As the United Nations and the world are gearing up for Rio+20 — a major global conference that aims to accelerate efforts to promote sustainable development — the United Nations opened a new facility today in Incheon, Republic of Korea, that aims to assist developing countries. The new centre was formally launched at a ceremony in Seoul.
The new United Nations Office for Sustainable Development is a joint effort by the United Nations, the Korean Ministry of Environment, the city of Incheon and Yonsei University. The Office will be managed by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs and will serve as a training and research institution and a centre for pooling together sustainable development knowledge and making it usable and accessible through its knowledge portal.
Speaking at the launch of the new Office, the Secretary-General of Rio+20, Sha Zukang, said, “The establishment of the United Nations Office for Sustainable Development twenty years after the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development underscores the fact that the world’s commitment for sustainable development is as strong as ever.”
Mr. Sha said that in the short run the new office will support developing countries and major groups in their preparations for the Rio+20 Conference, while in the longer run, “it will contribute to advancing the implementation of the outcomes of the Rio+20 Conference.”
Housed at Yonsei University in the city of Incheon, the new Sustainable Development Office has already organized a seminar in August on the issue of energy for sustainable development.
The Office will provide a sustainable development knowledge portal uniquely integrating the three pillars of sustainable development — economic growth, improving the quality of life, and protecting the environment. It will also provide a training and capacity-building facility by organizing training programmes for national representatives and major groups from developing countries to advance the sustainable development agenda and implementation of sustainable development goals and targets. In addition, it will undertake policy research and seek synergies through mobilizing sustainable development research institutions and universities.
Rio+20 — the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 2012 — aims to galvanize action for sustainable development. Bringing together world leaders and representatives of business and civil society, the Conference will seek to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assessing progress and gaps in implementation of past agreements, and addressing new and emerging challenges. It has two thematic focuses: “a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication”, and “the institutional framework for sustainable development”.
For more information, please contact Dan Shepard, Development Section, United Nations Department of Public Information, tel.: +1 212 963 495, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.