Babacan named to Landmark UN environment panel
Deputy Prime Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan has officially been picked as a member of a new United Nations panel on global sustainability by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The 21-member High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability will hold discussions and deliberations to tackle the global challenges of poverty and climate change while figuring out ways to ensure that development occurs in an environmentally friendly way. The panel brings together representatives from government, the private sector and civil society in countries rich and poor and will be co-chaired by Finnish President Tarja Halonen and South African President Jacob Zuma. The panel will also discuss ways to reach the UN's low carbon emission targets. "I have asked the panel to think big," UN Secretary-General Ban said in New York on Monday, unveiling the panel in a press conference. "The time for narrow agendas and narrow thinking is over." The panel will have to deliver its final report by the end of next year ahead of a 2012 UN conference on sustainable development in 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. "We need to promote low carbon growth and strengthen our resilience to the impacts of climate change," said Ban. "We need to address the interlinked global challenges of poverty, hunger, water, energy security and sanitation. In short, we need a blueprint for a more livable, prosperous and sustainable future for all."