Governments agree on outcome document from Rio+20
June 20, 2012  //  By:   //  Blog Post, Featured  //  No Comment

Member States announced yesterday (June 19th, 2012) an agreement on the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development Rio+20. The conference’s Secretary General, Sha Zukang, announced this result after what he called “intensive and prolonged negotiations,” recognizing that the document is a “‘compromise text’ in which countries have had to both give and take to achieve progress.”

On June 15, the responsibility of the negotiations was handed over to Brazil, which holds the Presidency of Rio+20. Delegations then started working on the text presented by this country, before announcing an agreement on Tuesday.

Mr. Sha highlighted that “like all negotiations, there will be some countries that feel the text could be more ambitious. Or, others who feel their own proposals could be better reflected, while still others might prefer to have their own language.” But he also recognized the orientation to action and the relevance of the main points included in the outcome.

The final document calls for the creation of a framework for action towards the establishment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as the promotion of sustainable consumption and production. It also recognizes the importance of including all sectors of society – women, NGOs, the private sector and indigenous groups in the sustainable development agenda.

“The spirit of compromise is the mark of a good consensus, and crucial if all countries are to be on board, take ownership, and share a collective commitment,” Mr. Sha said. “This is the only way forward if we want to harness the necessary action for advancing together on a path of sustainable development.”

Rio+20 has also resulted in over 400 voluntary commitments made by Member States to promote sustainable development.
The outcome document will be adopted or rejected by Heads of State at the high-level meeting which officially starts on June 20th.

To see the draft text click here.

About the Author :

Natalia Escobar-Pemberthy joined the GEG team in September 2011as a research assistant for the UMass Center of Governance and Sustainability. Natalia graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2005 and its currently a PhD Student in the Global Governance and Human Security program at UMass Boston

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