Breakfast Event: Briefing and Open Dialogue on Rio+20

Welcome Remarks by Mr. Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Secretary-General of the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development

Good morning and welcome to this breakfast event.

I’m pleased we now have time for a relaxed, informal dialogue.

I notice that this breakfast event is billed as a briefing, and an open dialogue on Rio+20.

I actually hope it is more of a two-way dialogue.

We want to hear from you – your views, perspectives and expectations for Rio+20.

Let me just say a few words on preparations.

Overall, so far, preparations are on the right track.

We hope to have all logistic, security and meeting facilities in place by the end of May.  Our host Brazil is working extraordinarily hard.   I am heading an inter-departmental mission to Brazil in early March to have one more round of review and discussion.

But you will be interested more in the outcomes.

Based on discussions so far, we see Rio+20 outcomes may – I emphasize may, include the following:

  • Renewing political commitments, including the adoption of or launching a process for aspirational sustainable development goals.
  • A framework for action that addresses the seven-plus priorities. Such a framework would include:
    • a roadmap for a green economy appropriate to national circumstances; and
    • toolkits of lessons learned and best practices.
  • A robust institutional framework with all three pillars strengthened, Possibly
    • with the CSD elevated into a Sustainable Development Council reporting to the General Assembly, very much similar to UN Human Rights Council; its mandate would be to review progress in implementation; and,
    • a strengthened UNEP with universal membership, stronger roles in science, capacity-building for developing countries, and much strengthened funding (the option of launching a process to transform UNEP into a specialized agency is still on the table, as quite a number of countries prefer this option, and you heard the strong commitment by the host Kenya yesterday).
  • A registry of voluntary commitments/initiatives launched at Rio.

I am pleased to note this breakfast event is being facilitated by Ms. Chistine Won Weizsaecker, President of ECOROPA, .

I also want to thank Brice Lalonde for being here.  Brice is one of our two Executive Coordinators for Rio+20 and has been helping guide the preparations.

We also have Ambassador Ashe, Co-Chair of the PrepCom, and Professor Modan and Dr. Soprano. Both are members of the Bureau of the PrepCom.

I am sure they will make interesting and rich presentations in the next one hour and half.

Thank you.