Rudd appointed to UN panel to tackle global sustainability issues

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Canberra, Aug 10 (ANI): Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has been appointed to an unpaid part-time position on a "high-level" United Nations panel to tackle global sustainability issues.

"This appointment is entirely consistent with Rudd's work as a member of Parliament should he be re-elected at the coming election," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted an UN spokesman, as saying.

"Rudd has a strong commitment to building on the international agreements on climate change, having been an active participant in the Bali and Copenhagen meetings of the Conference of the Parties on climate change," he added.

Rudd was approached by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last month to get involved with the United Nations project.

The appointment would require Rudd to attend three meetings over the next 18 months.

The 21-member High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability would be co-chaired by Finland's President Tarja Halonen and South African President Jacob Zuma.

It comprises of current and former world leaders, top diplomats and national ministers.

Ban said the panel would look at ways to combat global poverty through economic growth without contributing to global warming and harming the environment.

"It would tackle the intertwined challenges posed by poverty, hunger, water and energy security. In short, we need a new blueprint for a more livable, prosperous and sustainable future for all," Ban said.

Rudd, the first Australian premier to fail to finish a first term, was deposed in June by deputy Julia Gillard.

He will contest the August 21 parliamentary elections and has been promised a senior cabinet post if Labor is returned to office. (ANI)

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