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Swiss urge creation of new sustainability body

Switzerland has backed calls for a world council on sustainable development to be set up at the upcoming Rio+20 conference.

Swiss delegation chief Franz Perrez said it had made “ambitious but not unrealistic” proposals to advance talks at a preparatory meeting in New York this week ahead of the June conference.

The new council would replace the Commission on Sustainable Development and answer directly to the United Nations General Assembly. The idea was put forward by a UN panel on global sustainability in a bid to ensure closer cooperation between governments, industry and civil society.

The idea is contested by some but a number of countries agree on the need for an effective institution dealing with sustainability, Perrez said.

While Switzerland backs the idea of fixing sustainability goals, it does not expect them to be adopted in Rio.

A potential green economy roadmap is also a “very difficult” issue, with countries unwilling to work on concrete proposals. Perrez said there was a lack of political willpower and money to finance sustainable economies.

Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainability, takes place in Rio de Janeiro from June 20-22.


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