17 March 2011
Mr. Valeriy Rastorguev, Professor, Moscow State University, Political Science Department
On 17 March, the UNIC Moscow, jointly with the Public Chamber, held a roundtable “Modernization of Economy, Sustainable Development and Civil Society. Rio+20.”
In his opening remarks, UNIC Director stressed that the current way of heedless resource consumption has left the world out on a limb. Hence the task to define and urgently implement a realistic, down-to-earth development model that could “connect the dots between the key issues of our time” – climate change, population growth, poverty and environmental stress – and build a resilient, sustainable future.
The key-note speaker was Vladimir Zakharov, Director of the Institute for Sustainable Development and member of the Public Chamber. He pointed out that, at the national level, it was necessary to assess achievements and problems on the way forward. Civil society should play a decisive role in this respect, he stressed. This means propagating fresh ideas, supporting them and participating in their implementation. In the first place, the speaker noted, the task implies broad educational activity in Russia’s regions. A significant role may be played by “institutes of public policy”, which bring together experts and activists to identify ways of solving problems.
A scholar stated that, just like the whole world, Russia is facing new challenges. There is a need to back modernization - based on win-win solutions - by economic efficiency and, at the same time, decrease hazardous emissions and promote waste-free production. Observing the principles of sustainable development is a way out of the current crisis, he opined.
There was a general feeling that new opportunities for this country are opened up by the global Rio+20 process. Participants agreed to assess the current situation in Russia and draft proposals for inclusion into the National Report for the global conference. They are going to focus on introducing a system of indicators of sustainable development and measures to lessen the energy intensity of the Russian economy.