United Nations Launches Campaign for ‘Rio+20’ Conference Featuring Global Conversation on ‘The Future We Want’

22 November 2011

United Nations Launches Campaign for ‘Rio+20’ Conference Featuring Global Conversation on ‘The Future We Want’

22 November 2011
Press Release
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

United Nations Launches Campaign for ‘ Rio+20’ Conference Featuring

Global Conversation on ‘The Future We Want’


Project Will Seek People’s Contributions to New Visions of Sustainable Future

The United Nations launched a new campaign today to promote next June’s “Rio+20” United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development and the need to engage people in a global conversation on the kind of communities in which they would like to live 25 years from now.

“Rio+20:  The Future We Want” will work through public participation to envision how societies in all parts of the world can build a future that promotes prosperity and improves the quality of people’s lives without further degrading the natural environment.

“We need to imagine a different future,” United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.  “What would our world look like if everyone had access to the food they need, to an education, and to the energy that is required to develop?  What would our communities look like if we created a vibrant, job-rich, green economy?  This is the future we want.”

The campaign aims to encourage people everywhere to engage in a global conversation that will be collected and melded into visions of the future, to be exhibited at the Conference in June 2012.  Rio+20 will bring together world leaders and thousands of participants representing all sectors of society, including academia, agriculture, business and industry, indigenous peoples, mayors and local authorities, non-governmental organizations, trade unions, women and youth.

“ Rio+20 is our best chance to define pathways to a sustainable future,” said Conference Secretary-General Sha Zukang, who is also United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs.  “World leaders, along with thousands of participants from the private sector, [non-governmental organizations] and other groups, will come together to shape how we can reduce poverty, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection on an ever more crowded planet.”

The United Nations also unveiled its new website, www.un.org/sustainablefuture, linking the Rio+20 Conference and “The Future We Want” campaign.  The website also serves as a platform for informing the public about several key sustainable development issues, including cities, disaster resilience, energy, food, jobs, oceans and water.  A wide range of actions on these key issues will be presented in Rio.

“With today’s launch of ‘ Rio+20:  The Future We Want’, we are launching a global conversation about our future,” said Kiyo Akasaka, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information.  “Through this conversation, we are looking to engage people everywhere on what this future should look like, and what we need to do to realize this vision,” he added.  “We need to do more to take sustainable development out of the realm of the abstract and make it real to people.  We need to show, now more than ever, that it is possible to have development that generates prosperity for everyone and an improved quality of life while protecting our natural environment.”

For the campaign, the United Nations is working with the non-governmental organization The Future We Want to develop the exhibition for Rio.  Through electronic and non-electronic formats, especially for those without Internet access, the project asks everyone to join the global conversation and voice their ideas for a better future.  The online contributions, together with people’s videos, photos, letters, essays and drawings offering different perspectives on a sustainable future, will form the basis of the exhibition.

The Conference will take place in Rio de Janeiro from 20 to 22 June.

For more information on the global conversation, visit www.un.org/sustainablefuture.  For more information on the Rio+20 Conference, visit www.uncsd2012.org.

For media information, please contact Dan Shepard, United Nations Department of Public Information, tel.:  +1 212 963 9495; or e-mail:  shepard@un.org.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.