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Seventeenth Session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD 17)
4 - 15 May 2009
UN Headquarters, New York, US

CSD 17 Opens in New York

Highlights from Monday, 4 May

The 17th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD 17) opened on Monday, 4 May 2009, at UN Headquarters in New York. Delegates adopted the agenda and began discussing the thematic cluster for which they will negotiate policy options: Africa, desertification, drought, agriculture, land and rural development. Photo: CSD Chair Gerda Verburg, Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, the Netherlands, and UN Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro.

 
Opening of CSD 17
 
 
Tariq Banuri, Director, Division for Sustainable Development, greets CSD Chair Gerda Verburg (left photo); Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro (right photo), in her address to delegates, stressed the need to, inter alia, ensure the revival of long-term investments in agriculture and a shift from ecologically unsustainable agriculture toward sustainable practices.
 
 
A view of the dais during the opening ceremony.
 
 
Tariq Banuri with Chair Verburg (left photo); Chair Verburg underscored that CSD members are prepared to break with “business as usual” and make commitments, highlighting that negotiations should be guided by the principle that we are here to play a role in “making poverty history.”
 
 
A view of the room during the opening session.
 
Reports of Intersessional Meetings
 
 

Ilan Fluss, Israel (left), reported on a meeting organized with UN DESA on 22-30 March 2009, on the role of native and desert-adapted species for slowing desertification. Javad Mansour, Iran (right), reported on the Capacity Development Workshop for Improving Agricultural Productivity, Water Use Efficiency and Rural Livelihood, which convened from 28-30 January 2009, in Bangkok, Thailand.

 
 
Kaire Mbuende, Namibia (right photo), reported on the outcome of the Africa High-Level Intersessional Meeting on "African Agriculture in the 21st Century: Meeting the Challenges, Making a Sustainable Green Revolution."
 
General Statements
 
 

Jirí Hlavácek, Czech Republic, speaking for the EU (left), Dessima Williams, Grenada, speaking for AOSIS (center), and Nadia Osman, Sudan, speaking for the G-77/China (right).

 
 

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) (left), John Matuszak, US (center), and Marlene Moses, Nauru, speaking for the Pacific Small Island Developing States (right).

 
 
Indian delegates consulting (left) and Dmitri Maximichev, the Russian Federation (right).
 
 

Ilan Fluss, Israel (left photo) and Amar Hijazi, Palestine (right photo),

 
Regional Perspectives
 
 
 

Masakazu Ichimura, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) (left), Josue Dione, Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) (center), and Marianne Schaper, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) (right).

 
 

Marco Keiner, Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), and Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).

 
Statements from Major Groups
 
 
Youth and Children and Women intervene during the plenary.
 
 
 

Comments on Chair's Draft Negotiating Text

 
 
Dana Kartakusuma, Indonesia, intervenes on the Chair's text.
 
 
FAO intervening (left photo) and Juanita Castano, UNEP, and Xenia von Lilien, IFAD (right photo).
 
Learning Center: Climate Change Ethics
 
 
 
Donald Brown, Environmental Ethics, Science and Law, Penn State University.
 
 
Participants during the session.
 
 

Side Event: Defining and Practicing Sustainable Production and Consumption in Food and Agriculture

This workshop examined some of the tools and processes involved in defining criteria and standards for "sustainability" in agriculture and food industry and the linkages to energy, climate, livelihoods and gender.
 
 
Jeffrey Barber, Integrative Strategies Forum.
 
Miscellaneous photos
 
 
UNCCD display of photographs taken by Sudanese and Ethiopian photographers.
 
 
US government table on their programmes supporting global sustainable development (left photo), and South Africa and the Czech Republic (right photo).
 
 
South Africa (left) and Conference Room Officers Dan Price and Nadya Yulina (right photo).
 
 
Jirí Hlavácek, Czech Republic (left photo); Narinder Kakar, IUCN, and Tariq Banuri, Division for Sustainable Development (center); ENB writer Andrey Vavilov and John Matuszak, US (right photo).
 
 

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