NZ Becomes Member of Top UN Environment Body

  • Simon Upton
Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

``New Zealand can be well pleased with the results of this year's election for membership of the Commission on Sustainable Development,'' Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Simon Upton said today.

New Zealand was elected a Member of the Commission on Sustainable Development of the United Nations Economic and Social Council by 47 votes. The election was hotly contested as five countries from the Western European and Others Group (WEOG, New Zealand's electoral group) competed for four WEOG CSD seats.

The Commission on Sustainable Development is the UN body charged with the follow-up to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, (``the Earth Summit'') held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. It is the foremost forum in the UN system for high-level policy development in the area of sustainable development.

Other countries elected as CSD Members were: Portugal, France and Spain. New Zealand was elected with the second largest vote.

Mr Upton campaigned actively for New Zealand's membership while in New York attending the Fifth Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development last month.

``Our success can be attributed to New Zealand's solid environment credentials, a persuasive and effective election campaign and our long-standing commitment to sustainable development issues internationally,'' he said.

I believe this is an unique opportunity for New Zealand to take its experience into the international arena and make a solid contribution to international work on sustainable development.''