The transition towards sustainable development inevitable: USG Wu Hongbo

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Wu Hongbo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs

As we chart a course towards sustainable development, the transition that lies ahead of us is not optional, but is inevitable, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Wu Hongbo said Monday at a handover ceremony of the ECOSOC presidency.

He said the transition of the presidency is occurring at a time of another transition – one that holds our future in its hands.

And, he warned that "our planet simply cannot sustain nine billion inhabitants aspiring for higher standards of living, if we remain entrenched in our unsustainable consumption".

“I think we all agree that we must pursue today, the sustainable future we want for tomorrow. But there is a Chinese proverb that says it better: '前人栽树,后人乘凉' —which means – we are planting trees for the benefit of our future generations".  Let there be no doubt, 2013 will be a very important year. The Sustainable Development Goals will begin to take shape. We are also launching the process on strategies for financing sustainable development. Discussions on the high level political forum are going to start very soon.”

Duration:  50″

Under-Secretary-General Wu expressed the hope that the contours of the post-2015 development agenda will start to emerge.

At the same time, he said it was really heartening to see that ECOSOC was already gearing up to deal with a unified development agenda, adding that the process of strengthening ECOSOC will make it fit for this purpose.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration:  1’44″

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