Economic and Social Council

Twenty years after participants to the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro first recognized that unsustainable consumption and production patterns formed the biggest threat to the Earth’s capacity to satisfy human needs, that challenge continued to loom large and finding a framework to control it must be seen as a strategic priority, the Commission on Sustainable Development was told today, as it opened its three-day high-level segment.
Three days before the high-level segment of the nineteenth Commission on Sustainable Development, Under-Secretary-General Sha Zukang and Chairman László Borbély highlighted the session’s crucial focus on the need for more efficient use of natural resources during a Headquarters press conference today. “We are focusing on concrete ways to use resources more efficiently,” said Mr. Sha, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs.
Meeting briefly at the end of the first week of its annual two-week session, the Commission on Sustainable Development was urged by its Chair to do its utmost — and perhaps go even further — to reach the goal of shaping critical global policies on transport; chemicals; waste management; mining; and a 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns.
Whether measured by greenhouse gas concentrations, deforestation rates or declining fish stocks, current unsustainable consumption and production patterns threatened to exceed the capacity of global ecosystems and the world community must accelerate efforts to pursue environmentally sound economic growth and “meet our commitments to future generations”, a top United Nations official told the Commission on Sustainable Development today, as it opened its nineteenth session.
In a burst of activity today, the Economic and Social Council unanimously adopted four decisions and one resolution, laying out, among other things, the themes of its annual ministerial reviews over the next three years, as well as those for the humanitarian segment and the agenda item on regional cooperation of its 2011 substantive session, to be held in Geneva in July.