9 April 2012
Press Release

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

Brazil, United Nations Sign Key Legal Agreement 5 April to Host Rio+20 Conference

United Nations and Brazilian officials on 5 April signed the key legal agreement that allows Brazil to host the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, “Rio+20”, in Rio de Janeiro, in June.

The agreement, known as the Host Country Agreement, was signed by Rio+20 Secretary-General Sha Zukang and the Permanent Representative of Brazil to the United Nations, Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, at the offices of the Rio+20 Conference Secretariat.

The Agreement, along with 117 pages of annexes, will govern the logistics for the Conference and pre-Conference meetings, which will be held at the Riocentro Exhibition and Convention Centre, including a preparatory conference 13-15 June, three days devoted to civil society dialogues on key issues 16-18 June, and the Rio+20 Conference that runs from 20 to 22 June.  The official transfer of the Conference site to United Nations jurisdiction will take place on 5 June.

More than 135 Vice-Presidents, and Prime Ministers, are inscribed to speak at Rio +20.  United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Mr. Sha will be joined by thousands of business Chief Executive Officers, parliamentarians, mayors, leaders of non-governmental organizations, academics, senior United Nations officials and representatives from many other groups at Rio+20.  More than 50,000 people are expected to participate in the Conference and related events in Rio de Janeiro during that period.

“Signing this agreement is a major milestone on our way to Rio,” Mr. Sha said.  “The agreement that we signed today, together with the strong cooperation we have enjoyed with the Government of Brazil throughout the preparatory process, paves the way forward for Rio+20 to achieve its potential for setting us on a new path towards a sustainable future — the future we want.”

Ambassador Viotti said the signing was “a good sign”.  She said, “Today we are launching the process.  This is the beginning of our engagement with the UN in terms of hosting the Conference.  There is goodwill on all sides and we will all work together to make sure that the Conference is a success.”

Rio+20 provides a historic opportunity to take decisive actions to set the world on a new path that is economically viable, as well as socially and environmentally sustainable, and to galvanize progress by bringing together representatives from all sectors of society.  Several outcomes are expected in Rio, including the Government-negotiated outcome document, which will set the sustainable development agenda; the announcement of a large number of new, voluntary commitments and initiatives for sustainable development by Governments, businesses and others; and recommendations, including by non-governmental organizations, businesses and industry, and other major groups.

For more information on Rio+20, visit www.uncsd2012.org.  To join the global conversation on Rio+20:  The Future We Want, visit www.un.org/futurewewant.  For interviews and more information, contact Pragati Pascale, tel.:  +1 212 963 6870, e-mail:  pascale@un.org; or Dan Shepard, tel.:  +1 212 963 9495, e-mail:  shepard@un.org, from the United Nations Department of Public Information.

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For information media • not an official record