Friday, 9 December 2011

H.E. Sha Zukang, Head of the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development, to address Eye on Earth Summit

The United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, who is also the Secretary-General of the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development ("Rio+20") will address the Eye on Earth Summit on 13 December and speak about "The road to Rio: The importance of information networking."

Abu Dhabi, December 8, 2011: His Excellency Sha Zukang, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and the Secretary-General of the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, will share his vision regarding "The road to Rio: The importance of information networking" at the Eye on Earth Abu Dhabi 2011 Summit.

"As the world seeks to eradicate poverty, it faces two huge and interlinked challenges: how to reduce the stress the global economy puts on nature and how to put in place solid institutions to shepherd global sustainable development," H.E. Mr. Sha said. A key question will be how to ensure that people and decision-makers everywhere have access to the data and information they will need to chart a sustainable course in the years ahead.

"I am particularly pleased to attend the Eye on Earth Summit, primarily because I consider it the launch of a historic initiative to bring together the public and private networks of experts working to advance environmental and societal information infrastructure as a new foundation for sustainable development."

The Summit will convene world experts to facilitate greater access to environmental and societal information, especially for emerging economies.

To be held December 12-15 under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, the Summit is hosted by Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD), facilitated by Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI) and held in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The Eye on Earth Abu Dhabi 2011 Summit will convene world leaders and experts in environmental and societal information networking to reach consensus on solutions to greater data accessibility and to encourage stakeholders to collaborate to either strengthen existing data access initiatives or launch new ones. A key goal of the Summit is the environmental and societal data community's adoption of the Eye on Earth Abu Dhabi 2011 Summit Declaration - a document that will provide input to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development to be held in June 2012 under the leadership of H.E. Mr. Sha.

H.E. Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary General of Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi and Eye on Earth Co-Chair, said: "H.E. Mr. Sha's participation in the Eye on Earth Abu Dhabi Summit illustrates the importance the work of the international data and information community has for the sustainability of global development and the alleviation of poverty. Coming twenty years after the first global conference devoted to sustainable development, the decisions that will be taken at the Rio+20 conference guided by H.E. Mr. Sha will be crucial to our common future."

This will be H.E. Sha Zukang's first visit to Abu Dhabi.

Confirmed attendees of the Eye on Earth Abu Dhabi 2011 Summit include UAE leadership, President Bill Clinton, Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dame Jane Morris Goodall, Philippe Costeau, Jr. and Lelei Lelaulu, Chairman, Foundation for the Peoples of the South Pacific International (FSPI).

An Eye on Earth Exhibition will showcase the latest developments in environmental information and technology.

For more information and speaker biographies, please visit


About Mr. Sha Zukang
Mr. Sha Zukang is the United Nations Under-Secretary-General heading the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), which is responsible for the follow-up to the major United Nations Summits and Conferences, and services the Second and Third Committees of the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council as well as the vast majority of its functional commissions and expert bodies. He also convenes inter-agency coordinating mechanisms such as the Executive Committee on Economic and Social Affairs.

Mr. Sha also serves as the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, to be convened in Brazil in 2012.

Before joining the United Nations in July 2007, Mr. Sha held a number of posts in the diplomatic service of the People's Republic of China. He has varied experience with multilateral organizations and international conferences. He was Chairman of the Preparatory Committee and Chairman of the Committee of the Whole, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) 11th session from 2003 to 2004, President of the Trade and Development Board, 50th Session of UNCTAD, Chairperson of the Government group of the Governing Body of the International Labour Organization from 2002 to 2003, and member of the UN Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Disarmament matters from 1994 to 1999. In addition, he has served as president, vice-president, chairperson, coordinator and expert in many international conferences in the field of arms control, trade, intellectual property, social affairs, and telecommunications, among others.

Mr. Sha is a graduate of Nanjing University, China. He is a native of Jiangsu Province and is married, with one son.

About Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD)
The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) was established in 1996 to preserve Abu Dhabi's natural heritage, protect our future, and raise awareness about environmental issues. EAD is Abu Dhabi's environmental regulator and advises the government on environmental policy. It works to create sustainable communities, and protect and conserve wildlife and natural resources. EAD also works to ensure integrated and sustainable water resources management, to ensure clean air and minimise climate change and its impacts. For more information, visit

About Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI)
Conceived by the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi and launched by the Abu Dhabi Government in 2002, under the guidance and patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, AGEDI provides user-friendly access to high-quality environmental information, through a variety of information products. While EAD champions AGEDI locally, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) champions it regionally and globally. AGEDI's objectives include; to enhance environmental data collection and assessment, to increase data capacities for local, national, regional, and global environmental decision making, to ensure sustainable development planning is based on quality, timely, useable, and updated data and information, to provide accessibility of data and information to all stakeholders, to enhance national and international mechanisms of information processing and exchange and to enhance national capacities in information handling and communications. For more information, visit

About United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)
The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and its predecessors have helped countries around the world meet their economic, social and environmental challenges for more than 50 years. DESA's mission - to promote development for all - reflects a fundamental concern for equity and equality in countries large and small, developed and developing. DESA works on issues ranging from poverty reduction, population, gender equality and indigenous rights to macroeconomic policy, development finance, public sector innovation, forest policy, climate change and sustainable development. The Department also supports the effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, a set of time-bound targets, which put the eradication of poverty at the centre of the global partnership for development.

For media enquiries, please contact: Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD), Sobhia Al Masry, Media Specialist, EAD Press Office, Tel: +9712 6934-637, Mobile: +97150 442-5096, Email:

Or United Nations Environment Programme, Contact: Mia Turner, UNEP Newsdesk on Tel. +254 20 7625211, Mobile +254 710620495 or E-mail: or

Or Eye on Earth Summit, Contact: Mustafa Alrawi, M: Communications on Mobile: +97150 657-5945 or E-mail:

© Press Release 2011 from Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi

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