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UN Secretary-General Calls on Parliamentarians to Drive Progress to Rio+20

16 October 2011: Opening the 125th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on parliamentarians to help drive progress in the lead up to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 2012.

He mentioned the ‘50-50-50 challenges,' namely that, in the first 50 years of this century, the Earth's population will increase by 50%, and by that time greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions should be reduced by 50%. He stressed that real solutions in an era of fiscal austerity must include the most efficient and effective use of resources, calling upon the G20 to be "imaginative in considering innovative new means of financing development and renewable energy for all."

He stressed that there can be no sustainable development unless the realities of climate change are confronted, underscoring the need to address the linkages between climate change, food crises, water scarcity, global health issues, women empowerment and energy shortages. Ban also discussed progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the strengthening of the UN-Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) partnership. He concluded that "leaders of the largest economies" must "re-dedicate themselves to securing a comprehensive, ambitious climate change agreement."

The IPU Assembly is being held in Bern, Switzerland, from 16-19 October 2011. [UN Press Release] [Secretary-General's Remarks] [Meeting Website]