Looking Towards Rio+20

On track to Rio+20
In preparation for the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development Rio+20, a 2nd Intersessional Meeting was held on December 15-16, 2012 at the UN Headquarters. The two-day meeting was organized to discuss the ‘Compilation Document’ submitted by Member States, Major Groups and Non Governmental Organization in preparation for the ‘Zero Draft’, an outcome document for Rio+20. The Rio+20 Conference will focus on two themes: (a) green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; and (b) the institutional framework for sustainable development.
In their statements, the G77 group highlighted the implementation gap of past agreements notably the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development and pushed for fulfilling the financial commitments by developed countries. Member countries from Africa voiced their concern for the more development support to Africa while the Least Developed Countries asked for inclusion of inter-generational equity, inclusion of gender, financial and technological security and protection of the most vulnerable countries. Similarly, the Association of Small Island States (AOSIS) asked for the inclusion of the ‘blue economy’ in protecting the oceans by reducing overfishing and protecting marine ecosystem. All countries voiced their support for an ‘action oriented strong political agreement’ with emphasis on poverty reduction, biodiversity protection, agriculture and sustainable development, while the US was quick to voice their concern against any binding agreement and a single negotiation text at Rio+20. Russia and India stated that developing countries must be permitted to grow and should not be restricted by the ‘excessive green protectionism’ by the international communities.
In addition, Member countries also discussed the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development. The key perspective raised were strengthening the three pillars of sustainable development i.e. social, economic and development, strengthening UNEP for environmental governance, creating an energy agency and either reforming of UNCSD or creating a Sustainable Development Council. Member States also stated that institutions of economic and financial governance must be included along with the UN entities themselves for improving governance for sustainable development.