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development goals (SDGs) that would be aspirational and universal in applicability. They would complement the Millennium Development Goals and build on their success. Continuing to focus on the social pillar, these goals would also encompass the other two pillars of sustainable development. We do not yet know whether Member States will define the goals, or a subset, but more likely the actual targets and indicators would be defined in a follow-up process coordinated with the post-2015 development agenda.Means of implementationDeveloping countries are concerned that, whatever elements are contained in an agreed framework, adequate provisions must be made to mobilise the means of implementing commitments - including in technology, finance and capacity building. nconclusionIn conclusion, Rio+20 is a once in a generation opportunity for Heads of State and Government to renew their commitment for sustainable development and to agree on decisive actions to address the huge common challenges facing humanity. It must not be missed. Governments must show leadership, but so must leaders and all actors in the business sector and civil society. It is only through broad participation at the Conference, and especially beyond, that we can hope to make sustainable development a reality.Pictured above: (left) Favela de Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro, BrazilUN Photo/Yutaka Nagata(right) One of the world's best known landmarks - Rio de Janeiro's statue of Christ the Redeemer UN Photo/Michos Tzovaras FOReWORD 017

action and leadershipAchim Steiner, Under-Secretary-General, The United Nations (UN)Executive Director, UN Environment Programme (UNEP) How to grow the global economy and generate decent jobs in sufficient numbers while keeping humanity's foot print within planetary boundaries is the challenge facing this generation of leaders.In 2012 both the G8 and the G20 come in advance of Rio+20 - a Summit two decades following the Earth Summit of 1992 which set the course for sustainable development including the establishment of global treaties on climate change, biodiversity and desertification. All these upcoming meetings and Summits are taking place in a world markedly different from that of the late 20th century - economically, geopolitically, environmentally and socially. Over the last 25 years, while the world economy has more than doubled, 60 per cent of the world's ecosystem services generated by forests to coral reefs are now degraded or used unsustainably.n Each year, 13 million hectares of the world's forests - the size of Greece - disappear. According to UNEP's Year Book 2012, 24 per cent of the global land area has already suffered declines in health and productivity over the past quarter century as a result of unsustainable land-use. Some kinds of conventional and intensive agriculture are triggering soil erosion rates some 100 times greater than the rates at which nature can form soil in the first place. n By 2030, without changes in the way land is managed, over 20 per cent of terrestrial habitats such as forests, peat lands and grasslands in developing countries alone could be converted to cropland-aggravating losses of vital ecosystem services and biodiversity Greenhouse gas emissions continue to climb, pushing the planet towards the CO2 threshold above which scientist fear some environmental changes could become irreversible - global warming could trigger increasing numbers of displaced people and make whole countries inhabitable, including the low lying island of the Maldives and Kiribati.Can Rio+20 deliver the kind of defining and decisive compass to meet these challenges while unleashing opportunities for seven billion people, heading to over nine billion by 2050? A Green Economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication is one of the key overarching themes of the June Summit. UNEP's Green Economy report suggests that investing two per cent of global GDP in 10 key sectors could, with the right enabling policies, kick start a transition to a low- carbon, resource efficient, employment generating economy. For example, investing about one and a quarter per cent of global GDP each year in energy efficiency and renewable energies could cut global primary energy demand by nine per cent in 2020 and close to 40 per cent by 2050, it says. Employment levels in the energy sector would be one-fifth higher than under a business as usual scenario, as renewable energies take close to 30 per cent of the share of primary global energy demand by mid century. Savings on capital and fuel costs in power generation would under a Green Economy scenario, be on average US$760 billion a year between 2010 and 2050. The report, Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication which has involved other UN agencies, experts and economists from across the globe, also highlights enormous opportunities for decoupling waste generation from GDP growth. 018 Introduction