NEW YORK, New York — Mikhail Gorbachev, Ted Turner, and Jane Goodall held a press conference today to discuss global peace, nuclear weapons, and sustainable development.
Oddly enough (or within its usual populist context), most questions from the media focused on off-topic, non-issues such the long-term friendship between Messrs, Gorbachev, and Turner, and their thoughts about the selection of a new pope.
I found it ironic that no members of the media were asking about security and environment, the major issues debated several floors below us at the Commission for Sustainable Development sessions. I slipped in the last question of the conference (see picture), asking Mr. Gorbachev about the reticence of world leaders to embrace these issues of environment, poverty, and development, and what would be effective tools to motivate world leaders to act.
The UN press office included Mr. Gorbachev’s response in its coverage:
“Asked how leaders could be motivated to work towards sustainable development, Mr. Gorbachev said action could not be postponed on security, poverty, and the environment. He called poverty ‘a slow fuse bomb,’ saying that it was not possible to deal with anything else unless that was dealt with first.”
–J. Carl Ganter
Circle of Blue director
J. Carl Ganter is co-founder and director of Circle of Blue, the internationally recognized center for original frontline reporting, research, and analysis on resource issues with a focus on the intersection between water, food, and energy.