In preparation for next year’s United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio 2012, the Second Preparatory Committee Meeting was held on 7-8 March at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The Committee met to further discuss the substantive themes of the conference and called on delegates to take collective action to save societies from mounting social tensions, ecological damage and the global economic crisis.The Committee examined the themes of Rio 2012—green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, and the institutional framework for sustainable development.
Mr. Sha Zukang, Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, stated that “Rio 2012 will be one of the most important events in the coming decade.” He continued: “We want to see an ambitious, action-oriented and authoritative outcome document that provides a clear pathway towards the global transition to a green economy, lifting people out of poverty, and towards greater institutions.”
Sustainable development stresses a holistic, equitable, and far-sighted approach to decision-making at all levels. It emphasizes not just strong economic performance, but intra- and intergenerational equity. Sustainable development relies on integration and a balanced consideration of social, economic, and environmental goals and objectives in both public and private decision-making.
Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, discussing the present model for economic growth, called for “revolutionary thinking” and action to lift people out of poverty while protecting the planet and ecosystems that support economic growth.
The panel on “The Transition to a Green Economy” discussed the risks and benefits of the transition. Professor Jose Antonio Ocampo of Columbia University, noted in his book, The Macroeconomics of the Green Economy, economic growth is a central process in the eradication of poverty.
Mr. Martin Khor, Executive Director of South Centre, discussed the importance of states and development to be sustainable, referencing the need to “think outside the box.” He also noted the right to development through leadership by finance and technology transfer, in particular the necessity of developed countries to assist developing countries.
The representative of Brazil in support of Rio 2012, said that “we count and pledge our full support to this preparatory work to achieve an outcome.”