ICPD and the Roadmap to Rio
During the workshop a presentation was given via a video message by Ms Chantal Line Carpentier, Sustainable Development Officer & Major Groups Programme Coordinator, UNDESA, Division for Sustainable Development on the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio + 20.
The Conference has one objective, namely to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development. As part of it, the Conference will be assessing progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on SD while addressing new and emerging issues, as defined in the UN General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/64/236.
There are two thematic foci for the Conference:
- A green economy for sustainable development; and
The institutional framework for sustainable development.
With regard to the Outcome Document of the Conference, Governments want a focused political document, which should not be long like Agenda 21, that ensuring implementation of commitments. It should address the integration of economic, social and environmental pillars and goals and foster coherence of action at all levels including UN and national levels.
Progress in developing the Outcome document
Some 686 submissions for the Outcome document, which is available on line (ADD LINK), had been received by the November 1 deadline of which 493 (80 percent) came from major groups and other stakeholders. It will also include the results of the regional Preparatory meetings, which have already been held, and national meetings. The Compilation document was discussed at the 2nd Inter-sessional Meeting in December 2011, with Guidance being developed for the structure of the Zero-Draft of the Outcome Document. This Zero-Draft, having been discussed by the Bureau, will be released by 10 January 2012 and then negotiated in Informal-Informals meetings 13--17 February, 19-- 23 March and 30 April – 4 May in New York. A Third Inter-sessional Meeting will be held in New York 26 - 27 March. The document will then be finalized at the 3rd PrepCom in 13- 15 June, immediately before the Conference in Rio de Janeiro, at which it is hoped to get agreement. There will be four Thematic days, 16 – 19 June on key issues that are emerging, led by the Brazilian Government. The Conference, itself, will take place on 20- 22 June.
Bureau for the Conference
The members of the Bureau who are responsible for the process leading up to the Conference are;
- African Group – Egypt and Botswana
- Asian Group – Pakistan and South Korea
- GRULAC (Latin America and Caribbean Group) – Argentina and Barbuda
- CEIT (Countries with Economies in Transition) – Croatia and the Czech Republic
- WEOG (Western European and Others Group) – US (1st half of period) then Canada (2nd half of period) and Italy
- Ex officio – Brazil
First theme for the conference: A green economy for sustainable development
In looking at the progress to date, there is not total agreement as to what is meant by a green economy in the context of poverty alleviation and sustainable development. The Latin American region has presented Sustainable Development goals, which appear to be gaining some traction, while the European Union has presented a proposal for a road map to a green economy. The question therefore is how can the transition take place at different paces for different levels of development. There is also emerging agreement on what the green economy is not, ie it is not meant to be adding to trade protection, or to international aid conditionality, or to impinge on national sovereignty.
Second theme for the conference: The institutional framework for sustainable development
With respect to the institutional framework for sustainable development, support appears to be developing for the upgrading of the CSD to permanent Council level, which would further develop and strengthen support for sustainable development within the UN system and at national level. There is increasing support for the idea of upgrading UNEP to become a UN specialized agency potentially with full membership, together with strengthening regional commissions, enhancing CSO participation, voice and space into the UN and the sustainable development process and the contribution of the UN in supporting initiatives as the national level. Seven priority areas have been identified that are clearly emerging:
- Green jobs and social exclusion;
- Energy access, efficiency and sustainability;
- Food security and sustainable agriculture;
- Sound water management;
- Sustainable cities;
- Sustainable management of the oceans; and
- Improved resilience and disaster preparedness.
There are also cross-cutting areas, including:
- Sustainable consumption and production;
- Means of implementation, both platforms for knowledge-sharing and innovative tools and financing mechanisms
Justifications that are proposed in the submissions
These justifications include the need for two planets by 2050 at the rate at which we are using resources, having already exceeded three of the planetary boundaries out of nine and in the knowledge that the world could be running out od some resources according to global supply forecasts.
Agenda 21 defines nine major groups, with Civil Society being referred to in eight out of 29 paragraphs of the resolution calling for the Rio + 20 Conference. Civil Society, moreover, is invited to participate at all levels, including at the Conference itself.
Training workshops for capacity building were organized for Civil Society at the Regional Meetings and funding has been obtained from the European Commission to continue the capacity building in the other meetings leading up to the Conference and in the Rio Conference itself. Civil Society is also invited to participate through the Website through the Major Groups Organizing Partners or by emailing UNCSD2012@un.org for a username and password, for those who do not fit into any of the nine groups.
The Organizing Partners for the Major Groups can be contacted on line at http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?menu+35
For Groups that have not been involved organizations can look at the Declaration from the DPI/Bonn Conference or the 13 Conventions that have been proposed by various groups on issues ranging from universal access to clean energy to corporate accountability (based on ISO2600).
Participating in the Rio + 20 Conference
NGOs and other Major groups’ organizations not accredited to the UN will be offered an opportunity to become accredited to the Conference. They may apply for accreditation up to 20 February 2012. Further information is available on the Rio + 20 website. Information on accreditation for organizations in consultative status with ECOSOC or are on the CSD Roster can also be found on the website. It will close on 20 May 2012
Other meetings in Rio
Side events, partnership fairs and other meetings are planned at the time of the Conference, in addition to the four Thematic days (referred to above). Information will again be made available on the website.
NGOs Beyond 2014
Contribute to the NGO Beyond 2014 discussion on SRHR has to be part of the Rio Process.
The final report from the meeting, Moving Beyond 2014: A Civil Society Stakeholder Meeting, is now available for download