Chairman Upton Seeks Action From CSD

  • Simon Upton

Environment Minister Simon Upton will be aiming for action-oriented decisions when he chairs the seventh session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) in New York next April.

"Holding the chair of the CSD presents New Zealand with a significant opportunity to raise its United Nations profile in an area of growing international importance", Mr Upton said.

Mr Upton was elected to the Chair of the Commission at its sixth session in May this year and while acknowledging his role is to be impartial and guide the debate, he is encouraging ministerial colleagues to start discussing the agenda issues now and be prepared for "a lively debate" in New York.

"The CSD risks being a talk fest with insufficient substance to its outcomes. If we are not careful it will become bogged down in classic UN-style negotiations of lengthy texts which in the end satisfy no-one," Mr Upton said.

As a result, it had been agreed that the New York meeting should aim to produce short, action-oriented recommendations to put to governments, relevant United Nations agencies and other international bodies involved with sustainable development concerns.

"In my view the purpose of the CSD is to illuminate, not negotiate, and I see no need for all 53 members to try to agree on every issue. We can agree to disagree on many of the less important concerns," Mr Upton said.

The CSD is the highest UN body dealing with sustainable development policy. The main themes of next year's meeting will be oceans, tourism, the sustainable development of small island developing states and sustainable consumption and production.