Summary: 3 May 2010, New York - Statement on behalf of the European Union by Peter Schwaiger, Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, on the occasion of the 18th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development: Regional Discussions - Europe
Mister Chairman, Distinguished delegates,
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States and, as such, welcome the importance given this year to the regional level of discussions on transport, waste, chemicals, mining, sustainable consumption and production and their interlinking issues, as topics of the CSD18-19 cycle.
The EU believes the CSD plays a unique role in sustainable development issues within the UN system and needs the capacity to deliver ambitious results. One of its key added values is to review and decide on different aspects of sustainable development in an integrated manner, addressed also at a high level.
In this respect, the EU would like to acknowledge the important conclusions and recommendations in the Chair's reports of the CSD regional meetings on this cycle's topics and particularly those of the ECE Regional Implementation Meeting, held in December 2009.
The EU very much welcomes the Chair's Summary on the topics of the current cycle, as we believe that it is a well-balanced summary of where the UNECE region stands and what main challenges it need to face in the near future in relation to the topics of the current cycle.
The EU welcomes the key messages of this Summary, such as:
- highlighting the importance of the transport sector for the region, which needs to meet the challenges of the 21st century and become more sustainable, resource and energy efficient in order to ensure long-term economic and social development and to mitigate climate change;
- addressing mining also as part of the life-cycle of resources, which should contribute to sustainable development, with the need to minimise its adverse effects on the environment and on society;
- recognizing the significant impact that resource use, including waste and hazardous waste management, can have on environment, human health and security, highlighting the importance of sound waste and resources management;
- underlining that CSD and the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) process can mutually reinforce each other, without duplication of efforts. In this context it is our strong belief that CSD18 may constitute an important step in building synergies towards the achievement of the objectives of sound chemicals management by 2020.
While the thematic clusters had their distinct challenges and priorities, some of the cross-cutting issues and interlinkages had particular relevance in the region, including the work on poverty reduction and on sustainable consumption and production (SCP). The later we see both as an interlinking issue in between the topics of CSD18 and as an important key issue on its' own.
Regarding SCP, in line with the Chair's Summary, the EU believes that:
- a move to sustainable consumption and production could deliver important social benefits enable countries, companies and communities to "do more and better with less", which is necessary for poverty eradication. It will be essential to delink the necessary economic growth from environmental degradation and overexploitation of natural resources. Hence, it will enable the protection and management of the natural resource base of economic and social development and at the same time increase net welfare gains from economic activities.
- the promotion of sustainable consumption and production and the implementation of a future 10-Year Framework of Programmes could support a shift to a green economy, and should also play a key role in supporting social development and the fulfilment of the Millennium Development Goals.
In this sense, we are looking forward to exchange early views on a possible structure for this 10YFP and to identify areas where international SCP programmes would be the most beneficial and needed.
Work is only starting now on all these key topics at CSD18. I hope that it will, while building upon national and regional experiences, help us to concretely identify what are the issues we should focus our attention on in the coming year, building towards an ambitious and successful outcome of CSD 19.
Thank you for your attention.