100-Day Countdown to Rio+20 Spurs Calls for Increased Action towards Sustainability

12 March 2012

100-Day Countdown to Rio+20 Spurs Calls for Increased Action towards Sustainability

12 March 2012
Press Release
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

100-Day Countdown to Rio+20 Spurs Calls for Increased Action

towards Sustainability


The 100-day countdown to this June’s “Rio+20” Conference started today with calls for a sharp increase in the level of ambition by Governments, businesses and civil society to reach an outcome in Rio that will effectively accelerate the move towards more sustainable solutions to many of the world’s most pressing problems.

With the world facing urgent global challenges — ranging from access to energy, water and food, to climate change, overfishing, polluted oceans, unemployment and widening inequalities — the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, called Rio+20, is an historic opportunity for Government leaders and thousands of other participants to shape how the world adopts policies and measures that can promote prosperity and reduce poverty, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “The stakes are rising.  We have 100 days to Rio+20.  One hundred days to a once-in-a-generation opportunity.  We must agree on sustainable solutions to build the future we want.”

The Secretary-General has named sustainable development as a priority issue for the United Nations over the next five years and has launched a major initiative on energy to deliver, by 2030, universal access to electricity, a doubling in the rate of improvement of energy efficiency, and a doubling of the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

To commemorate the 100-day milestone and to highlight the Future We Want campaign, global stakeholders, major groups and United Nations system partners will be using social media on that day to share messages of support and highlight a few of the most important issues and objectives of Rio+20.

“The involvement of civil society is critical for the success of Rio+20,” said Sha Zukang, Secretary-General of Rio+20.  “Through social media, we hope to reach an ever growing number of people about the importance of the Conference and the need to take action now to advance sustainable development.”

Helping countries and communities move towards a green economy while accelerating efforts to eradicate poverty will be key among Rio+20 discussions.  Governments will also be considering ways to improve the effectiveness of international institutions that support sustainable development. Expectations are that Governments, business and other stakeholders will register more than 1,000 voluntary, concrete and measurable commitments to support global sustainability.

Member States and other stakeholders are considering the launch at Rio of a set of Sustainable Development Goals that focus and energize renewed political commitment for sustainable development.  The goals would be aspirational and address the three aspects of sustainable development — social, economic and environmental — in an integrated fashion.

Countries will continue negotiations next week on these and other proposed outcomes of Rio+20 at an intersessional meeting to be held in New York from 19 to 27 March.  Another round of talks is scheduled to take place from 23 April to 4 May, also in New York, with the final round in Rio de Janeiro from 13 to 15 June.

The negotiating process for the Rio+20 outcome document formally began in New York in January with discussions of a “zero draft”, entitled “The Future We Want”, which was based on more than 6,000 pages of submissions from United Nations Member States, civil society groups, businesses and others.

More than 100 presidents and prime ministers, along with thousands of parliamentarians, mayors, United Nations officials, CEOs, non-governmental organization leaders, academics and representatives from many other groups will come together in Rio.  Some 50,000 people are expected to participate in the Conference, with many thousands more expected in Rio de Janeiro at the time.  Outside of official discussions, nearly 1,000 events focused on related issues are scheduled before and around the time of Rio+20.

For more information on Rio+20, visit www.uncsd2012.org.

To join the global conversation on Rio+20:  The Future We Want, visit www.un.org/futurewewant, or #FutureWeWant.

Making it Happen newsletter:  http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/newsletter.html.

Media Contacts

For interviews and more information, contact the United Nations Department of Public Information:  Pragati Pascale, tel.:  +1-212-963-6870, e-mail:  pascale@un.org; Dan Shepard, tel.:  +1-212-963-9495, e-mail:  shepard@un.org.

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