The Rio Times, By Sarah de Sainte Croix, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Twenty years after the inaugural 1992 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development – the Earth Summit – was held in Rio, the city will once again play host to the event. Now Rio is gearing up for the “Rio+20” (June 20th to 22nd), and on March 9th Conference Secretary-General, Sha Zukang was in Brazil to discuss the logistics with Environment Minister, Izabella Teixeira.
The organizers are expecting representatives from 193 member states to attend, from governments, the private sector, NGOs and other stakeholders.
The Brazilian Rio+20 Commission, which was set up in 2011, is responsible for coordinating the hosting of the event. The conference itself is an intergovernmental process, directed by United Nations Member States and overseen by the UN.
The debates will focus on two principle themes: the green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; and the institutional framework for sustainable development, which will look at ways to strengthen the effectiveness of global sustainability resolutions.
According to the organizers, its objective is to renew political commitment to sustainable development, by assessing the progress made on the goals set at previous major summits – including the 1992 Earth Summit and the 2002 Johannesburg Summit – and identifying gaps in implementation.
On March 9th, Teixeira said the elections in other countries should not hinder the presence of heads of state at Rio+20, stating that 79 delegations have confirmed their presence so far. She also reinforced that the goal of the conference is to come up with concrete decisions, and not just to debate. “[Rio+20] is a conference for stamping documents and saying that we approve.”
The organizers say, “[It] should help define the sustainable development agenda for the coming decades.”
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