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Where on Earth are we Going?
"I am persuaded that the future of our civilization will be determined by what we do or fail to do in the first three decades of this Millennium. 2002 may be the last real opportunity we have to launch this change of course. The cost of delay would be immense in both economic and human terms; the cost of failure could be terminal."
Ten years after serving as the Secretary General of the Rio Earth Summit, Maurice Strong lays out his views on what the ten year review of the Rio Summit, the World Summit of Sustainble Development (WSSD), should focus on in order to bring forward the ideas started in Rio.
In the paper Mr. Strong describes 17 steps that the WSSD should focus on, including the creation of "Earth Support Fund" from government commitments and, which would be based on a minimum level of 2% of GNP and separate from and additional to current levels of Official Development Assistance, the removal of perverse incentives such as subsidies, upgrading of the status of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) to that of a specialized agency making it the centerpiece of a UN Environment Group(UNEG), the clustering of sustainable development-related conventions under a single framework, the establishment of a World Collaborative for Sustainable Development (WCSD) bringing together the principal constituencies of key actors in respect of sustainable development , the agreement in principle to the establishment of a major deliberative body of the United Nations, at the same level as the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council, to provide oversight and systemic coordination of the organizations and activities which affect the environment and the global commons, and the endorsement of the Earth Charter.
This paper was Mr. Strongs keynote speech at the WSSD International Eminent Person's meeting on Inter-linkages, organized by the UNU and its partners last 2 and 3 September 2001.
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