United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Thirteenth Meeting of the Commission on Sustainable Development
Statement by Ambassador Ronaldo Mota Sardenberg,
Permanent Representative of Brazil to the United Nations
Head of the Delegation of Brazil to CSD-13
Mr. Chairman,
First of all, I wish to congratulate you on chairing the Commission on
Sustainable Development during its very first policy year. The commitment of Brazil
to an inclusive, ever-growing discussion on sustainable development is reflected in our
determination to remain actively engaged in the CSD.
We are encouraged that Sustainable Development issues are being increasingly
discussed within the global agenda. It is nonetheless regrettable that the concept of
Sustainable Development itself has so far not been absorbed in all contexts with a
bearing on its implementation. The primary tendency, rather, is to see the concept of
Sustainable Development almost exclusively through its environmental angle, thus
rendering marginal or insignificant its application to the economic field, in particular
when macroeconomic policies are concerned.
As we see it, such focus amounts to a conceptual regression that threatens to
thwart the achievements since the Rio Conference. The CSD is the appropriate forum
where the necessary focus can be regained, a task which requires a concerted effort
involving States, the UN system, the international financial institutions, and all major
groups. For Sustainable Development to succeed as a practical, applicable concept, it
should always be viewed as an asset, never as a liability.
Mr. Chairman,
CSD-13 has rightly decided to emphasize the need for the inclusion and active
participation of the Bretton-Woods institutions in the debate on Sustainable
Development. Bringing together multiple actors, interests and needs in a debate
encompassing far-ranging realities is a challenging but necessary and urgent task.
The discussions held at CSD-12, and in this session on water, human settlements
and sanitation have showcased how difficult it is to unite views on issues that range
from adequate valuation of natural resources to the difficulties of managing resource
allocation. We have noticed a clear gap between the objectives established in
international negotiations and our capacity to define effective strategies for
international cooperation to fulfill them, using the best of the existing multilateral
The UN agencies and the Bretton Woods institutions can play a role, in this
regard, by supporting innovative and supplementary ways of international cooperation
that emphasize the potential of combining the experience of developing countries in
the sustainable use of water resources and in improving human settlements with the
resources available multilaterally and bilaterally.
The discussions on the "Action against Hunger and Poverty", led by Brazil,
France, Chile, Spain, Germany and Algeria, seek to make a tangible contribution by
identifying financing mechanisms to assist in the global fight against poverty and
hunger. The new and additional financial resources generated by this initiative could
also help achieving the commitments undertaken in our discussions.
Brazil believes that it is simply not enough to highlight the values of solidarity,
participation and social justice, or to reaffirm our commitments to eradicate poverty
and strive for the implementation of Agenda 21, of the Johannesburg Plan of
Implementation, and for the achievement of the MDGs. We must actually turn
commitments into actions, and this demands a concerted, focused and persistent
international effort. The UN system and other institutions should be part and parcel of
these efforts by placing sustainable development at the top of their agenda and by
concretely and directly facing the challenges on water, sanitation and human
Thank you.