Statement by Maurice F. Strong at Special United Nations General Assembly Event on Rio+20

The decisions and policies which determine our impacts on sustainability are primarily motivated by economic and financial considerations. The transcendent importance of the actions to be taken at Rio + 20 require that they be firmly rooted in our deepest moral and ethical principles. This is why I feel so strongly that Rio +20 must endorse and be grounded by the Earth Charter. The change of course called for at Rio in 1992 requires radical changes in our current economic system. This will need to be led by those countries, mostly Western, which have dominated the world economy during the period in which our cumulative damage to the Earth’s life-support systems, its precious biological resources and its climate, have occurred and have monopolized the economic benefits of this. Rio+20 must reinforce the focus on Biodiversity to which this Decade on Biodiversity is devoted so that it will lead to specific actions on implementation of the measures required to protect these resources so essential to global sustainability.

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