«A Future Worth Choosing» – Final report of the UN High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability

Article, 06.02.2012

After a year and a half of intensive work, the United Nations High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability has published its final report entitled “Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing”. It contains 56 specific recommendations for achieving the goal of development that is truly sustainable. The recommendations focus on a growing economy which reduces poverty and social disparities and respects the natural limits of our planet.

On 30 January 2012, the report was presented in Addis Abeba to UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon by the two co-presidents of the panel, Finnish president Tarja Halonen and South African president Jacob Zuma. On 6 February 2012 it was presented in Geneva in the presence of Micheline Calmy-Rey and Bertrand Piccard.

Former Federal Councillor Calmy-Rey represents Switzerland on this panel and has made a number of proposals, especially in the areas of social justice, the fight against poverty and sustainability governance.

Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi's motto "Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed", the panel has called for social and environmenal costs to be integrated into our economic model. The production and consumption of goods and services have consequences for our society and our environment.

Global Sustainability Council
The whole world must make a joint effort to tackle the challenge of sustainable development. In order to strengthen the coherence of these efforts, the panel proposes the establishment of a Global Sustainability Council and an agreement on sustainable development goals. The panel's recommendations also underlined the need to deepen scientific knowledge on the limits, or environmental thresholds, of our planet.

The panel's recommendations will flow into the preparations for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development to be held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012, 20 years after the Earth Summit (« Rio+20 »).