UN Secretary-General Outlines Ways to Advance Sustainable Development

17 January 2013: In a lecture delivered at Stanford University, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described the current state of the world and "the future we must shape together." He outlined three ways to navigate our way through this "Great Transition," namely by advancing sustainable development, helping people meet their aspirations for democracy and dignity, and empowering women and young people.

On the sustainable development challenge, Ban underscored that he has made sustainable development the leading priority of the UN. He stressed the need to urgently "change course" to build the clean energy, low-carbon economy of tomorrow that will address the challenge of climate change. Noting the size of the economy of California, he noted that the state has "a special role" to play in spurring the on-going climate negotiations in order to reach a global, legally binding agreement on climate by 2015.

Ban also mentioned his Sustainable Energy for All initiative (SE4ALL), stressing that California can contribute to efforts made to reach the goals set by the Initiative, namely to ensure universal access to modern energy services, double energy efficiency, and double the renewable energy share in the overall global energy mix.

In concluding, Ban stated that "this time of Great Transition is also a period of great opportunity." [UN Secretary-General's Statement] [UN Press Release]