Report on the First Preparatory Committee - Rio +20
In General Assembly Resolution A/64/236, paragraph 21, Member States called for a UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) to be organized “at highest possible level” in 2012, with three objectives, namely securing renewed political commitment for sustainable development; assessing the progress to date and remaining gaps in implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development; and addressing new and emerging challenges. The Resolution stipulates two specific themes for the Conference:
• a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, • the institutional framework for sustainable development.
The resolution called for three Preparatory Committee meetings, lasting a total of 8 days between 2010 and 2012, and requested the Secretary-General, in preparation for the first meeting, to submit a report on “progress to date and remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits in the area of sustainable development”, as well as an analysis of the two Conference themes. The report is available at http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N10/302/56/PDF/N1....
The Draft Rules of Procedure for the Conference were also discussed at this PREP COM meeting http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N10/328/43/PDF/N1... Comments on the rules of procedure and organization by the Major groups is also available http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/rio20/resources/pdfs/prepcom1/proceduralorganizationalcomments/NineMajorGroups.pdf . The Rules of Procedure were not agreed on at PREP COM 1.
In general most delegates supported the opportunity for a new Conference/ Summit and the Importance of the two themes which should be the central focus of the Conference. Statements were submitted by many delegates and the major groups and are to be found at http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/rio20/resources/perpcomm1statements17may.shtml
The meeting was organized around addressing key questions under each topic area http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/rio20/resources/pdfs/prepcom1/prepcom1InformationNote_2.pdf
PROGRESS TO DATE AND REMAINING GAPS IN IMPLEMENTATION Many delegates agreed there was need to understand why such large implementation gaps exist in meeting internationally agreed goals. The Millennium development goals were mentioned as key indicators to understand progress which has been made on sustainable development. Some countries mentioned lack of political while other emphasized donor commitments and failure to facilitate transfer of technology and capacity building. Lack of power to sanction any country was also mentioned, while other delegates mentioned the lack of standardized sustainable development indicators to measure progress.
NEW AND EMERGING CHALENGES There was no agreement across the board on new and emerging challenges. Some countries mentioned finance, food, fuel, others water and sanitation, education, the economy. It was also suggested that there were no new and emerging challenges which were not being addressed by other UN fora.
GREN ECONOMY IN THE CONTEXT OF SUSTAI NABLE DEVELOPMENT AND POVERTY
There is no current definition of the green economy. A number of countries provided ideas of what this could definition could include. Delegates stated that a definition needs to be agreed upon. UNEP has currently conducted some work http://www.unep.org/greeneconomy/
A number of countries warned about the importance of not transitioning to a green economy that could lead to conditionalities or standards that may restrict trade, financing or international assistance. Some of the ideas put forward include efforts to promote sustainable consumption and production, energy efficiency and the use of renewable energies; provision of decent employment opportunities. Some delegates noted concerns about moving away or abandoning the importance of “sustainable development”. The major groups called for a “paradigm shift”.
INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT:
Delegates spoke of the lack of coordination and cooperation among international organizations including the Bretton Woods Institutions and WTO, fragmentation of environmental agreements and the inefficiencies of the current UN system in the area of sustainable development ECOSAC and Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD). Most delegates spoke of the architecture of UN system, UNEP and the CSD. A number of countries mentioned the importance of the three pillars of sustainable development. UNEP outlined results from the “Belgrade process” on international environmental governance and said the current status of international environmental governance is disenfranchising smaller governments. WRI spoke on behalf of the NGO’s ( Major Group), we mentioned that this agenda item should not be restricted to discussing architecture and that discussions also need to focus on a framework that relied on providing access rights which can promote the idea that national accountability leads to international accountability. Mention was also made of the Aarhus Convention and UNEP Voluntary Guidelines on developing national legislation on access to information, public participation and access to justice.
The Rio Website is http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/rio20/resources/perpcomm1doccommentsUNCSDrioplus20.shtml Up-coming meetings as reported by IISD http://www.iisd.ca/download/pdf/enb2701e.pdf
HIGH-LEVEL REPRESENTATIVES ON IEG: This UNEP meeting will take place in Bogota, Colombia, from 7-9 July 2010 to consider broader reform of international environmental governance. A second meeting will take place in November 2010 in Helsinki, Finland. The purpose of these meetings is to prepare a report to inform the next meeting of the UNEP Governing Council in February 2011 and provide input to the Rio+20 process. For more information, contact Clara Nobbe, UNEP; tel: +254-20-762-3735; e-mail: Clara.Nobbe@unep.org; internet: http://www.unep.org/environmentalgovernance/
MILENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS SUMMIT: Taking place at UN Headquarters in New York from 20-22 ,September 2010, this meeting will focus on accelerating progress to achieve all the MDGs by 2015, taking into account progress made through a review of successes, best practices, lessons learned, obstacles and opportunities and leading to concrete strategies for action. For more information, visit: http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/calendar.shtml internet: http://unfccc.int/
FIRST INFORMAL INTERSESIONAL METING FORUNCSD: At PrepCom I for the UNCSD, delegates agreed that the Bureau should organize, within existing resources, “openended informal intersessional meetings of not more than six days” in total. The aim of these meetings is to hold “focused substantive discussions to advance the subject matter of the Conference.” The first of these, a two-day event, is to take place prior to PrepCom II, which is being held in March 2011. The exact dates and venue are to be confirmed. For more information, contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development, fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; internet: http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/rio20/
TWENTY-SIXTH SESION OF THE UNEP GOVERNING COUNCIL/GLOBAL MINISTERIAL ENVIRONMENT FORUM: This meeting will be held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 21-25 February 2011. The event constitutes the annual ministerial-level global environmental forum in which participants gather to review important and emerging policy issues in the field of the environment. For more information, contact: Secretary, Governing Bodies, UNEP; tel: +254-20- 762-3431; fax: +254-20-762-3929; e-mail: email@example.com; internet: http://www.unep.org/resources/gov/overview.asp
SECOND PREPCOM FOR UNCSD (RIO+20): This meeting, which will take place at UN Headquarters in New York from 7-8 March 2011, will convene in preparation for the UNCSD. For more information, contact: UN Division forSustainable Development; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; internet: http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/rio20/
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