[Joint UNCT Statement] 2012 UN Day highlights “Green Economy for Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction”

The United Nations Country Team, in partnership with the Government of Zimbabwe, hosted a UN Day Symposium under the theme, “Green Economy for Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction” on 5 November in Harare.

The event was a culmination of a series of activities undertaken to mark the 67th anniversary of the United Nations, which included youth outreach, media briefings and advocacy activities for World Food Day and Poverty Eradication Day.

The Symposium featured panel discussions with contributions from the United Nations, Government, Civil Society and the Private Sector.  The exchanges provided insight as to how a green economy can be built in Zimbabwe, with a focus on the critical issues of sustainable energy and decent jobs.

It was also an opportunity to raise awareness and promote partnerships among stakeholders to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals, while ensuring development which is environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.

In his remarks at the UN Day Symposium, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Alain Noudehou, underlined that building a green economy has gained increasing momentum in both national and international discourse.  “The concept of green economy can therefore be seen as a new economic paradigm – one in which material wealth is not delivered at the expense of growing environmental risks, and social disparities. And, one in which today’s development and growth is shared and is not achieved at the expense of tomorrow’s generations”, the UN Resident Coordinator said.

On his part, the Minister of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion, Hon. Tapiwa Mashakada, underlined, “One of the biggest challenges facing Zimbabwe is the high incidence of poverty. The Government of Zimbabwe’s major goal, through the Medium Term Plan (MTP) 2011-2015, is to transform the economy with a view to reduce poverty, create jobs, maintain macro-economic stability, restore the economy’s capacity to produce goods and services competitively to achieve environmental sustainability.”

In a video address to the Symposium, UNIDO Director General, Dr. Kandeh K. Yumkella, noted that access to energy is key to the achievement of the MDGs and poverty alleviation. He underlined that ensuring access to energy for all is a golden thread that runs through all the pillars of sustainable development without which sustainable development cannot be achieved. Dr. Yumkella commended the UN in Zimbabwe and the Government for selecting an appropriate and timely theme for the UN Day.

The event was attended by approximately 250 senior Government Officials, representatives from the UN, the Diplomatic Corps, Development Cooperation Agencies, Civil Society Organisations, the Private Sector and the Media.

Read the statement by the UN Resident Coordinator

Read the statement by the Minister of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion