Towards a sustainable Sudan: Sudan Rio + 20 Momentum builds in Sudan
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) office in Sudan hosted a high level video conference between Sudan’s delegation to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) Rio + 20 and UNDP advisors Frank Pinto, lead consultant on Climate Change and Development and Stephen Gitonga, Acting Chief, Sustainable Energy Unit in New York. The videoconference is just one part of UNDP’s broad-based support to the Government in its preparations for the upcoming summit, which also includes consultations, workshops, media and communication and preparations of technical papers and national position.In attendance at UNDP Sudan’s Country Office were the Minster of Environment, Forestry and Physical Development, H.E. Mr. Hassan Abdel Gadir Hilal, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Resident Representative of the UNDP Mr. Ali Al-Za’tari, UNDP Deputy Country Director Programme Mr. Amin Sharkawi, Undersecretary – Ministry of Environment Mr. Babiker Abdalla Ibrahim, and Dr. Anshu Banerjee Representative World Health Organization (WHO) in Sudan. More than 15 participants from government institutions and Sudanese civil society participated in the event, engaging in the robust discussions seeking advice on approach, implementation and the way forward.
The discussions focused on a number of themes such as how to build a green economy to achieve sustainable development and lift people out of poverty; how to improve international coordination for sustainable development; and how to increase donor support to help Sudan address recurrent climate crises.
In his welcoming remarks, the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Physical Development Mr. Hilal, commended UNDP's assistance to the Sudan delegation in the drafting of 16 papers to be presented at the conference by saying, “Thank you for your help. I hope we can make use of the knowledge and experience that you will share with us. We want to leave Rio with lots of benefits to this country because Sudan is suffering from land degradation, desertification and drought. These are our main enemies for achieving sustainable development."
The videoconference presented an opportunity for Mr. Al-Za’tari to assert UNDP's commitment to assist Sudan in overcoming environmental challenges and renew continued support to Sudan in its national preparatory processes for the Rio+20 events. He further added that “The importance of this summit lies in the fact that it does not focus solely on environment issues but that it touches on how to lift people out of poverty through the integration of the three pillars of sustainable development: economic, social and environment.”
Thousands of participants from governments, the private sector, NGOs and other stakeholders are to gather in Rio in June 2012 for a strong push towards sustainable development. The Rio+20 conference aspires to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development through assessing progress made to date in implementing outcomes of previous summits on sustainable development and exploring ways to address new and emerging challenges.
Vice President Ali Osman Taha will head Sudan’s along with a number of ministers, senior officials and national specialists in the fields of environment, forestry and sustainable development.
Yusra Salim : Communications Analyst UNDP Sudan: email@example.com