01.12.2011 - UNESCO Office in Venice/UNECE

UNECE region prepares for Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development

©United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

The Regional Preparatory Meeting for the United Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, Rio+20) for the UNECE region is scheduled to take place in Geneva at the Palais des Nations on 1 and 2 December 2011. About 300 delegates representing Governments, intergovernmental organizations, UN agencies, and civil society organizations will gather to identify the specific challenges and priorities of the UNECE region with regard to the Rio+20 Conference. UNESCO will be represented by Engelbert Ruoss, Director of the Venice Office, UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe. The results of the meeting, including policy recommendations and good practices, will be transmitted to the global preparatory process and presented at the Second Intersessional Meeting for UNCSD (New York, 15–16 December 2011).

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development is scheduled to take place in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) from 20-22 June 2012. Twenty years after the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, where countries adopted Agenda 21 – a blueprint to rethink economic growth, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection - the UN is again bringing together governments, international institutions, the private sector, NGOs and other stakeholders to agree on a range of measures that can reduce poverty while promoting decent jobs, clean energy and a more sustainable and fair use of resources.

The official discussions will focus on two main themes: how to build a green economy to achieve sustainable development and lift people out of poverty, including support for developing countries that will allow them to find a green path for development; and, how to improve coordination for sustainable development at international, regional and national levels.

The Regional Preparatory Meeting for the UNECE region was mandated by the UN General Assembly as part of the preparatory activities in all regions for the Rio+20 Conference. The meeting will be co-chaired by deputy-ministers from Poland and Kazakhstan. The Secretary-General of the Rio+20 Conference, United Nations Under-Secretary General Mr. Sha Zukang, will participate in the meeting.

The meeting will tackle the same issues as the Rio+20 Conference itself, however, with a focus on measures required and existing good practices in the UNECE region.

At the Seventh Ministerial Conference “Environment for Europe” that took place in Astana/Kazakhstan in September 2011 the Ministers of the  Environment from the UNECE region declared "We agree to take the lead in the transition to a green economy and to make a substantive contribution to the discussions on green economy within the context of sustainable development and poverty alleviation at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development….”. The Regional Preparatory Meeting will build on the Astana outcomes on green economy. It will furthermore assess how developed countries from the UNECE region can assist poorer countries in and beyond the region in their transition to a green economy.

For further information, please visit :http://www.unece.org/env/sustainabledevelopment/rpm2011/rpm2011.html

United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (2012 Rio de Janeiro)

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