United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Mr. Chairman,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset let me congratulate you, Mr. Chairman, and the Bureau on the excellent way you have been guiding the Commission on Sustainable Development at its 18th session. Poland remains strongly convinced that the CSD plays a critical role in promoting sustainable development in an integrated manner at the global level.
Poland fully associates itself with the statement of the European Union.
Mr. Chairman,
Poland fully supports the need for developing an ambitious 10-year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production and expresses the hope that it will address key global sustainability challenges and contribute to the transition towards a resource-efficient, competitive and socially just economy.
In accordance with provisions enshrined in the country¡¦s Constitution of 1997 (specifically Article 5 thereof), Poland is committed to the principles of sustainable development. In October 2003, the Polish Government adopted the ¡§Strategy of changing production and consumption patterns to favour the implementation of sustainable development principles¡¨. The key goal of the strategy is to decouple the economic growth from the use of natural resources and environmental degradation, and to improve the quality of life. Furthermore, efforts are made to incorporate social, ethical and environmental aspects into different national strategies and programmes. Thus, for example, in 2008 the Council of Ministers adopted ¡§The new approach to public procurement. Public Procurement and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Innovation and Sustainable Develompment¡¨. Sustainability aspects have also been reflected in the ¡§National Reform Programme for 2007-2011 to implement the Lisbon Strategy¡¨.
The issues concerning sustainable consumption and production are particularly promoted among business. Owing to the co-operation with Norwegian Government, a Cleaner Production Programme was launched in Poland as early as in 1991. The agenda of activities addresses a broad range of interested parties, including representatives of local authorities and administration at all levels, managers of enterprises being restructured, and employees of SMEs. In addition, Poland¡¦s Cleaner Production Centre, operating under the patronage of the Minister of the Economy, is running a National Registry of Cleaner Production and Responsible Entrepreneurship (organisations are inter alia obliged to sign up to the UN Global Compact principles).
Furthermore, last year the Intragovernmental Group on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) was appointed, as an advisory body of the Prime Minister. The Group is to discuss the risks and opportunities for the Polish economy arising out of sustainability agenda, as well as measures needed to support voluntary business initiatives, in particular focusing on:
the co-ordination and promotion of CSR at the governmental level,
the sharing of best practices,
the strengthening of communication between the Government and stakeholders.
There were formed four thematic bodies to support the Group focusing on sustainable consumption, responsible investment, education and CSR promotion.
Mr. Chairman,
Lack of knowledge and the high prices borne by those seeking to be ¡¥conscious¡¦ consumers remain the main barriers to any more widespread move towards sustainable consumption and production patterns. Hence in Poland¡¦s view it is crucial that every effort should be made to ensure that the sustainability agenda is perceived by enterprises (especially SMEs) as, not merely an obligation, but an opportunity for building of a firm¡¦s success. Poland thus draws attention to the need for effective instruments to be devised to encourage organisations to apply new solutions and generate innovative products, in particular through the coordination of demand and supply activity. Poland also underlines that 10-year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production takes into account the specific problems of developing countries undergoing socioeconomic transformations, inter alia through addressing the challenges of sustainable supply chain management.
Mr. Chairman,
In Poland¡¦s view, direct action on sustainable consumption and production should be paralleled by efforts to raise society¡¦s environmental awareness and build up sustainable communities. There is a need for development of awareness-raising programmes and campaigns, particularly among young people, as well as effective, transparent and non-discriminatory consumer information tools. Stress also needs to be put on the co-ordination of policies at both international and domestic level and on the stakeholder dialogue in order to strengthen the effect of synergy and exploit local, regional and international potential.
Thank you for your attention.