UN launches campaign for Rio+20 featuring global conversation on the future we want

Rio+20: The future we want (UN Photo/Martine Perret)

The UN launched a new campaign today to promote next June’s Rio+20 conference and the need for sustainable development by engaging people in a global conversation on the kind of communities they would like to live in twenty years from now.

The new campaign, Rio+20: The Future We Want, will work through public participation to envision how societies in all parts of the world can build a future that promotes prosperity and  improves people’s quality of life without further degrading our planet’s natural environment.

“We need to imagine a different future.” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. “What would our world look like if everyone had access to the food they need, to an education, and to the energy that is required to develop? What would our communities look like if we created a vibrant, job-rich, green economy?  This is the future we want”.

The campaign aims to encourage people everywhere to engage in a global conversation that will be collected and melded into visions of the future to be exhibited in Rio de Janeiro at the conference. Rio+20 will bring together world leaders and thousands of participants representing all sectors of society, including academia, agriculture, business and industry, indigenous peoples, mayors and local authorities, non-governmental organizations, trade unions, women and youth.

“Rio+20 is our best chance to define pathways to a sustainable future,” Rio+20 Secretary-General Sha Zukang said. “World leaders, along with thousands of participants from the private sector, NGOs and other groups, will come together to shape how we can reduce poverty, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection on an ever more crowded planet.”

The UN also unveiled its new website, www.un.org/sustainablefuture, that links the Rio+20 Conference and The Future We Want project. The website also serves as a platform for informing the public about several key sustainable development issues, including cities, disasters, energy, food, jobs, oceans and water. A wide range of actions and results on these key issues will be presented at Rio+20.

“With today’s launch of Rio+20: The Future We Want, we are launching a global conversation about our future.  Through this conversation, we are looking to engage people everywhere on what this future should look like, and what we need to do to realize this vision,” said Kiyo Akasaksa, UN Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information.

“We need to do more to take sustainable development out of the realm of the abstract and make it real to people. We need to show, now more than ever, that it is possible to have development that generates prosperity for everyone and an improved quality of life while protecting our natural environment.”

For the campaign, the UN is working with a non-governmental organization, The Future We Want, to develop the exhibit for Rio. Through electronic and non-electronic formats, especially for those without Internet access, the project asks everyone to join the global conversation and voice their ideas for a better future. The online contributions, together with people’s videos, photos, letters, essays and drawings offering different perspectives on a sustainable future, will form the basis on the exhibit.

More than 600 contributions have been received from governments, civil society and international organizations, which will contribute to the outcome of Rio+20. The Conference will take place in Rio de Janeiro from 20-22 June 2012.

Source: The UN Department of Public Information

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