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The United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) held its 17th meeting from 4-15 May in New York, focusing on the priority themes: agriculture, rural development, land, drought, desertification and Africa. Themes that cannot be discussed without taking into account issues as climate change or food security. In this regard, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, expressed the hope that CSD 17 would contribute to discussions on climate change and to a successful outcome of the Copenhagen Conference, which will take place in December 2009. He further outlined that the decisions taken at the CSD “must help to revitalize and support the productivity and resilience of small farmers, in particular, to achieve food security for all.”

While opening the session, the Chair, H.E. Ms. Gerda Verburg — Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality of the Kingdom of the Netherlands — emphasized that “CSD 17 should set the scene for change,” bringing credibility, cooperation and commitment. She also stressed the urgent need for renewed leadership as the world is facing a leadership crisis.

The meeting brought together close to 1,000 people — including ministers; academia; and representatives from the UN system, business and industry, and civil society — and included three High-level Segment Roundtables in which Ministers discussed the food crisis; a Green Revolution for Africa; and Integrated Land and Water Management for Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development. There was also an interactive dialogue entitled “Implementing Sustainable Development” in which major groups, Ministers and representatives of the UN system participated.

At the end of the two-week meeting, a ’Shared vision’ was finalized and an final outcome document was adopted by consensus. The documents stress the need for a paradigm shift, for agricultural development and for farmers to be at the heart of a global “green revolution

A more extended report on CSD-17 will be included in Go Between 119.

Interesting websites are:
                        UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs - Division for Sustainable Development http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/csd/csd_csd17.shtml
IISD Reporting Services. To read their coverage, please visit http://www.iisd.ca/csd/csd17
Stakeholders Forum: http://media.stakeholderforum.org

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