic crisis — green jobs for green growth. 

All of us see the links between economic growth and political stability, democracy, and human rights. For me, as UN Secretary-General, collective social and economic security is a basic principle of justice – global social justice. But to achieve this goal, we must think about and work to advance the sustainability agenda for what it really is: a prosperity agenda. 

Opportunities to do so will be coming up at the July G-8 meeting in Italy and the climate change summit at the UN in September. For my part, I pledge to bring the UN together in coordinated, decisive, and innovative ways to realize this agenda. 

We will create a new mechanism for coordinating additional financing for food security to help vulnerable nations weather the storm. We will support a Global Jobs Pact – a recovery strategy to meet peoples’ basic need for decent work. And we will launch a UN Global Vulnerability Alert, collecting real-time information on the social effects of the economic crisis worldwide. 

Ultimately, solidarity and common cause must be our greatest strength. For today we have before us an opportunity to re-invent how we as countries work together to deliver collect. ve solutions to our collective problems. Indeed, the times require a new multilateralism as the foundation of a new and sustainable prosperity for all.

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by Ban Ki-moon


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العودة إلى الاستطلاع: > global > السياسيون > Ban Ki-moon
استطلاعات الرأي مماثلة:Kofi Annan
(Ban Ki-moon)
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