31 January 2012Reform of environmental institutions is needed so countries can achieve sustainable development, the President of the General Assembly Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser said today, and stressed that States must prepare and contribute to this reform ahead of the major United Nations Sustainable Development Conference (Rio+20) in June. “Realities on the ground show that sustainable development depends on an effective framework of institutions and decision-making processes at local, national, regional and global levels, working together. Yet international environmental governance is, at present, in need of more consolidation,” said Mr. Al Nasser at the conference entitled Towards new global governance for the environment in Paris.Mr. Al-Nasser stressed the need for new innovative mechanisms to ensure that existing environmental mandates are well-coordinated and efficient, and underlined the opportunity that Rio+20 presents to work on this aspect.“From our preparations to date, one single message emerges: the Rio+20 outcome will need to give birth to a strong institutional architecture.“An architecture that promotes a better integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental protection – and addresses new and emerging issues,” he said.In his remarks to the conference, Mr. Al-Nasser highlighted several preparation activities that have already made recommendations for environmental reform including those made by the Rio+20 initial draft, “The Future we Want,” which was the result of three days of deliberation by Member States and civil society groups last week.He also reiterated his support for Members States in this particular issue. “It is my intention to support Member States in achieving ambitious reform of the UN’s environmental governance structure,” he said. “There is no doubt that the success of our efforts will require longer-term vision, as well as the genuine willingness of Members States to preserve our planet for future generations to enjoy in dignity,” he added.