Secretary-General's message to Ministerial Meeting of the Coordination Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement

[Delivered by Ms. Sahle-Work Zewde, Director-General of the United Nations Office in Nairobi]
Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, 9 May 2012

I am pleased to send greetings to the Ministerial Meeting of the Coordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement, and thank Egypt for chairing and hosting this event.

The United Nations has greatly benefited from our partnership with the Non-Aligned Movement for decades. We share an abiding belief in the importance of international cooperation, justice and equality, and the peaceful settlement of disputes.

 The Non-Aligned Movement’s advocacy has helped the United Nations to generate some of the most important achievements of the twentieth century, including the success of the decolonization movement and the emergence of a global social development agenda.

 Born against the backdrop of deep ideological divisions that marked the Cold War, the Non-Aligned Movement set goals that remain relevant to tackling 21st century challenges.

 In a world of 7 billion people, food, jobs and opportunity are critical to global stability and progress. Environmental, economic and social indicators tell us that the current model of progress is unsustainable. Conflict, environmental degradation, human rights abuses and other threats continue to affect millions of people around the world.

 We must forge a global response to these challenges. My five-year action agenda identifies key areas where we can and must achieve significant progress: sustainable development; prevention; building a more secure world; supporting nations in transition; and empowering women and young people.

 Your meeting falls just weeks before the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro. This will be a once-in-a-generation opportunity to agree on a course that will enable us to create the future we want.

 We should agree in Rio on launching a process to establish Sustainable Development Goals that build on the Millennium Development Goals.

We need progress on some of the building blocks of sustainable development, including sustainable energy for all, the management and protection of the world’s oceans, a better framework for production and consumption, cleaner water, more liveable cities, more concerted steps against hunger and action to improve people’s lives through decent work, social protection and the empowerment of women and young people.

And we need a clear direction for enhancing the global institutional architecture to address sustainable development challenges.

 For all of these goals, we must harness the power of partnership to shift the world onto a more sustainable trajectory of growth and development. Rio should be a concrete step forward in this regard.

 Additional negotiating days have been added to the pre-conference calendar. Now we need to get the job done. An ambitious outcome at Rio can have a positive impact on millions of people in the Non-Aligned countries and beyond. I urge you to contribute your best efforts to making Rio+20 a success.

 In that spirit, I count on your continued engagement and thank you for all your efforts.