UNDP Goodwill Ambassador Leads Calls for a Sustainable Future

25 Apr 2012

Video Message Encourages People to Engage in Global Decision-Making Ahead of Rio+20

25 April, Beijing — People across China were sent a powerful message today as UNDP National Goodwill Ambassador and leading actress Zhou Xun released a video message calling on the public to share their hopes for the future. The video is intended to remind people of the power of a positive vision for the future ahead of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) later this year in June.

“I believe the world still belongs to you and me,” said Zhou Xun in calling on the people to consider their future. “We all possess dreams and creativity; it is only when we are brought together that the potential in each of us is released and the world becomes a better place.”

Through a global campaign called ‘The Future We Want’, millions of people around the world are engaging in a discussion about their expectations for the future. This campaign has been designed as a timely reminder regarding the important role that individuals can make during this historical moment, and that it is not just governments that bear the responsibility to implement its outcomes.

Chinese people around the world are being encouraged to participate in the campaign and continue this important debate through their microblog (weibo), as well as an official website dedicated to The Future We Want on sina.com (http://www.un.org/zh/future/). A collection of the most inspiring videos, paintings, photographs and text submitted during the next two months are to be displayed at Rio+20. A further 10 of the 50 most forwarded entries will receive prizes and certificates from the United Nations.

Since the launch of The Future We Want in China on 28 March 2012, by the United Nations Department of Information, the United Nations Development Programme and several other UN agencies in China, the campaign has been endorsed by a number of high-profile celebrities. Among those to lend their support include world renowned actor and philanthropist Jet Li; Chinese actress Yao Chen, contemporary artists Liu Xiaodong and Xu Bing, among many others.

Rio+20 is set to become the biggest event in the history of the United Nations and presents an unprecedented opportunity to define sustainable pathways to a safer, more equitable and prosperous world for all. Much progress has been made in pursuit of this goal in the twenty years since the last Rio Earth Summit, in 1992, and world leaders will be hoping to build on these achievements when they meet together in Rio de Janeiro to make decisions, announce commitments and galvanise action on how we can reduce poverty and inequality, while at the same time ensure environmental protection on an ever more crowded planet.

Through official negotiations, round tables, and more than a thousand special events, Rio+20 is expected to set the sustainability agenda for the next 20 years and move towards the identification of solutions and goals that tackle urgent global challenges. Some of these challenges include lack of access to energy and clean water among poor communities, depleted ocean resources, food insecurity, widening inequalities and rapidly expanding cities. Participants attending Rio+20 will also discuss ways to boost corporate sustainability, create green jobs, advance the role of science and innovation, close technological gaps, generate much-needed financing and improve mechanisms for international cooperation.

Over 50,000 people are expected to participate directly in this important conference, including more than 100 state leaders, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Conference Secretary-General Sha Zukang. Together they will be joined by thousands of representatives from businesses, parliaments, NGO’s, academics institutions, and other groups. Many more will participate virtually.

To visit Rio+20 official website: http://www.un.org/en/sustainablefuture/

Video Link (Chinese): http://video.sina.com.cn/v/b/75705584-1929913021.html