The UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20) Regional Preparatory Meeting for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) convened at the headquarters of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in Santiago, Chile, from 7-9 September 2011. Approximately 250 participants, including government ministers and delegates, and representatives from UN bodies, intergovernmental organizations, Major Groups, and the press, attended the first regional preparatory meeting for Rio+20, which will take place in June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The meeting provided an opportunity for LAC ministers and heads of delegation, as well as members of civil society and the UN, to share their views on the main themes of the UNCSD—a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, and the global institutional framework for sustainable development (IFSD)—as well as on progress to date and gaps in implementation since the UN Conference on Environment and Development, held in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro. As the first of the regional preparatory meetings, the UNCSD LAC meeting delegates faced the challenge of setting a high standard for the other regions both in terms of process and outcome, especially as the Rio+20 host region.
The meeting process was, in some respects, precedent setting, in particular by the inclusion of Major Groups, who participated actively and were given a prominent voice in the meeting, including being allowed to make statements first during the opening plenary. The final conclusions of the meeting recognized the relevance and contribution of civil society in sustainable development.
On green economy, different views persisted among countries. While some strongly opposed the concept for a variety of reasons, including the risk of trade barriers and protectionism, others saw it as a flexible means to achieve sustainable development that can be adjusted to national circumstances. The conclusions did not include any reference to the issue.
On IFSD, some countries suggested strengthening the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to provide a space for high-level dialogue on sustainable development issues. Cuba proposed strengthening the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and eliminating the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, among other modifications. The conclusions affirm commitment to achieve a global institutional framework for sustainable development, which is efficient and flexible, and ensures the effective integration of the three pillars of sustainable development.
A proposal by Colombia and Guatemala on defining sustainable development goals (LC/L.3366) was supported in principle by a number of countries, and along with proposals by Cuba (institutional framework for sustainable development) and Bolivia (Rights of Nature) were referenced in the conclusions, with delegates agreeing to take them home for further examination and consideration as contributions to the Conference.
The conclusions from this meeting will be submitted to the Rio+20 Preparatory Committee, which is receiving inputs for the draft negotiating document until 1 November 2011.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF UN ENVIRONMENTAL CONFERENCES
The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20) will mark the 40th anniversary of the first major international political conference specifically having the word “environment” in its title. The UNCSD seeks to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assess the progress and implementation gaps in meeting previously-agreed commitments, and address new and emerging challenges. The focus of the Conference includes the following themes to be discussed and refined during the preparatory process: a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; and the institutional framework for sustainable development (IFSD).
UNCHE: The UN Conference on the Human Environment was held in Stockholm, Sweden, from 5-16 June 1972, and produced three major sets of decisions. The first decision was the Stockholm Declaration. The second was the Stockholm Action Plan, made up of 109 recommendations on international measures against environmental degradation for governments and international organizations. The third set of decisions was a group of five resolutions calling for: a ban on nuclear weapons tests; the creation of an international databank on environmental data; addressing actions linked to development and environment; the creation of an environment fund; and establishing the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as the central node for global environmental cooperation and treaty-making.
WORLD COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT: In 1983, the UN General Assembly decided to establish an independent commission to formulate a long-term agenda for action. Over the next three years the Commission—more commonly known as the Brundtland Commission, after its chair, Gro Harlem Brundtland—held public hearings and studied the issues. Its report, Our Common Future, which was published in 1987, stressed the need for development strategies in all countries that recognized the limits of the ecosystem’s ability to regenerate itself and absorb waste products. The Commission emphasized the link between economic development and environmental issues, and identified poverty eradication as a necessary and fundamental requirement for environmentally sustainable development.
UN CONFERENCE ON ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT: UNCED, also known as the Earth Summit, was held from 3-14 June 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and involved over 100 Heads of State and Government, representatives from 178 countries, and some 17,000 participants. The principal outputs of UNCED were the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, Agenda 21 (a 40-chapter programme of action), and the Statement of Forest Principles. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity were also opened for signature during the Earth Summit. Agenda 21 called for the creation of a Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), as a functional commission of ECOSOC, to ensure effective follow-up of UNCED, enhance international cooperation, and examine progress in the implementation of Agenda 21 at the local, national, regional and international levels.
UNGASS-19: The 19th Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGASS) for the Overall Review and Appraisal of Agenda 21 (23-27 June 1997, New York) adopted the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 (A/RES/S-19/2). It assessed progress since UNCED and examined implementation.
WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) met from 26 August - 4 September 2002, in Johannesburg, South Africa. The WSSD’s goal, according to UNGA Resolution 55/199, was to hold a ten-year review of UNCED at the Summit level to reinvigorate the global commitment to sustainable development. The WSSD gathered over 21,000 participants from 191 governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, the private sector, civil society, academia and the scientific community. The WSSD negotiated and adopted two main documents: the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI); and the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development.
The JPOI is designed as a framework for action to implement the commitments originally agreed at UNCED and includes chapters on: poverty eradication; consumption and production; the natural resource base; health; small island developing states; Africa; other regional initiatives; means of implementation; and institutional framework. The Johannesburg Declaration outlines the path taken from UNCED to the WSSD, highlights challenges, expresses a commitment to sustainable development, underscores the importance of multilateralism, and emphasizes the need for implementation.
64TH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY: On 24 December 2009, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 64/236 agreeing to convene the UNCSD in 2012 in Brazil. Resolution 64/236 also called for holding three Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) meetings prior to the UNCSD. On 14 May 2010, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the appointment of UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Sha Zukang as Secretary-General for the Conference. The UN Secretary-General subsequently appointed Brice Lalonde (France) and Elizabeth Thompson (Barbados) as executive coordinators.
UNCSD PREPCOM I: The first session of the PrepCom for the UNCSD was held from 17-19 May 2010, at UN Headquarters in New York. The PrepCom took up both substantive and procedural matters. On the substantive side, delegates assessed progress to date and the remaining gaps in implementing outcomes of major summits on sustainable development. They also discussed new and emerging challenges, a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, and the IFSD. On the procedural side, participants met in contact groups to organize their work in the lead up to 2012, and to consider the UNCSD’s rules of procedure.
FIRST INTERSESSIONAL MEETING FOR THE UNCSD: The first Intersessional Meeting for the UNCSD convened from 10-11 January 2011, at UN Headquarters in New York. During the meeting, delegates listened to: a summary of the findings of the Synthesis Report on securing renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assessing progress to date and remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development and addressing new and emerging challenges; and panels on green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, and the IFSD.
UNCSD PREPCOM II: The second session of the PrepCom for the UNCSD took place from 7-8 March 2011, at UN Headquarters in New York. Delegates discussed progress to date and remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development, addressed new and emerging challenges, discussed the scope of a green economy and the idea of a blue economy, and debated on IFSD. At the end of the meeting, a decision was adopted by consensus on the process for preparing the draft outcome document for the UNCSD.
UNCSD SUBREGIONAL PREPARATORY MEETING FOR THE CARIBBEAN: The UNCSD Subregional Preparatory Meeting for the Caribbean convened in Georgetown, Guyana, on 20 June 2011. Participants recognized that there is much work to be done in the lead-up to the UNCSD, and identified the value and benefits in engaging in the process and the opportunities that it represents, particularly regarding a green economy.
CCAD/SICA REGIONAL CROSS-SECTORAL CONSULTATION ON ENVIRONMENT-FOREIGN AFFAIRS: TOWARDS RIO+20: The Central American Commission on Environment and Development (CCAD) and the Central American Integration System (SICA) Regional Cross-Sectoral Consultation on Environment-Foreign Affairs: Towards Rio+20, convened in Guatemala City, Guatemala, from 27-29 June 2011, in preparation for the UNCSD Regional Preparatory Meeting for LAC.
REPORT OF THE MEETING
On Wednesday morning, the opening plenary was convened by Chair Luis Yáñez, Officer-in-charge, Office of the Secretary of the Commission, ECLAC, who welcomed delegates to ECLAC headquarters in Santiago, Chile. Fernando Schmidt, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chile, underscored critical issues for sustainable development, including efficient use of natural resources, in particular energy efficiency. He highlighted the proposal submitted by Colombia and Guatemala on sustainable development goals (LC/L.3366) and suggested it serve as a basis for further joint work.
Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado, Chief, Department of the Environment and Social Issues, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Brazil, said that the concept of green economy should focus on poverty alleviation and be regarded within the context of sustainable development. He emphasized that Rio+20 is a conference on sustainable development and not an environmental conference, and should be another step forward towards inclusive sustainable economic and social development.
Describing the economic and environmental processes within the region during the past 20 years, ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena said Rio+20 is a sustainable development conference and called on the LAC region to provide its own vision of sustainable development. She said it is necessary to strengthen global leadership to make it legitimate, inclusive and representative. She suggested this could be addressed through the strengthening and renewal of ECOSOC to function as a council for sustainable development, providing a high-level space to address, inter alia, the financial, energy and social crises. She called for greater regional integration through, inter alia, intra-regional trade, a cooperation platform and a fiscal legal framework.
During statements by Major Groups, Women called for assessing the Rio principles and Agenda 21 using gender differentiated indicators to determine what has been achieved and why, and the role of financial institutions. Emphasizing that there is no sustainable development without gender balance, she stressed the need to guarantee women’s access to land, natural resources and environmental justice.
Children and Youth noted that half of the youth in the LAC region are unemployed or under-employed and underscored that “worthy jobs” are necessary for sustainable development. He called on governments to include youth in their official delegations at Rio+20.
Highlighting the relationship with Mother Earth, Indigenous Peoples called for recognizing the role of indigenous peoples in protecting natural resources and for ensuring formal structures for their participation at Rio+20.
NGOs called for balanced participation between social sectors and governments in sustainable development negotiations and emphasized that the focus of Rio+20 should be on the concept of sustainable development and implementation of commitments taken at UNCED, rather than on a green economy, “which has no true consensus.” She stressed effective accountability, compliance, participation, the precautionary principle, and reducing institutional weakness and fragmentation in sustainable development governance.
Local Authorities stressed the need to build urban capacity and underscored the important role of local governments in implementing international agreements since UNCED. Drawing attention to the relationship between poverty and urbanization, and the challenge of access to water and sanitation, she said Rio+20 should recognize and empower subnational and local governments.
Workers and Trade Unions called for a strong political outcome at Rio+20, including decent and green job targets and a commitment to social protection to ensure equitable development. Business and Industry said sustainable business practices were essential for creating a sustainable future, and urged expanding and improving corporate responsibility.
The Scientific and Technological Community urged improving the dialogue between the scientific community and governments. He said Rio+20 provides an opportunity for governments to restructure these relationships, and urged a multidisciplinary process, with a social covenant for science, technology and innovation, including all members of society, especially women, vulnerable communities and indigenous peoples.
Farmers called for strengthening the role of a rural-based society. He stressed the importance of increasing productivity while maintaining sustainability, and improving training and education, and access to credit and new production technologies.
Jose Antonio Ocampo, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, stressed the link between the economic, social and environmental aspects of sustainable development. He said the weakest link is the connection between environment and economy, noting the lack of a commitment to strengthen this bond in economic circles. He stressed: that natural resources are inappropriately distributed in Latin America and that income related to natural resources should be on the Rio+20 agenda; correcting and making more appropriate the discount rate for future generations; and long-term benefits of a green economy will outweigh the short-term costs. He said: a scientific and technological revolution could take on the challenges of Rio+20; the public realm should have significant ownership of know-how so that costs for the marginalized are reduced; a complete rethinking of systems to disseminate knowledge is required; and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) could possibly spearhead a process to transfer technology to rural communities. He cautioned against improper use of green economy, which could lead to protectionism and, possibly, taxes associated with climate change and natural resources.
José Graziano da Silva, Director-General elect and Regional Representative for Latin America and the Caribbean, FAO, described current challenges in the sustainable development arena for the region, such as the need to: increase food security, particularly in light of increasing natural disasters and climate change; create value-added local products and markets to feed a more urbanized population; and incorporate new technologies required to adapt to climate change. He underscored the role of south-south cooperation in this process.
Describing the status of the Rio+20 process, UNCSD Co-Executive Coordinator Elizabeth Thompson suggested that the architecture for the international governance of sustainable development should emerge from the consideration of actual needs, appropriateness and suitability for delivery and implementation. On green economy, she urged countries to go beyond defining the concept, and focus instead on how to put together a suite of policies to transform economies. She noted green economy is not an end in itself, but rather a means for poverty eradication and sustainable development.
John Ashe, Co-Chair, UNCSD Preparatory Committee, noted the critical nature of the regional preparatory meeting process and said a short, focused, political document emerging from LAC would be of great benefit to the process as a whole and set the standard for the other regional meetings. He highlighted divergent views on the definition of green economy and the institutional arrangements for sustainable development, and underscored that the meeting is an important opportunity for the region to provide input on these issues.
Brice Lalonde, UNCSD Co-Executive Coordinator, called for sharing the road to Rio+20 with those who will implement its outcomes, including business, civil society and local authorities. He stressed that Rio+20 should focus on future-oriented objectives related to, inter alia: energy; social justice; a sustainable cities roadmap; and agriculture and food security.
In the subsequent discussion, Mexico emphasized that climate change and environmental issues drive his country’s intra-governmental cooperation on the Rio+20 process. He said Rio+20 should reaffirm the political commitment to sustainable development and further related activities through socioeconomic policies for, inter alia:cooperation; financing for science and technology; poverty eradication; human rights and gender equity; and low carbon economies. He said delegates should focus on common ground, rather than divisive issues.
Venezuela urged a renewed political commitment to sustainable development and improving the institutional framework. He noted the complexity of the topics being addressed and said that new terms should be defined within the concept of sustainable development.
Bolivia stressed that “infinite development on a finite planet” is unsustainable and urged regeneration of the Earth’s ecosystem. She noted innovative market tools and technologies may, under certain circumstances, contribute to development, but underscored that putting a price on nature was not the solution. She urged focusing not only on ownership and revenue, but also on equitable distribution of wealth. She said all public goods should be made available to society and that using market approaches to bring about balance was like “trying to put out fire with gasoline.”
The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) highlighted some of the recommendations emanating from the recently convened International Council for Science-UNESCO Rio+20 Regional Science and Technology Workshop for Latin America and the Caribbean, which took place in Mexico City, Mexico, from 3-5 August 2011. He stressed a paradigm shift to support sustainable development and ethical principles to help build confidence between different sectors of society.
The International Telecommunications Union said the telecommunications sector can enable and accelerate the transition towards a green economy, and that the link between telecommunications and the environment should be strengthened.
UN Women stressed full integration of the gender dimension into the Rio+20 process, and an institutional framework ensuring equality of opportunities. She lamented the low number of women in ministerial positions, and said women, inter alia: have very little access to credit; and work overwhelmingly in the informal economy without social protections.
ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS: On Wednesday afternoon, delegates elected Silvia Merega, (Argentina) as Chair, Barbados and Chile as Vice-Chairs and Guatemala as Rapporteur. The agenda (LC/L.3344/Rev.1) was then adopted without amendment.
PROGRESS MADE TO DATE AND REMAINING GAPS IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF AGENDA 21
On Wednesday afternoon, the session on progress and gaps in the implementation of Agenda 21 included presentations on sustainable development in LAC, followed by country statements and discussion.
Joseluis Samaniego, ECLAC, and Niky Fabiancic, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), presented the inter-agency paper entitled “Sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean 20 years on from the Earth Summit: progress, gaps and strategic guidelines” (LC/L.3346). Among key guidelines, Samaniego emphasized the need to heighten the visibility of the environmental and social costs of economic decisions with a view to their internalization through, inter alia, redesigning accounting systems that assign values to countries’ wealth. He called for further intra-regional coordination. Fabiancic underscored the opportunity to strengthen national planning and policy processes for sustainable development and highlighted that economic growth has to be inclusive and environmentally friendly, and promote equity.
Roger Haroldo Rodas Melgar, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Guatemala, said a green economy should be viewed as a more basic way of using resources efficiently, reducing carbon intensity and avoiding loss of biodiversity. On multilateral cooperation and financial support for sustainable development, he noted this was a more controversial subject given the economic crisis faced by developed countries. He suggested that ECLAC is an appropriate forum to discuss alternatives to the traditional model of north-south financing and official development assistance, but underscored that south-south cooperation would not replace developed country obligations.
Dennis Lowe, Minister of Environment, Water Resources and Drainage, Barbados, highlighted key successes in advancing the pillars of sustainable development, such as coastal zone management and marine pollution control, and formulation of a national sustainable development policy. On challenges, he underscored the need to, inter alia: address inefficient production systems; utilize waste as a resource; address non-communicable diseases; address inefficient transport systems and aging water infrastructure; and diversify the economic base. He called for envisioning a new intra-regional process to advance regional sustainable development, harmonize policies to improve climate resilience, increase investment in renewable energy, and create a research and technology development platform.
María Fernanda Espinosa, Minister of Assets Coordination, Ecuador, urged changing consumption and production patterns, particularly in developed countries, and an alternative to conventional development. She discussed the “good life paradigm,” which she said was not only about being satisfied, but about meeting basic needs. She stressed, inter alia: government must be the custodian of nature’s resources; not all solutions come from technology; non-monetization of national assets; and developing new indicators and metrics to assess the environmental footprint and “good living.” She underscored that Rio+20 is not a green economy summit, but rather a sustainable development summit, and that the definition needs further reflection. She said a new institutional architecture could respond to the environmental security deficit at the global level.
José Rafael Almonte, Vice-Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources, Dominican Republic, said that neoliberal economic schemes have deepened the environmental crisis, highlighting speculation on raw materials. He also emphasized: sustainable consumption and production; equal access to dignified jobs and quality education; greater energy access and efficiency; and increased access to drinking water. He underscored the unique conditions and circumstances of small island developing states (SIDS) and their vulnerability to climate change.
In the subsequent discussion, Venezuela underscored his country’s initiative to incorporate sustainable development into its Constitution. He said capitalism is going through a deep crisis and criticized the concept of green economy as an exclusively economic approach. Highlighting positive regional initiatives and alliances, he said regional cooperation and coordination mechanisms must be strengthened.
Peru expressed concern over the tendency in some countries to become net exporters of commodities and highlighted the need to couple economic growth with strengthening governance and coordination mechanisms. He highlighted his country’s participatory process towards Rio+20 involving civil society, and the recently adopted law on the free prior informed consent of indigenous peoples. He called for considering land use and regulation in sustainable development discussions, including land use by extractive industries, as well as other economic activities and investments.
Nicaragua called for considering local and national practices as a means to achieve sustainable development, taking into account traditional knowledge and small farmers’ practices. She expressed concern over the concept of green economy and further discussing the issue.
Cuba called for defining the desired results from Rio+20 and said there is a need for the process to result in effective implementation of previously agreed obligations, including Agenda 21. She said sustainable development requires unconditional technology transfer from the north to the south. She emphasized that neoliberal policies and market mechanisms will not solve the problem, nor will new mechanisms proposed as “magic pills.” She said that if developed countries continue to avoid facing their responsibility for the problems they created, sustainable development will not be achieved.
Mexico said the sustainable development paradigm is still the same whether it is called green economy or sustainable consumption and production patterns. He noted the challenges faced in trying to measure sustainable development.
REPORT ON THE REGIONAL CCAD/SICA CROSS-SECTORAL CONSULTATION ON THE ENVIRONMENT-FOREIGN AFFAIRS: TOWARDS RIO+20
On Wednesday evening, Rita Mishaan, Guatemala, said the Central American Commission on Environment and Development (CCAD) / Central American Integration System (SICA) consultations in June discussed progress achieved and remaining gaps. She said creative, innovative solutions were required, not just business as usual, and noted lack of agreement over the concept of green economy. She said the feasibility of creating and implementing a sustainable development fund or financing mechanism should be explored. She said the consultations agreed that a green economy could include, inter alia: avoiding loss of natural patrimony; ecosystem management, emphasizing social inclusion; disaster risk reduction and management, and avoiding food price speculation. She also highlighted the challenges of consolidating best practices in the region. She emphasized sustainable development policies and commitments and a regional strategy toward sustainable development and payment for environmental services. As next steps, the conclusions identified evaluating ecosystem goods and services (green GDP) and ensuring the consideration of food security as emerging issues.
REPORT ON THE CARIBBEAN SUBREGIONAL PREPARATORY MEETING FOR THE UNCSD
On Wednesday evening, reporting on this meeting, Gordon Bishop, Barbados, noted insufficient support for the Caribbean Rio+20 process. Underscoring the policy paradox of the Caribbean countries, he said, since most are considered middle-income countries, they do not have adequate access to concessional resources and technical assistance, even though poverty levels have deepened. He said the subregional meeting recommended, inter alia: strengthening the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS); a new governance framework for oceans; working more closely with the UN system on indicators for sustainable development; reactivating a regional task force on sustainable development; undertaking a green economy scoping study; putting the 10-year framework on sustainable consumption and production back on track; analyzing why partnerships have not worked; and determining the efficacy of current institutional structures and whether new ones are required.
He said the meeting highlighted the following emerging issues and challenges, inter alia: non-communicable diseases; ecosystem services; an arctic economy with the opening of new shipping routes and rising sea levels; and climate change and security. He also called attention to SIDSnet and said SIDS/TAP (a technical assistance programme for SIDS) should be put back on the table.
PRESENTATION ON “RIO+20: SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS”
On Wednesday evening, Colombia introduced (LC/L.3366/Rev.1) a proposal tabled by Colombia and Guatemala. She explained the proposal involves defining Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which would provide benchmarks and references for sustainable development and could be based on indicators adjusted to national realities and priorities. The SDGs would be relevant in identifying gaps and needs for countries, including in terms of means of implementation, strengthening institutions and capacity building. They will serve to compare results and identify opportunities for cooperation and would be based on the process initiated 20 years ago in Rio. She suggested Rio+20 could provide an agreement on the overall objectives of the SDGs, prioritizing critical issues such as poverty eradication, and providing a mandate to continue developing them. She added that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and SDGs could be complementary, but that it would be necessary to define how they would relate to each other. She underscored this as an opportunity to make visible the issues relevant to the region, such as food security. She invited the region to work on the basis of this proposal towards a concrete and successful outcome at Rio+20.
Dominica suggested focusing on sustainable development rather than green economy, as the first term already has an agreed definition. She said that if the focus on green and blue economy is kept, clarification of the definition is necessary.
Mexico supported working based on the proposal, but said effort and political will are required to concretize it and ensure its proper consideration within the Rio+20 process.
Jamaica emphasized that Caribbean countries are highly vulnerable to natural disasters and oil spills from ships, as well as other threats to sustainable development and tourism. She supported further south-south cooperation on technology and knowledge and intra-regional collaboration in key areas, such as food security. She said the proposal merits further consideration.
Guyana highlighted the relevance of bringing on board, at the national level, other non-environmental actors in sustainable development discussions, particularly finance ministries. He suggested providing a “taxonomy” of green economy best practices and giving countries the option to draw on these experiences based on their capacities. He underscored the role of awareness and public education in the process.
Uruguay, with Cuba and Venezuela, said the proposal merits analysis and supported an active role for the region in contributing to the Rio+20 process, but noted the need to address concerns such as those identified by Venezuela related to convergence between the MDGs and SDGs.
Barbados supported a number of elements in the proposal, in principle, but said that further discussion on how to move this proposal forward was necessary. He also highlighted the importance of the science-policy interface. Peru suggested considering appropriate ways to address institutional weaknesses and fragmentation.
A GREEN ECONOMY IN THE CONTEXT OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND POVERTY ALLEVIATION
On Thursday morning, the session on a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty alleviation included a presentation on implications for trade and sustainable development of a green economy, as well as country statements and discussions on the definition of green economy and how and whether it can contribute to sustainable development and poverty alleviation.
Lucas Assunção, Head, Trade, Environmental, Climate Change and Sustainable Development Branch, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), presented on implications for trade and sustainable development of a green economy. He explained that some elements in the current economic system could also be considered elements of a green economy in its embryonic stage, and said the transition towards a green economy should be guided in a manner that ensures benefits to all countries. He highlighted positive aspects of the transition, including price corrections that could favor green investments and promote investment in new technologies. He said negative aspects include potential conflicts with other agreements on issues, such as subventions and intellectual property rights, and the cost implications to developing countries of adjusting to a green economy. He said strengthening ECOSOC to provide a transparent forum on sustainable development issues could be instrumental for dialogue on green economy.
Ricardo Irarrázabal Sánchez, Vice-Minister of the Environment, Chile, underscored sustainable development is still the main objective 20 years after Rio. He said that green economy is a means to achieve sustainable development, noting that the concepts are compatible and consistent with each other.
Graciela Muslera, Minister of Housing, Regional Planning and Environment, Uruguay, noted recent national initiatives to promote a distributive and inclusive model focused on eradicating poverty and promoting technology transfer, education, research and science. She emphasized Rio+20 as an opportunity to strengthen international cooperation to ensure access to new technology and scientific progress.
Anayansi Rodríguez Camejo, Head of Multilateral Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cuba, highlighted negative aspects of a green economy, inter alia: given the current economic paradigm, industrialized countries have a competitive edge in green technologies; high short-term costs during the transition, including deterioration of terms of trade and loss of employment in non-green sectors; green protectionism; deterioration in quality of life for those dependent on exportation of natural resources; and it could replace the more inclusive concept of sustainable development. She said Rio+20 discussions should not be based on a model that is not appropriately defined and on which there is no consensus, and urged focusing not on “greening of technology but on authentic change from the predatory economic model based on unsustainable consumption and production.”
In the subsequent discussion, Mexico said that while defining green economy has proved impossible, it is not a new concept and has the potential to become a means to an end of achieving sustainable development and poverty eradication. He noted concern regarding conditionalities related to trade and financing for development. He said green economy should be a driver of green jobs, dignified work, decreased use of energy in production processes, and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
Bolivia asked how intellectual property rights (IPR) regimes would be addressed in the context of the green economy negotiations, noting their proposals to make IPR regimes more flexible in the climate change negotiations were opposed by developed countries.
Barbados discussed an economic transition towards sustainable development and sustainable livelihoods, underscoring that the economic pillar has been the slowest to respond. He urged breaking down the structures of colonialism, and said the transition should be underpinned by environmental and social justice and by the Rio principles. He said components of this transition should include, inter alia: clean technology centers; stakeholder partnerships; resources to support small- and medium-sized enterprises; standards and regulations; and training and capacity building.
Nicaragua said the discount rate should reflect the increasing value of natural resources as they become depleted, and called for more efficient estimation of economic values, which favor the environment. She noted budgetary constraints for the environment, and urged changing the economic model to harmonize the economic and environment pillars.
Venezuela noted his country’s investment in eradicating poverty, health, education, and providing low-cost housing and home loans. He said Venezuela was following the concept of “ecosocialism.” He emphasized lack of clarity on the concept of green economy, which constitutes a new set of trade rules or “green protectionism” and has nothing to do with sustainable development.
Colombia called for further convergence between international agendas as a way to ensure a clear voice on the sustainable development issues and throughout other relevant fora such as the World Intellectual Property Organization and the World Trade Organization (WTO). On means of implementation, she highlighted that apart from the north-south transfer of resources, it is essential to identify the national and regional enabling environments. She added that the definition of SDGs could be useful to provide clarity on benchmarks and means of implementation and a road map for post-Rio+20.
Costa Rica underscored his country’s sustainable development initiatives, including the objective of achieving Carbon Neutrality by 2012, the implementation of tax reforms, the valuation of environmental goods and services, and the internalization of environmental costs.
Ecuador highlighted that green economy should not result in a reductionist approach, and said the concept needed to be reinterpreted to adjust it to regional and national priorities, particularly those related to poverty eradication. She said green economy without changes to current modes of production and consumption could lead to “greening” protectionism and the misappropriation of environmental services.
Jamaica raised the specter of the WTO Doha Development Round, stating that developing countries were clear on what they wanted, including special and differential treatment for small economies, yet differences on how to reach those goals “divided the Group of 77 and China.” She emphasized that even if developing countries agree on a green economy at Rio+20, this does not mean it can be replicated in the WTO, where the real battles on this issue will actually take place. She stressed focusing on goals countries can set for themselves on sustainable development and compliance with previous commitments.
The Dominican Republic highlighted that the Organization of American States (OAS) Declaration on Sustainable Development contains precise guidelines on green economy and could serve as the basis for its definition. Saint Lucia highlighted their initiatives on green economy, including: policies encouraging renewable energy use; self-sufficiency initiatives; development of a climate adaptation loan facility; and improving water security.
Bolivia reiterated that the two sustainable development challenges are eradicating poverty and reestablishing the earth’s balance. She said green economy could be used to promote actions counterproductive to sustainable development, including the privatization of nature, and underscored the need to recognize the rights of Mother Earth.
Brazil said the more we try to define green economy, the further we are from reaching an agreement, as each country has its own vision and path forward. He said Rio+20 should uphold the concept of sustainable development, and not attempt to define green economy, which should be an instrument used on the path toward sustainable development. He also cautioned against talking about a “transition” as the concept of development is dynamic and constantly evolving and will never reach a solid state.
UN Habitat urged debating models of territorial and spatial organization, and underscored that, while Latin America is the most unequal region in the world, it is also the greenest and most urbanized, with 8 of every 10 people living in cities. He called for strengthening local authorities to address sustainable development and for Rio+20 to have a specific goal on sustainable urban development.
The FAO noted that Latin America is only using a small percentage of its potential in terms of land, irrigation and water. He identified a number of steps in achieving sustainable development, including: reducing the carbon footprint in food production; adapting agricultural production to climate change; sustainable water management; and increasing the role of fishing resources in food security. He said a green economy should be viewed as a “toolbox” and not an ideology.
The World Health Organization noted that health cuts across all three pillars of sustainable development, and added that chronic disease is the main cause of death in the region and contributes to poverty. He called attention to a UN High-level Summit on non-communicable diseases to be held on 19-20 September 2011 in New York and the World Conference on Social Determinants of Health to be held 19-21 October 2011 in Brazil. He urged that Rio+20 outcomes incorporate health.
UNEP said business as usual is not an option to reach sustainable development and that green economy provides an opportunity to take the limits of the planet into consideration. She emphasized that there is not a unique model for green economy, but that its implementation could be adjusted to countries’ and regions’ realities through different policies, such as the elaboration of policies on consumption and the elimination of perverse subsidies.
Women called for policies on sustainable development to recognize the autonomy of women, promote equal distribution between men and women, and women entrepreneurship.
Indigenous Peoples said green economy’s lack of form makes the implications of its implementation unclear. She supported eliminating perverse incentives that irreversibly replace traditional agriculture practices.
NGOs said Rio+20 should address, among other questions, why, for whom and how we produce, while respecting the limits of the planet. He called for countries in the region to assume leadership and work together with civil society.
Workers and Trade Unions called for further progress towards a low carbon economy, saying that complementary work on poverty eradication and inequality is still needed. He urged, inter alia, governments to respect the agenda agreed by countries under the International Labour Organization and adopt a minimum of social protection measures.
Business and Industry said the green economy must contribute to innovation for sustainable development and poverty eradication. He called for cost-efficient, economically possible and socially effective policy measures.
Science and Technology said green economy incorporates the dimension of finite resources into the discussions on development and poverty eradication. Providing examples on differences in consumption patterns between inhabitants from rich and poor countries, he said green economy could gain support if it contributes to reducing inequality.
CARICOM highlighted fundamental challenges to sustainable development in the Caribbean, including the fiscal space constraint and periodic natural disasters, which destroy development gains. He said Rio+20 should focus on people-based development and address collective successes and failures to date.
GLOBAL INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
On Thursday afternoon, the session on the global institutional framework for sustainable development began with presentations on means of restructuring global governance of sustainable development, followed by country statements and discussion.
Elliott Harris, Vice-Chair of the UN High-Level Committee on Programmes, said lack of policy coherence across the three pillars of sustainable development is the primary obstacle to achieving sustainable development. As challenges going forward, he identified the need to, inter alia, dispel the misperception of negative tradeoffs between the policy processes of the different pillars, for instance the treatment of social protection as costs by economic policy processes rather than investments. Harris said the functions of the international governance system should include: shared analysis of problems; agreement on appropriate policy approaches that allow for different national circumstances; implementation, including monitoring; and integrating policies across the three pillars.
Describing the pros and cons of a global umbrella organization or using existing mechanisms, Harris noted the advantage of a global umbrella organization would be to ensure comprehensive discussion of the issues, greater legitimacy and increased representativeness. He said disadvantages included: unwieldy decision-making processes; difficulty assembling the necessary expertise at a manageable size; and cost. On advantages of using existing institutions, he outlined their already defined mandates, established modalities and subject expertise. He underscored using existing institutions would require redefinition of their mandates, and that they face legitimacy issues and challenges in coordination across bodies. He urged avoiding the mistake made when establishing existing institutions, which was setting the principles and functions in stone, inhibiting them from evolving “with the world around them.”
Anna Bianchi, Vice-Chair of the UNCSD Preparatory Process, highlighted emerging consensus on preventing duplication of effort, improving universality, participation of civil society in a more organic fashion and reinforcing institutional mechanisms in place.
Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Brazil, noted that Rio+20 was a member of a family of conferences and that each made significant contributions to governance. He said Rio+20 is a unique opportunity to scrutinize existing institutions, and assess whether or not they are adequately equipped to respond to the present challenges. He identified two areas of particular interest: reinforcing the environmental pillar; and coherence and synergies between the three pillars and determining how they should function. He believed Rio+20 would be a landmark in addressing these two aspects, resulting in a stronger, clearer road toward sustainable development, and institutions capable of supporting this path.
René Castro, Minister of Environment, Energy and Telecommunications, Costa Rica, said he believed that sustainability would be more robust after Rio+20, and supported a greener WTO. He emphasized that one of the forgotten social issues of the world is treatment of the elderly and urged a deep discussion on this issue.
Evadne Coye, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Jamaica, said the disadvantages of centralizing the governance structure outweigh its advantages and that expertise and resources would be best directed toward strengthening and improving existing institutions, rather than establishing a new institution. She said the multiplicity of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs), with their different reporting requirements, places additional stress on member states and called for streamlining them to better monitor compliance.
In the subsequent discussion, Guyana noted that they are vulnerable, like SIDS, since a large proportion of their population is based in coastal areas, and said REDD+ should be a model for the green economy. He called for science-based policymaking and advocated increased involvement of scientists in policy processes. He emphasized the important role of technology innovation and its scientific base.
Venezuela questioned the effectiveness of the current institutional framework and how to achieve coordination and coherence. He called for setting concrete criteria for an evaluation of institutional experiences since UNCED, which would allow identification of concrete solutions.
The Dominican Republic stressed the need to strengthen and bring about profound changes in the institutional framework of the environmental pillar of sustainable development. Regarding a common regional process, he suggested virtual consultations to determine how the three pillars may be further integrated into ECOSOC’s activities.
Honduras stressed: balancing the three pillars to avoid natural resources depletion; carrying out dialogue and consultations with all sectors; and ensuring those in the social and economic fields understand that sustainable development involves them as well.
Nicaragua suggested a world fund for the environment with different thematic windows, and maximizing current funds available for sustainable development.
Bolivia said the IFSD should give equal strength to the three pillars to optimize resources and avoid overlap. While flexible on what kind of institution might be created, she expressed concern that the guidelines may not be respected by other agencies outside the UN, noting the WTO, in particular.
Cuba submitted a proposal on environmental governance and explained it contains two main elements. The first component addresses the strengthening of UNEP to provide it with more visibility and financial resources, which would imply, inter alia: the streamlining of responsibilities and eliminating overlaps, duplication and lack of coherence; and increasing the participation of scientists from developing countries. The second component addresses the strengthening of the IFSD, including the modification of relevant mandates and eliminating the CSD. UNEP’s Global Ministerial Environment Forum would become a Global Ministerial Sustainable Development Forum, which would, inter alia: be a high-level space for dialogue and attended by ministries of environment, economy and social areas; meet in New York annually, assisted by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and UNEP; and report to ECOSOC and, through ECOSOC, to the UN General Assembly.
Chile highlighted that Rio+20 provides an opportunity to discuss the possible implications of green economy implementation and highlighted that green economy requires a degree of flexibility to enable sustainable and inclusive growth.
UNDP highlighted that the decisions and outcomes of Rio+20 may have relevant implications for intergovernmental agencies in LAC and requested that countries pay attention to the implications of their decisions on the presence and support of agencies within countries. He said that further strengthening of sustainable development as a whole is required, rather than only strengthening the environmental pillar. He mentioned tendencies that are hindering the access of LAC countries to financing for sustainable development, including: the multiplicity of funds with their own rules and bureaucratic systems; the fact that an increasing number of countries will be considered as middle-income and will not qualify to receive further concessional funds; and insufficient capacities of small countries to apply to various funds.
Barbados introduced priority actions for enhancing the institutional framework, including, among other things: further strengthening and implementing the Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of SIDS and the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of SIDS; elimination of current overlap and incoherence in programmes, agencies and funds to channel resources to those most in need; synergies between the CSD and other intergovernmental processes; and strengthening regional and subregional alliances and organizations, such as CARICOM.
Peru suggested further consideration and assessment of global mechanisms and institutions at the global level that are in conflict and contradict sustainable development.
UNESCO called attention to the four existing crises—financial, environmental, energy and food—noting that education and culture are key to achieving sustainable development. He suggested rethinking the mandates and fragmentation of institutions at the global level and pointed out that “institutions are born, grow up, reproduce, but never die.”
The OAS said her organization is at the disposal of countries in the region to provide them with a space for dialogue and technical assistance on sustainable development issues to facilitate constructive dialogue towards Rio+20.
UNEP highlighted challenges for international institutional governance, including: increasing synergies and promoting effective implementation; strengthening the environmental national institutions; and further supporting the linkages between science and policy-making.
Comunicación y Educación Ambiental. S.C., for all Major Groups, highlighted challenges for sustainable development, including: further implementation of Rio Principle 10 (access to environmental information, justice and participation), establishing an international environmental court; setting up an international mechanism to assess the impacts of technologies and ban the use of dangerous technologies, such as geo-engineering; and providing a monitoring framework to ensure that the international financial institutions promote sustainable development through their actions.
Asociación Civil Red Ambiental, for all Major Groups, called for streamlining MEAs and enhancing their implementation, while ensuring the streamlining process maintains the integrity of each Convention’s mandate as agreed.
ADOPTION OF THE CONCLUSIONS
Throughout the day on Friday, delegates awaited the outcome of a closed drafting group, which was debating the contents of the meeting’s outcome. The plenary reconvened at 6:30 pm to approve the “Conclusions of the Latin American and Caribbean Regional Meeting Preparatory to the UNCSD.” The conclusions were adopted by acclamation at 6:31 pm, and this was followed immediately by statements from Major Groups.
Women welcomed the conclusions for recognizing the importance of the participation and the contribution of women and indigenous peoples. She highlighted the rights of women to water, natural resources and education, among others.
Children and Youth called for governments to adopt a programme to include youth in their delegations and promote intergenerational work spaces, highlighting education as critical for achieving sustainable development.
Indigenous Peoples welcomed the conclusions and called for, inter alia: a fourth pillar for sustainable development addressing culture; changing the FAO definition of forests to include biodiversity; modifying the UN Commission on Human Rights’ mandate to include environmental migrants; and further researching and understanding aspects of a green economy.
NGOs said the lack of concrete proposals by government representatives shows the lack of national preparatory processes for Rio+20 and called for strengthening of participatory processes, the creation of more protected areas with participation of local communities and the elimination of subsidies on activities that do not contribute to sustainable development.
Local Authorities lamented the conclusions do not recognize the relevance of local authorities, and called for considering their incorporation in the Rio+20 process.
Workers and Trade Unions said a green economy could provide the opportunity to agree on basic principles such as a minimum level of global social protection, a tax on financial speculation, and national objectives on green and decent jobs.
Business and Industry said for achieving a green economy it is necessary to have a roadmap that defines conditions enabling an effective transition with clear, measurable and transparent goals.
The Scientific and Technological Community expressed concerned over the lack of in-depth discussions on a green economy, highlighting this could play a key role in eradicating poverty.
Farmers welcomed the conclusions and the consideration of issues such as climate change, food security and coastal zones vulnerability. He warned against industrialized agriculture that is occupying spaces that the youth used to have in the rural areas and called for governments to give more attention to the agricultural sector.
In closing, Vice-Chair José Luis Balmaceda (Chile) noted that this meeting has been an important step towards Rio+20. ECLAC Executive Secretary Bárcena said the Secretariat would prepare a report of the meeting, including the country proposals and statements of Major Groups. She said ECLAC will continue to support countries as the process moves forward, appreciated the participation of Major Groups and intergovernmental organizations, and thanked all those who made the conference possible.
The meeting adjourned at 7:02 pm.
CONCLUSIONS: Parties adopted the “Conclusions of the Latin American and Caribbean Regional Meeting Preparatory to the UNCSD” by acclamation, which reaffirmed their commitment to contribute constructively at a successful outcome to Rio+20. The conclusions, inter alia:
- reaffirm the relevance of and the commitment to the principles in, inter alia, the Rio Declaration, Agenda 21, the Millennium Declaration and the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development;
- recall that the objective of the UNCSD is to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assessing progress to date and remaining gaps in implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development, and addressing the new and emerging challenges;
- reiterate that the objective to be achieved is sustainable development, which should ensure the balance between the interconnected social, economic and environmental pillars, while maintaining the fundamental principle of common but differentiated responsibilities;
- recognize progress made thus far and gaps still remaining in the achievement of sustainable development goals, which are more pressing for SIDS in the Caribbean;
- note the barriers to sustainable development are the scientific and technological gap, lack of sufficient financing and fragmentation in implementation;
- reaffirm respect for multiculturalism and for the knowledge and values of the region’s indigenous peoples;
- recognize the importance of participation and the contribution of civil society, in particular women, indigenous peoples and local and traditional communities, and encourage all stakeholders to engage more fully; and
- take note of the proposals by Bolivia (rights of nature), Colombia and Guatemala (sustainable development goals), and Cuba (IFSD) and submit them for examination and consideration as contributions to the Conference.
The conclusions also affirm the need for commitments to achieve, inter alia:
- the eradication of extreme poverty;
- a change in patterns of production and consumption, in which developed countries should play a leading role;
- access to and transfer of safe and appropriate technology, without conditionalities and on preferential terms for developing countries;
- an IPR regime facilitating transfer of technology, in keeping with the commitments undertaken by each country;
- full implementation of the right to access environmental information, participation and justice;
- a flexible and efficient global IFSD ensuring effective integration of the three pillars;
- new, additional, stable and predictable financing for supporting implementation activities in developing countries;
- fulfillment of mitigation and adaptation commitments in relation to climate change and building resilience to its impacts;
- greater south-south cooperation and exchange of successful experiences;
- restoration of harmony with nature; and
- better ways of measuring countries’ wealth that adequately reflect the three pillars.
For additional meetings leading up to Rio+20, go to the UNCSD www page at http://www.uncsd2012.org or IISD’s Sustainable Development Policy and Practice knowledgebase at http://sd.iisd.org
GSP 4: The fourth meeting of the Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Global Sustainability (GSP 4) will take place in New York, on the margins of the 66th session of the UN General Assembly. dates: 18-19 September 2011 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: GSP Secretariat phone: +1-917-367-4207 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.un.org/wcm/content/site/climatechange/pages/gsp
7th Ministerial Conference of the UN “Environment for Europe”: The two main themes for the Conference are sustainable management of water and water-related ecosystems; and greening the economy: mainstreaming the environment into economic development. dates: 21-23 September 2011 location: Astana, Kazakhstan contact: UN Economic Commission for Europe phone: +41 22 917 44 44 fax: +41 22 917 05 05 email: email@example.com www: http://www.unece.org/env/efe/Astana/welcome.html
Sharing Green Economy Best Practices Towards Rio+20: The Polish Ministry of the Environment is organizing a high-level conference aimed at consultation between EU member states and key countries in the process of preparing for the Rio+20 conference. date: 10 October 2011 location: Warsaw, Poland contact: Agnieszka Kozłowska-Korbicz (Ministry of the Environment) phone: +48-22-57-92-855 email:firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://pl2011.eu/en/content/sharing-green-economy-best-practices-towards-rio20?mini=calendar%2F2011-10
Conference on the Green Economy and Sustainable Development: Bringing Back the Social Dimension: The UN Research Institute for Social Development will host this conference that will examine the social impacts and distributional consequences of policies and processes associated with a green economy; the potential and limits of structural and institutional change; and the agency and social mobilization for institutional and policy change. dates: 10-11 October 2011 location: Geneva, Switzerland contact: Kiah Smith, UNRISD email:email@example.com www: http://www.unrisd.org/
UNCSD Regional Preparatory Meeting in the Arab Region: The UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia and partners will convene an Arab regional meeting in preparation for the UNCSD. dates: 16-17 October 2011 location: Cairo, Egypt contact: Roula Majdalani, UN-ESCWA phone: + 961-1-978 501 fax: + 961-1-981 510/511/512 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.escwa.un.org/information/meetingdetails.asp?referenceNUM=1545E
UNCSD Regional Preparatory Meeting in the Asia-Pacific Region: The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and partners will convene a regional meeting in preparation for the UNCSD. dates: 19-20 October 2011 location: Seoul, Republic of Korea contact: Masakazu Ichimura, UN-ESCAP email: email@example.com www: http://www.unescap.org/esd/environment/Rio20/pages/RPM.html
UNCSD Regional Preparatory Meeting for Africa: The UN Economic Commission for Africa and partners will convene an African regional preparatory meeting for the UNCSD. dates: 20-25 October 2011 location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia contact: UNCSD Secretariat email:firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?menu=26
UNEP FI Global Roundtable 2011: Organized by the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative, this meeting will convene under the theme “The tipping point: Sustained stability in the next economy.” The 2011 Roundtable aims to provide a platform for the global financial sector to define what it expects to achieve at UNCSD. dates: 19-20 October 2011 location: Washington, DC contact: Cecilia Serin fax: +41-22-796-9240 email:email@example.com www: http://www.unepfi.org/events/2011/roundtable/
Second Expert Meeting on Trade Implications of the Green Economy: The second Expert Meeting on Trade Implications of the Green Economy will be convened by UNCTAD. It will continue exploration of ways a green economy, through trade-led growth, could become a pro-development income-generating instrument that will directly contribute to meeting the sustainable development imperative. The outcomes will serve as an input to the Rio+20 preparatory process. dates: 8-10 November 2011 location: Geneva, Switzerland contact: Lucas Assunção, UNCTAD fax: +41-22-917-0247 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.unctad.org/
Bonn 2011 Conference: The Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus: Solutions for the Green Economy: Organized by the German Government, this conference pursues two objectives: to develop cross-sector solutions for achieving water, energy and food security; and to position the interface of water, energy and food security within the discourse of the Rio+20 process and green economy. dates: 16-18 November 2011 location: Bonn, Germany contact: Imke Thiem, Secretariat phone: +49-6196-79-1547 email:email@example.com www: http://www.water-energy-food.org/
High Level Expert Meeting on the Sustainable Use of Oceans: This meeting, to be hosted by Monaco, will take place in November. dates: 28-30 November 2011 location: Monaco contact: UNCSD Secretariat email:firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?menu=50
UNCSD Regional Preparatory Meeting for the ECE Region: The UN Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) will convene a regional meeting in preparation for the UNCSD. dates: 1-2 December 2011 location: Geneva, Switzerland contact: UNCSD Secretariat email:email@example.com www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?menu=26
Second Intersessional Meeting for UNCSD: The second intersessional meeting for the UNCSD will be convened in late 2011. dates: 15-16 December 2011 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: UNCSD Secretariat email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?menu=25
Third Intersessional Meeting for UNCSD: The final intersessional meeting for the UNCSD will be convened in March 2012. dates: 26-27 March 2012 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: UNCSD Secretariat email:email@example.com www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?menu=25
Third PrepCom for UNCSD: The third meeting of the Preparatory Committee for the UNCSD will take place in Brazil just prior to the conference. dates: 28-30 May 2012 location: Rio De Janeiro, Brazil contact: UNCSD Secretariat email:firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/
UN Conference on Sustainable Development: The UNCSD will mark the 20th anniversary of the UN Conference on Environment and Development, which convened in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. dates: 4-6 June 2012 location: Rio De Janeiro, Brazil contact: UNCSD Secretariat email:email@example.com www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/