Global Sustainability Panel

Last updated: 3/16/2012 // This statement was delivered by UN Ambassador Morten Wetland on the 16th of March 2012, encouraging gender equality to ensure sustainable development.

Secretary-General, Excellencies

Many of us spend a lifetime learning UN acronyms. A colleague of mine constantly refers to the GSP as the GPS.

Is that a mistake? Maybe not. A GPS – a Global Positioning System, is supposed to tell you exactly where you are and where you should be heading. So also with the GSP – the Global Sustainability Panel. Consisting of 22 highly regarded and experienced individuals from all parts of the world, this Panel’s recommendations should be listened to. Like the GPS, the GSP report gives us clear advice on where we should be headed.

The Panel points to what is called a “new political economy”.

This means that, “a “market failure” may require both regulation and pricing of environmental externalities”, making explicit the economic, social and environmental costs.

The Panel recognizes the importance of innovation, new technologies, international cooperation and investments responding to market failure problems and for poverty alleviation;

The report is more ambitious, more realistic and provides a better analysis of where we are today and where we need to go than what the Zero Draft with all our amendments.

Another valuable contribution from the Secretary-General’s side is the Sustainable Energy for All initiative. Norway shares the Panel’s support for this initiative.

We also share the Panel’s call for finally ensuring a more effective global body for sustainable development. A new Sustainable Development Council should be created, with the functions and powers which will engage leaders at the highest level. We need a periodic review mechanism to encourage states to fulfil their commitments and share experiences. 

The Panel points to the cost of excluding women from the workforce. Sustainable development requires gender equality and an end to persistent discrimination against women. The next increment of global growth could well come from the full economic empowerment of women. But this will require policies that explicitly address the unique challenges that limit women’s participation in the economy, - securing them equal access to land, capital, credit and markets.

The report is of course not the result of an inter-governmental process, but the legitimacy of good ideas is always there. Good ideas will always be a trump card. As such the Panel can help us find the way to “The Future We Want”

Just like a GPS.

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