United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Promoting sustainable consumption and production patterns is at the very core of
sustainable development. We need to find practical ways and strategies for
decoupling economic growth from the use of resources. The destruction of the
natural resource base weakens the basis for long-term prosperity. Switzerland
therefore continues to attach great importance to the issue of promoting sustainable
consumption and production patterns.
At the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, the international
community resolved to develop a 10 year framework of programmes for promoting
sustainable consumption and production patterns (10YFP). The current cycle of the
CSD sets the stage for finally delivering on this promise.
Since the Johannesburg summit, very substantial preparatory work for establishing
the 10 year framework of programmes has been undertaken in the so called
Marrakech Process. This is actually quite remarkable and I do not think that in the
history of the CSD it has ever been the case before that a parallel process has been
ongoing for several years to prepare one particular topic on the agenda of the CSD.
Clearly, this puts us all in the comfortable situation of being able to build on the work
of the Marrakech Process in developing the 10 year framework of programmes.
Switzerland is of the opinion that we should aim for an ambitious and strong 10 year
framework of programmes. It could have the following structure:
- A decision or declaration should be negotiated and adopted by the CSD, while the
10YFP as such would be prepared within the Marrakech Process as an input into
the CSD.
- The 10 YFP itself could contain a policy document outlining a vision, objectives,
and concrete political commitments and establish the institutional structure to
allow for further development and review of the 10YFP.
- Additionally, the 10 YFP should contain an Action Plan which is structured
according to the life cycle approach and defines concrete activities for
implementing the policy document.
The topics which have received particular attention under the Marrakech Process in
form of a Task Force certainly give a good indication for what should be key subjects
of the 10 YFP.
In this context, Switzerland has given particular emphasis to the topic of green and
sustainable public procurement. Governments are important consumers of goods and
services. By taking into account environmental and social criteria over the full life
cycle of goods and services in their purchases, governments can lead the way
towards more sustainable forms of consumption and production and they can send
important signals to the market.
However, we are aware that many important aspects of SCP have not been dealt
with in the Marrakech Task Forces which need to be part of the 10 YFP. For
example, agro-food systems must be addressed under the 10YFP, especially in the
light of global population growth and changing dietary habits. Unsustainable consumption
and production patterns in the agro-food system have relevant implications
for long-term availability of natural resources such as fertile soils, water supply and
biodiversity, as well as for food security.
Agricultural productivity must be ensured in the long-term by promoting sustainable
consumption and production patterns. In view of a shift to an overall green economy,
productivity in the agricultural sector too must be decoupled from unsustainable
resource use and environmental degradation. Fertile soils, clean and abundant water
supplies, as well as rich biodiversity are vital resources that must be managed
sustainably. Agriculture has a fundamental role to play in ensuring these resources
remain available to current and future generations. Therefore, all players along the
agro-food chain, from producer to consumer, must contribute to ensuring its
Another topic which needs to be integrated in the 10YFP is improving market
transparency. In order to achieve more sustainable production and consumption
patterns, our behaviour must undergo fundamental changes. We need to develop
means of communicating the environmental impact of raw materials, products and
services to consumers. It is a prerequisite for achieving a shift towards products and
services that cause fewer environmental impacts.
Besides developing the 10YFP, we should continue make good use of instruments
that have already proven successful in changing consumption and production
patterns. Probably one of the most successful instruments in this regard are the
National Cleaner Production Centers (NCPCs). The NCPCs have convincingly
demonstrated that resource efficiency and cleaner production can be implemented by
enterprises in developing countries to the benefit of the enterprise itself, the
environment and economic development at large. The Government of Switzerland is
proud to have funded UNIDO over the past decade in order to set up and support
National Cleaner Production Centres in about a dozen countries. This joint UNIDOUNEP
Programme is a best practice example of putting SCP into practice. In the
future, the NCPCs could be key instruments for up-scaling and mainstreaming
resource efficiency and cleaner production in all parts of the world and for making
SCP a reality.