United Nations and Brazilian officials signed on 5 April the key legal agreement that allows Brazil to host this June’s United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20, in Rio de Janeiro. 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 that will be held at the Riocentro Exhibition and Convention Center, 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 UN jurisdiction will take place on 5 June.
More than 135 vice presidents, and prime ministers, are inscribed speak at Rio +20. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Mr. Sha, will be joined by thousands of business CEOs, parliamentarians, mayors, NGO leaders, academics, senior UN officials and representatives from many other groups at Rio+20. Over 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 an 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 that 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 nongovernmental organizations, business and industry and other major groups.
Source: UN News