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UN Secretary-General Launches Global Sustainability Panel

9 August 2010: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has launched a new High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability tasked with finding ways to lift people out of poverty while tackling climate change and ensuring environmentally-friendly economic development.

The Panel will comprise 21 representatives from government, the private sector and civil society, and will be co-chaired by Finland's President Tarja Halonen and South African President Jacob Zuma. In a press conference held at UN Headquarters in New York, US, Ban stressed the need to "promote low carbon growth and strengthen our resilience to the impacts of climate change." He added that "we need a blueprint for a more liveable, prosperous, and sustainable future for all." He informed that the Panel will report by the end of 2011, to feed into key intergovernmental processes, including the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) that will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2012, and the annual conferences of the UNFCCC. Janos Pasztor will head the Panel's secretariat.

Panel members include: Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway; Han Seung-soo, former Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea; Yukio Hatoyama, former Prime Minister of Japan; Luisa Dias Diogo, former Prime Minister of Mozambique; and Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia; David Thompson, Prime Minister of Barbados; Sheikh Abdallah Bin Zayid Al Nahayan, United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister; Ali Babacan, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister; and Micheline Calmy-Rey, Foreign Minister of Switzerland; Alexander Bedritsky, Aide to the Russian President on climate change; Hajiya Amina Az-Zubair, Adviser for the Nigerian President on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); Zheng Guogang, Director of the China Meteorological Administration; Jim Balsillie, Chair of the Board of the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI); Susan E. Rice, US Permanent Representative to the UN; Jairam Ramesh, environment minister of India; Julia Carabias, former Secretary of the environment of Mexico; and Cristina Narbona Ruiz, former environment minister of Spain; and Connie Hedegaard, EU Commissioner for Climate Change. [Press Conference Transcript] [UN Press Release]