Press Releases, 5/25/2012
Prime Minister Katainen to lead the Finnish delegation to the Conference on Sustainable Development
Press release 124/2012
25 May 2012
The President of the Republic appointed the Finnish delegation to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) on Friday, 25 May. The conference will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on 20–22 June.
The Finnish delegation will be led by Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen. The other Government Ministers in the delegation are Minister for Foreign Affairs Erkki Tuomioja, Minister for International Development Heidi Hautala, Minister of the Environment Ville Niinistö, and Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Jari Koskinen. President Tarja Halonen will also attend the conference. Together with President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, she has co-chaired the High-level panel on sustainable development appointed by Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the UN.
Rio+20, which is a follow-up to the Conference on Environment and Development held in the same city in 1992, is the most important UN conference this year. The two special themes of the conference are the green economy in relation to sustainable development and the eradication of poverty, and more efficient international administration of sustainable development. Another objective is to agree on a process for the creation of global targets and indicators for sustainable development by the year 2015. Measurable targets encompassing all countries are needed to ensure the progress of sustainable development in practice.
One of the two principal themes selected by Finland for Rio+20 is fresh water, and Finland is working for the setting of a new global target for water. Cooperation between the public sector, businesses and civil society organisations is particularly important for reaching this target. Water is essential both in reducing poverty and in attaining a secure supply of energy and food. Finland also promotes the introduction of alternative indicators of well-being alongside the traditional GDP indicator, because the GDP does to consider factors such as the state of the environment or income distribution.
In the reform of the UN system, Finland supports the reorganisation of the United Nations Environment Programme as a special agency so as to increase the weight given to environmental issues. For developing countries, it is also important to bring out the potential existing for the economy based on natural resources, such as sustainable use of forests, as part of the green bio-based economy.
Additional information: Information Officer Pasi Nokelainen, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 9 1605 6356 or mobile tel. +358 50 339 5860