In less than one year, Rio de Janeiro will host the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20. The meetings on 4-6 June 2012, marking the 20th anniversary of the 1992 Rio Conference, will attract politicians and heads of state from around the world. As decisions reached in Brazil will direct the future course of sustainable development, extensive groundwork must be laid. These preparations are intensifying as the conference draws closer.
Incheon, Republic of Korea, is the venue for a seminar on the energy requirements of sustainable development, held at Yonsei University International Campus on 25-26 August. These meetings will bring industry, academics and government experts together, and will contribute to the work of the newly established UN Office for Sustainable Development, as well as to the agenda of Rio+20.
Also in Incheon this month, at the third annual Global Model UN Conference on Sustainable Development, youth representatives discussed “Advancing Human Progress in Harmony with Nature”. Young people are heavily involved in sustainable development initiatives, and will also be participating in Rio+20.
The importance of youth involvement also extends well beyond the Conference. Rio+20 Conference Secretary-General and UN DESA’s Under-Secretary-General Sha Zukang identified young people as our “best sources of strength, of inspiration, of new ideas”, drawing attention to the value of young people’s contribution to community work, as well as their role as policy shapers of the future.
As preparations continue, and stakeholders invest time and expertise, significant achievement at Rio+20 becomes ever more attainable.