Knapen speaks with young people at Rio
‘The future you want you’ll have to make yourself. It’s good to see you working hard to get there, because you can’t leave it all to governments.’ This was development minister Ben Knapen’s message on Thursday to international youth representatives at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Brazil.
‘I’m therefore pleased that Ralien Bekkers and Liset Meddens have joined our delegation, and I’m impressed with how they are working for the future.’
The two youth representatives discussed the role of young people with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, economist Jeffrey Sachs and media mogul Ted Turner.
Earlier in the day, Mr Knapen visited the Parco da Flamengo, where hundreds of NGOs from around the world were meeting.
As head of the Dutch delegation, Mr Knapen also addressed the plenary meeting of heads of state and government, stressing the need for cooperation among all stakeholders to achieve a green economy. ‘A green economy cannot be achieved by countries acting independently,’ he said. ‘To do so, we need global responsibility for the environment and cooperation with the market sector.’ It’s not a question of development or the environment or the economy. It’s a question of development and the environment and the economy.’
In Mr Knapen’s view, one of the benefits of Rio+20 is that the UN member countries now formally recognise the role of the market sector, without which a green economy will be impossible. ‘In this area,’ he remarked, ‘the Dutch market sector is a global leader.’