ECESA Plus readies the UN system for Rio+20
On the 6th of July, the Principals of ‘ECESA Plus’ gathered in Geneva to advance preparations by the UN system for the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20.
The Principals discussed concrete suggestions and proposals for outcomes of the Rio+20 process. They focused on both their organizations’ inputs to the outcome document and practical initiatives that could be launched at the Summit. The outcome document is expected to cover the two conference themes – 1) ‘a green economy within the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication’ and 2) ‘the institutional framework for sustainable development’ – and the conference objective of achieving renewed political commitment to sustainable development. Inputs to a compilation text are due from UN family organizations, as well as Member States and civil society, by 1 November 2011.
Principals were of the general view that the outcome document should reflect an appropriate balance and level of integration between the three pillars of sustainable development, namely economic and social development and environmental sustainability. In particular, the social pillar, including job creation and decent work and social inclusion, needed more emphasis.
Reflecting on the institutional framework for sustainable development, Principals considered five proposals from the UNEP Governing Council concerning institutional issues, including the consideration of establishing a new umbrella organization for sustainable development as well as reforming current institutions and streamlining existing structures. While stressing the need to strengthen the UN’s institutional capacity under the environmental pillar of sustainable development, Principals felt that it was equally important to support, strengthen and reform the institutions addressing economic and social development. Only such an approach could ensure a fully integrated response to the challenges of sustainable development. Principals agreed to continue intensive engagement and support in the preparations for Rio +20.
The ECESA Plus mechanism includes over 40 organizations and was established in mid-2010 as a way to bring relevant UN system agencies, the World Bank, IMF and the Rio Convention secretariats together with the Members of the Executive Committee on Economic and Social Affairs (ECESA) to prepare for Rio+20.
This meeting of ECESA Plus took place alongside the high-level segment of the substantive session of ECOSOC. Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Mr. Sha Zukang, chaired the meeting as Convener of ECESA and ECESA Plus and Secretary-General of the Rio+20 Conference.
Click here for more highlights