Progress on sustainable development depends on partnerships Fréchette tells Bali talks

As government ministers gathered in Bali to finalize a political declaration for adoption at the upcoming United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development, UN Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette today said that progress stemming from that forum would depend on cross-cutting partnerships.In a message to the ministerial segment of the last preparatory meeting before the Summit, which will open this August in Johannesburg, South Africa, the Deputy Secretary-General noted that sustainable development could not be achieved without the contributions of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the private sector and international organizations such as the UN.On the involvement of corporations, she noted that private sector donations, while welcome, were not the most important contribution businesses could make. “The world is not asking corporations to do something different from their normal business, but rather to do their normal business differently – to see the long term, not just the short term; and to see not just the costs of change, but also the costs of the status quo,” she said. “I am pleased to say that many enlightened business leaders have already accepted this, and have involved themselves in the Johannesburg process on that basis.” Ms. Fréchette also urged governments to sustain the momentum generated at the recent conference in Monterrey, Mexico, that dealt with financing for development programmes, saying that the additional money pledged could also be used to mobilize other resources. The Deputy Secretary-General noted that critical work remained to be done over the next three days, as full agreement had to be reached on a solid, specific action plan with targets. In addition, the success of the World Summit would not only be measured by the action plan but also the political declaration, which will be the primary tool for world leaders to convey their vision for a sustainable world. “We need a credible political declaration that commits leaders to act and inspires all actors to recognize their own responsibilities,” Ms. Fréchette said. “The political declaration is the place for commitments to actions in key areas, global and local, and for providing a sense of the values that underpin the concept of sustainable development and instigates actions.” read more