Last year, people from across the globe came together at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). They decided on a broad range of measures to achieve a more sustainable future. One year later, the momentum for action remains strong. Tune in for a live Google+ hangout on 13 June with DESA’s Under-Secretary-General Wu Hongbo, to mark the one year anniversary of this milestone event.
Rio+20 was the largest UN conference ever, bringing together 50,000 people representing governments, civil society, media and academia. The Conference adopted the historic outcome document -The Future We Want. Over 1300 voluntary commitments were made since the Rio+20 Conference took place.
Celebrating the one year anniversary, DESA’s Under-Secretary-General Mr. Wu Hongbo is bringing together a high-level panel of participants involved in realizing the commitments made, in facilitating the intergovernmental discussions on sustainable development goals and in ensuring an inclusive process involving all nine major groups.
Mr. Wu encourages everyone to “Find out what actions have been taken since Rio+20”. He invites the online community to watch the live event on 13 June at 11 am EDT and to submit questions in advance using the Twitter hashtag #SDinAction. The event will offer valuable insights into the work currently carried out to ensure a successful path towards the future we want.
Taking place on the UN Google+ page, the event will be moderated by Mr. Nikhil Seth, Director of DESA’s Division for Sustainable Development and former Head of the Rio+20 Secretariat. It will feature panelists including representatives who are actively involved in the General Assembly’s Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, as well as representatives from the Major Groups.
Sustainable development goals
One of the main results of Rio+20 was the agreement to develop a set of sustainable development goals (SDGs). The conference did not elaborate on specific goals, but stated that the SDGs should be limited in number, action-oriented, concise, easy to communicate, aspirational, global in nature and universally applicable.
The inter-governmental Open Working Group mandated to submit a proposal for sustainable development goals for consideration and appropriate action to the 68th Session of the General Assembly was established in January of this year and is co-chaired by the Permanent Representatives of Kenya and Hungary. With representatives from the Open Working Group participating in the hangout, it will offer an update on where we are in the discussions on these goals.
“The SDGs have the potential for accelerating and continuing the work begun with the MDGs. They will also take into account the long-term sustainability of poverty eradication and development outcomes, in all countries across the world,” said Mr. Wu, as the working group met earlier this spring.
Ensuring an inclusive process towards the future we want
Since the first Earth Summit in 1992, it was recognized that sustainable development could not be achieved by governments alone. Reflected in the outcome document from that event, “Agenda 21″, the need to harness expertise and capacity from all sectors of society and all types of people was underscored.
There are today nine major groups representing children and youth; business and industry; farmers; indigenous peoples; local authorities; NGOs; the scientific and technological community; women and workers and trade unions. Side by side with UN agencies, Member States and other international stakeholders, they are working to ensure that we stay on course towards a more sustainable future.
“We have embarked on a historic journey. It will not be easy. In fact, if there is something we can already agree on, it is that this journey will be arduous. Difficult as it is, we will reach our shared destination. We owe this to our children and grandchildren. We have the historic responsibility and the opportunity to contribute to a better world for them. Let us seize that opportunity,” concluded Mr. Wu as he addressed the open working group earlier this spring.
Be sure to watch the hangout event on 13 June at 11 am EDT and listen to the live discussion with Mr. Wu and the representatives from the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, as well as from the Major Groups.
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