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Comments at Press Conference for 64th UN DPI NGO Press Conference August 2011

Comments for the Press Conference

By Felix Dodds – Chair of the 64th DPI NGO Conference and Executive Director of Stakeholder Forum and

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I want to thank the government of Germany and the City of Bonn for hosting the 64th UN DPI NGO Conference on Sustainable Societies Responsive Citizens.


I would like to complement German on its leadership for Rio+20. It isn’t only hosting the UN DPI Conference in September but one on Forests in October and one on Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus in November.

The conference as well as having key note speakers, round tables and workshops, will produce a political declaration to input to two major events.

The conference has had a huge response from civil society and this will enable us to prepare for input to the IYV+10 general assembly debate it,  providing another opportunity to promote and recognize volunteers ‘amazing contributions to sustainable development all round the world.

It will also input to Rio+20 processes and I want to underline a few things here.

Sustainable Development is having a hard time of it at the moment..

Rio+20 will need to provide much-needed new momentum, on environment and sustainable development.

There have been so many broken promises, this has to stop!

Rio will address two major themes

·         The green economy in the context of poverty eradication and sustainable development and

·         Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development

We face huge challenges on a number of fronts: I want to highlight five:

1.         Human societies are living beyond the carrying capacity of the planet

2.         Climate change has emerged as an out-of-control driver

3.         There is now becoming an increasing link between environment and security

4.         Governments have still not given the UN the mandate, the resources or the institutional capacities required to monitor and enforce international agreements.

5.         The current consumption economic model, which has brought unprecedented prosperity to the more developed countries, has only deepened the disparity between them and most developing countries.

The parallels of the ecological problems with the financial crisis are clear. The banks and financial institutions privatized the gains and socialized the losses.

We are doing the same with the planets natural capital.

Our present lifestyles are drawing down the ecological capital from other parts of the world and from future generations. We are increasingly becoming the most irresponsible generation our planet has seen.

The principal goal of our economy should be to improve the lives of the entire world's people and to free them from want and ignorance - without compromising the planet itself.

This DPI NGO conference will come forward with NGO recommendations for the Rio process -- a set of new sustainable development goals for the green economy. This will be on energy, climate change, consumption, food security, water, urbanization, forestry and the blue economy.

 It will come forward with suggestions on the how to reform our institutions at all levels to address the challenges we face. ·

The foundation for a green economy and a strong institutional framework for sustainable development is people. As people are consumers, activists, volunteers, and (responsive) citizens. People actively engaged in their communities and societies will ensure action to effectively tackle pressing sustainable development issues.

The DPI NGO Conference has had over 2500 pre-registrations a huge interest around the world, Bonn at the beginning of September is the beginning of a massive push for Rio+20 which will expect Heads of State this time to make promises that they will keep.

Finally Ambassador I would like to give you a challenge – that is that the German Chancellor announces for the Bonn DPI Conference that she is going to Rio+20.


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