Ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to thank the Brazilian Government for the hospitality and to pay tribute to the work carried out by the Secretariat of the United Nations, under the leadership of the Secretary General and the Brazilian authorities in organizing this Summit.
Today we are here to reaffirm our commitments and to ensure that a growth based on principle of sustainable development and environmental governance, is as significant now, and even more urgent, than it was 20 years ago in all aspects: global, regional, national and local. Sustainable development will require continued and sustained commitments and efforts from all of us.
Agenda 21, the Millennium Development Goals, the Doha Agenda for Development and the Monterrey consensus on financing for development, are today’s building blocks to address in an integrated and balanced manner the economic, environmental and social pillars of development.
Armenia was actively involved in the 1992 Summit and during the next 20 years, under the difficult conditions of transitional period and the policy of blockade, imposed on Armenia by some neighboring countries in violation of the principles of international law, put all its efforts to try to accomplish its commitments towards the sustainable development of the country.
In 2002 the Government of Armenia established the National Council on Sustainable Development, and later the Council for the Coordination of Sustainable Development Program Activities.
Since 1994 Sustainable development theory and practice have been included in the educational curriculum of our Universities. Armenian experts were actively involved in the Earth Charter negotiations, which is successfully used in Sustainable development educational modules.
In 2011 the National Coordination Committee was established for the purpose of coordinating preparatory work for ensuring the proper participation of Armenia to this summit. This committee has prepared <<Rio+20>> National Assessment Report.
The Committee held intensive discussions and public debates on the Report, the content of which proved the necessity to apply sustainable development principles has gradually become a priority in Armenia.
Today Armenia acceded to 22 environmental Conventions and Protocols, and is actively cooperating in this regard with all relevant international organizations.
Armenia tried to be involved in Rio+20 process to its best extent, supporting not only major existing proposals over the policies towards the transfer to green economy and poverty eradication, but also giving importance to the idea of strengthening institutional basis for sustainable development on the global and national levels.
During this Summit, Armenia, together with several international organizations and world leading universities, organized a side event and tried to share its views and experience on Environmental sustainability index, indicators and ecological footprint.
We hope that the consensus would be found for maintaining and developing the calculation methodology of the sustainable development index.
Armenia is engaged in a number of regional partnership structures; however from the perspective of sustainable development our region remains divided and unstable. The imprudent exploitation of Caspian energy resources, directing the income towards the arms race creates dangerous tensions in the region.
Recognizing that security and development are closely intertwined, the Millennium Declaration has an entire section on peace, security and disarmament in which, alongside the commitment to overcome poverty and strive for development, governments pledge to “spare no effort to free peoples from the scourge of war”.
In that context, the proliferation of arms and weapons continues to pose a tremendous threat not only to peace and security but also, and increasingly, to economic and social development. It is unfortunate, that our region faces that danger.
Today, we are witnessing an unprecedented growth of the military budget of the neighboring Azerbaijan which has increased dramatically over the last few years. The militaristic stance, adopted at the highest level in this country, pose a real threat to the regional security, stability and development.
As a result of those factors the capacities of regional countries are not fully realized and the implementation of sustainable development programs demands extreme efforts, resources and time.
Armenia is fully confident that the global commitment to sustainable development will be strengthened by this Summit and that more solid base to fight poverty and environmental degradation will be set in place.
Armenia confirms its strong will to promote and to support the initiatives aimed at transforming challenges into opportunities both at global and regional levels.