Ban Ki-moon urges public to vote on ‘The Future You Want’

Friday, June 08, 2012
New York: United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on people around the world to cast their votes in an online global poll on solutions to the planet’s most pressing social, economic and environmental challenges, the results of which will be presented to world leaders at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, or ‘Rio+20’, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, later this month.

“Go to Tell us what you think,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today in statement. “Those votes - the voices of the people - can make a difference in building a prosperous, equitable, stable and sustainable world for all.” The voting will close on Friday 15 June 2012.

“The dialogues are an attempt to create a bridge between civil society and the official proceedings of the upcoming UN Conference on Sustainable Development,” said Ban Ki-moon.

More than 100 heads of state and government are expected to participate in Rio+20 scheduled for 20 to 22 June 2012, some 20 years after the first Earth Summit, which also took place in Rio.

The poll follows a global discussion about the world’s future that took place on a social networking forum launched earlier this year by the Government of Brazil and the UN.

The discussions covered ten main themes related to sustainable development: Water and cities management, oceans, food and nutrition security, energy, forests, employment, poverty, economic crises, sustainable production and consumption.

Several thousand people from more than 150 countries participated in the discussions – including activists, human rights advocates, community leaders, civil society members, economists and urban planners – and came up with some 100 policy proposals on how to move forward on these critical issues, in a way that ensures a sustainable future for all. 

The public are urged to visit and cast their votes on these proposals, among them, putting a price on carbon emissions, setting up a global network of international marine protected areas, and adjusting Gross Domestic Product for environmental damages.

This is the first time that a social networking medium like the has been used ahead of a major international conference to enable citizens to speak up via the Internet, to articulate the kind of sustainable future he or she would want.

“We are using the power of social networks to turn Rio+20 into the first global meeting where everyone can have a say – in person and virtually, through the web,” said Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, Brazil’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.

For public convenience, the site is available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
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