Asia and Pacific Ministerial Conference Focuses on Green Development

27 September 2010: The sixth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific (MCED-6) is convening in Astana, Kazakhstan, from 27 September-2 October 2010, under the theme "Green Development." 

The conference, which is jointly hosted by the Government of Kazakhstan and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), aims to renew political commitment for sustainable development, and assess progress to date towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the outcomes of MCED-5, including the Green Growth Strategy. This agenda-setting forum to assess the state of sustainable development, and identify regional perspectives and priorities, is based on the recognition that the region remains particularly susceptible to natural disasters, which are likely to increase in frequency and intensity as a result of climate change.

Opening the Conference, Noeleen Heyzer, UN Under-Secretary-General and ESCAP Executive Secretary, stated that pursuing green growth "requires fundamental transformation of our economic structure by integrating ecological costs in market prices, investing in sustainable infrastructure, promoting green business and technology, pursuing sustainable lifestyles and by developing climate resilient societies." Rae Kwon Chung, Director, ESCAP's Environment and Development Division, added that "green growth offers the unique opportunity for developing countries and emerging economies to leapfrog from the conventional and costly - pollute first and clean up later - trap to an ecologically-efficient, inclusive and sustainable growth paradigm." ESCAP underscores that Green Growth is the cornerstone strategy in the Asia Pacific region, helping address the triple challenge of converging economic, resource and ecological crises.

During the ministerial segment on 1-2 October 2010, Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan, and Heyzer will engage in a roundtable dialogue with delegates in preparations for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20) to be held in Brazil in 2012. The MCED are held every five years. [UN ESCAP Press Release] [UN ESCAP Meeting Website] [ESCAP Executive Secretary's Message]