UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson as a member of the new UN Panel on Global Sustainability.

"I am tremendously pleased and grateful for the opportunity to be a member of this panel on an issue of such importance to all humankind. This is also recognition of Sweden's very determined efforts on behalf of a sustainable environment for people in both rich and poor countries," stated Carlsson.

Under the Secretary General, the panel will plan sustainable growth and development with a focus on climate change. In launching the Panel, Ban noted that the accelerating pace of climate change has injected fresh urgency into efforts to provide a dignified life for all on a planet under severe and growing strain. Besides climate change, water scarcity, loss of biodiversity and destruction of ecosystems are other problems.

The panel is being jointly headed by the President of Finland, Tarja Halonen, and the President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma. Other members include US Ambassador to the UN, Susan E. Rice, former Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, Barbados Prime Minister, David Thompson, EU Commissioner, Connie Hedegaard and former Prime Minister of Norway, Gro Harlem Brundtland.

The panel will hold its first meeting in conjunction with the gathering of the UN General Assembly in New York in September. A secretariat will support it and deliver a final report to the Secretary General of the UN by the end of next year. In action, panel members will hold extensive discussions with government officials, members of the business community and representatives of civil society.