19 March 2012
Press Release
ENV/DEV/1264

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

New Proposals Offered as Negotiations for Rio+20 Resume in New York

 


Negotiations on the outcome document for “Rio+20” resume today, with countries advancing many new proposals that will shape the direction of how the world will move the sustainable development agenda forward.


Countries have submitted additional comments since the initial round of negotiations for the Rio+20 outcome document began in January.  The “zero draft” of the outcome document, entitled “The Future We Want”, was based on more than 6,000 pages of submissions from United Nations Member States, civil society groups, businesses and others.  This round of negotiations continues through 27 March at United Nations Headquarters, and is expected to hone the document further.


In addition to the proposals by countries, the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability has made 56 recommendations to advance sustainability, including a recommendation to move towards a “new political economy” that would change the way the world measures economic progress to include social and environmental externalities.


“The reason we are gathering here now is because at Rio+20 we must agree on solutions to major global challenges for the sake of everyone, with an eye towards tomorrow’s generations,” the United Nations Rio+20 Secretary-General, Sha Zukang, said.  “Rio+20 can be the moment when we say we determined the future we want.  I urge everyone to realize the opportunities afforded at Rio+20 and to seize them now.”


More than 100 presidents and prime ministers, along with thousands of business CEOs, parliamentarians, mayors, United Nations officials, non-governmental organization leaders, academics, renowned artists and representatives from many other groups will come together for Rio+20 — the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development — to be held 20‑22 June 2012.  Some 50,000 people are expected to participate in the Conference, with thousands more expected in Rio de Janeiro in the lead-up to and at the time of the Conference.


The negotiations for Rio+20 will lead to major decisions by Government leaders and others that will set the global agenda for reducing poverty, advancing social equity and ensuring environmental protection.  Rio+20 provides the opportunity to move forward on solutions to address urgent global challenges, such as lack of access to energy and water, unemployment, widening inequalities, technological gaps, rapid urbanization, food insecurity, overfishing and polluted oceans, and to boost scientific and financial innovations, corporate responsibility and economic markets.


Helping countries and communities move towards a green economy while accelerating efforts to eradicate poverty and promote sustainable development will be key among Rio+20 discussions.  Countries will also be considering measures to improve the effectiveness of global institutions that support sustainable development — development that simultaneously promotes prosperity, improves the quality of life and protects the environment.


A process to launch a set of sustainable development goals has been a priority in preliminary negotiations.  The proposed goals, which would need further finalization, would act as a series of benchmarks for countries to follow and achieve a range of targeted outcomes to advance sustainable development within a specific time period.


“For a sustainable future, we need actions that are bold and transformative at all levels, and these steps in negotiating ahead of Rio+20 are vital to ensuring that we get results and commitments at Rio+20 for the benefit of everyone and our planet,” Mr. Sha said.


The negotiations are divided into a round of “informal informal” negotiations from 19 to 23 March, and an intersessional meeting from 26 to 27 March.  In addition to key negotiations, the time period also provides the opportunity for a wide range of side events organized by different groups to present topics related to Rio+20.


The next steps for finalizing the Rio+20 outcome document will occur during a negotiating session to be held in New York from 23 April to 4 May, with a final round taking place in Rio from 13 to 15 June.


For more information on the session and Rio+20, visit www.uncsd2012.org.


To join the global conversation on Rio+20: The Future We Want, visit www.un.org/futurewewant.


Media Contacts


For interviews and more information, contact the United Nations Department of Public Information: Pragati Pascale, tel.: +1 212 963 6870, e-mail: pascale@un.org; Dan Shepard, tel.: +1 212 963 9495, e-mail: shepard@un.org.


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For information media • not an official record