With the world facing new challenges, from food and energy crises to global recession to climate change, achieving sustainable development is more complex than ever, General Assembly President Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser warned today, calling for concrete actions and timelines.

In a statement to the Assembly’s Second Committee, which deals with economic and financial issues, delivered by his chef de cabinet Mutlaq M. Al-Qahtani, Mr. Al-Nasser noted that world leaders at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro set out the principles of sustainable development and highlighted that no one nation can achieve sustainable development alone.

“Over the past 20 years governments, businesses, and civil society have accepted this paradigm as imperative for making progress on the three pillars of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental,” he said.

“Today, however the world is facing new and emerging challenges – challenges ranging from the food and energy crisis to the global recession to climate change. Of course, the ever-present challenge of poverty eradication looms large. All these factors make the situation today much more complex. Implementation has proven difficult and many commitments remain largely unfulfilled.”

He stressed that next year’s Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, offers an opportunity to pay special attention to the means of implementation.

“For a concrete outcome, Member States are encouraged to agree on a framework of action which could include, among others things, a timeline for implementing sustainable development commitments and a set of sustainable development action goals,” he said.

Calling for strengthening the institutional framework of sustainable development and facilitating concrete solutions to issues related to the transfer of technology, he urged Member States to set out concrete actions to bridge the gaps in achieving full and effective implementation.

“Supporting sustainable development requires integrated solutions, a global partnership, including triangular cooperation, and broad public participation,” he said. “I therefore call on the renewed commitment and political will of the international community to support financing for development and national capacity-building efforts, in particular for least developed countries (LDCs).

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