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Sustainable development is a marathon not a sprint

31 July 2002 - The US will bring three messages to World Summit on Sustainable Development says Secretary of State Colin Powell in a speech delivered to a US State Department Conference in Washington D.C. on July 12.

“First and foremost, we are totally committed to supporting sustainable development.” Powell announced.

The second message that the US will bring to the United Nations Summit to be held in Johannesburg this August is that sustainable development must begin at home.

“Both official assistance and private capital are most effective when they go to governments that rule justly, invest in their people, and encourage economic freedom,” said Powell.

“The third message we will take to Johannesburg is that governments, civil society and the private sector must work in partnership to mobilize development resources,” Powell said. “We must work together to unleash human productivity, to reduce poverty, to promote healthy environments and foster this kind of sustainable growth.”

The US is already engaged in numerous partnerships to promote sustainable development. Powell discussed the government’s partnership with South Africa to reverse deforestation and its commitment to partnerships to fight HIV/AIDS.

The audience was also reminded of President Bush’s announcement that he will seek approval to increase America’s development assistance by fifty percent.

“Our vision for Johannesburg is to build on these three messages: commitment, good policies, and partnerships. We will build on these three messages by inviting developed and developing nations to join us in opening economies and societies to growth. For growth, growth, growth is the key to raising people out of poverty.”

Powell concluded by pointing out that sustainable development is a marathon, not a sprint. “Sustainable development requires institutions, policies, people and effective partnerships to
carry our common effort beyond Johannesburg and well into the future.”

Read full speech.