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Speakers at Opening Session for CSD IPM Highlight Linkages with Climate Change

Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs

23 February 2009: Speakers at the opening session of the Intersessional Preparatory Meeting (IPM) for the 17th session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD17) highlighted linkages between climate change and CSD17's thematic cluster of issues: agriculture, Africa, drought, desertification, land and rural development. The IPM is meeting in New York, US, from 23-27 February 2009.

Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, stressed the relevance of sustainable development in addressing current global challenges and crises, and called for integrated solutions and addressing climate change. He said the IPM needs to lay the foundation for the CSD's discussions in May, but also “to demonstrate the relevance of sustainable development to addressing the multiple crises we face,” and to reach a common understanding of the “complex inter-linkages among these thematic areas and with the larger context.”

Tariq Banuri, Director of the Division for Sustainable Development, highlighted climate change as a cross-cutting issue for the session. He noted that “climate change is already affecting water patterns and therefore agricultural productivity, crop failure, food security, economic loss, and livestock death,” while “measures to combat climate change will need to keep the concerns of rural communities, especially the rural poor in mind.” [USG Sha's Statement] [DSD Director Banuri's Statement] [UN Press Release]