Green Economy Report, Ban in Thailand; EUFOR Extended And More

Green Economy: Businesses and governments are accelerating investment in the green sectors of the economy, a United Nations report unveiled today shows, stressing that the trend will facilitate the transition towards a low-carbon, resource-efficient and socially inclusive global economic model. Investing just two per cent of the global gross domestic product (GDP) in 10 key sectors would kick-start a shift from the current environment-polluting and inefficient economy to a green one, according to the report, entitled Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication and prepared by UNEP. “With the world looking ahead to the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012, the UNEP Green Economy report challenges the myth that there is a trade-off between the economy and the environment,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a statement issued on the release of the report.

In a related development, some 500 participants representing countries mostly in the Asia and Pacific region gathered in the Japanese capital, Tokyo, today for a UN-backed conference to discuss progress towards green industry. The three-day meeting organized by the Japanese Government and the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) will focus on the application of environmental and resource conservation techniques and practices for cleaner environment and job creation and other benefits for communities and consumers.

Thailand: Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today expressed United Nations solidarity with the people of Thailand after flying by helicopter over areas affected by the massive floods that have inundated large swathes of the country, saying the Organization stands ready to provide any assistance required. He said the floods have affected an estimated eight million people and underlined the urgency of disaster preparedness and risk reduction measures across the world.

Security Council:
The Security Council today extended for another year the European Union stabilization force (EUFOR) that is tasked with ensuring that all sides continue to comply with the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement that ended fighting in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In a unanimously adopted resolution, the 15-member body also expressed its intention to “consider the terms of further authorization as necessary in the light of developments in the implementation of the Peace Agreement and the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

International Day of Tolerance: Top United Nations officials stressed today the importance of practicing active tolerance at a time when the world is undergoing unprecedented economic and political changes, and called for countries to embrace diversity, combat discrimination and increase education efforts about human rights. “Our practice of tolerance must mean more than peaceful coexistence, crucial as that is. It must be an active understanding fostered through dialogue and positive engagement with others,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his message to mark the International Day of Tolerance.

Sanitation and Water for All: The former Ghanaian president John Agyekum Kufuor will head the United Nations-backed partnership known as Sanitation and Water for All, which works to achieve universal and sustainable access to decent sanitation and drinking water. The partnership, which brings together governments, donors, civil society organizations, development partners and several UN agencies, works also with UN Water and the UN World Health Organization (WHO) to produce a global assessment report on drinking water.