United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development ( UNCSD ), also known as Rio 2012 , Rio + 20 (English pronunciation: [ʁi.u majʒ vĩtʃi] ), or Earth Summit 2012 was the third international conference on sustainable development at reconciling the economic and environmental goals of the global community. Hosted by Brazil in Rio de Janeiro from 13 to 22 June 2012, Rio + 20 was a 20-year follow-up to the 1992 Earth Summit / United Nations Conference on Environment and Development(UNCED) held in the same city, and the 10th anniversary of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg .

The high-level summit of a high-level conference, which was organized by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, and included participation of the UN Heads of States and 31 Heads of government, private sector companies, NGOs and other groups. The decision to hold a conference was made by the General Assembly Resolution A / RES / 64/236 on 24 December 2009. It was intended to be a high-level conference, with heads of state and or other representatives political document designed to shape global environmental policy. [1]


In 1992, the first conference of its kind, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), is a joint venture of the Rio Conference or Earth Summit. The conference drew 109 heads of state in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to address what were dubbed urgent problems of environmental protection and socio-economic development. [2] The Earth Summit following a conference, including Rio + 20 and the global green agenda. “The World Conference on Human Rights, for example, focused on the right of people to a healthy environment and the right to development, controversial demands of the United States. [3]

Major events of the conference include the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) -a climate-change agreement that leads to the Kyoto Protocol , Agenda 21 , the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). It also created new international institutions, among them the Commission on Sustainable Development, tasked with follow-up to the Rio Conference and the reform of the Global Environment Facility . [4]

Ten years later, Earth Summit 2002 informally nicknamed Rio + 10 was held in Johannesburg, South Africa with the goal of bringing together leaders from government, business and NGOs to agree on a range of measures towards similar goals. At Rio + 10, sustainable development has been recognized as an overarching goal for institutions at the national, regional and international levels. There, the need to enhance the integration of the United Nations agencies, programs and funds was highlighted. The discussion also encompasses the role of institutions in stepping up efforts to bridge the gap between the international financial institutions and the multilateral development banks and the rest of the UN system. [4]

Major outcomes of that conference include the Johannesburg Declaration and almost 300 international partnership initiatives designed to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals .


The conference had three objectives:

  1. Securing renewed political commitment for sustainable development
  2. Assessing the progress and implementation of gaps in meeting previous commitments.
  3. Addressing new and emerging challenges.

Conference themes

The official discussions had two main themes:

  1. How to build a green economy to achieve sustainable development and lift people out of poverty, including support for developing countries that will allow them to find a green path for development.
  2. How to improve international coordination for sustainable development by building an institutional framework.

Rio + 20

In the months of the beginning of the conference, negotiators convened at a headquarters in New York City, and in the two weeks before the conference, they managed to reach consensus on the sensitive language in the proposed outcome document for the summit. [5]

Billed as the biggest event ever organized with 15,000 soldiers and police guarding over 130 heads of state and government, from 192 countries, and the more than 45,000 gathered in Rio de Janeiro-the 10-day mega-conference was intended to be a high-level international assembly organized to re-direct and renew global political commitment to the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic growth, social improvement and environmental protection; on the other hand, sustainable uses of resources; goals first established at Earth Summit in 1992. [1] [6] [7]

The conference centered around Agenda 21, the outcome document from the Earth Summit 1992. That document was considered revolutionary in its development and development. The representatives of participating in the drafting of the document.

Rio + 20 for the past 20 years in the global agenda and progress in the past 20 years of progress in the development of global agendas. [8] The UN wanted Rio to endorse a “green economy roadmap”, with environmental goals, targets and deadlines, “developing sustainable development goals” and “sustainable development goals”, and alleviate poverty. [9]

Rio + 20 attracted many protests, and more than 500 parallel events, exhibitions, presentations, fairs and announcements as a wide range of diverse groups struggled to take advantage of the conference in order to gain international attention. The British online newspaper, The Guardian reported, “Downtown Rio de Janeiro was mostly shut-down as an estimated 50,000 protesters, some of whom were naked, took to the streets.” [10]


A few key global leaders-mostly G20 leaders and United States President Barack Obama, Chancellor Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Prime Minister David Cameron-did not wait for the conference and blamed their absence on the European sovereign-debt crisis . Their collective absence was seen as a reflection of their administrations’ failure to prioritize sustainability issues. [11]

“In not attending, the prime minister is sending out a strong signal that the UK government does not see sustainability as a priority,” said Joan Walley, chair of the UK’s environmental audit committee to the Guardian.

Calendar of meetings

1st Preparatory Committee

Held from 16-18 May 2010, immediately after the conclusion of the eighteenth session and the first meeting of the nineteenth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development .

1st Intersessional

Held from 10-11 January 2011 at UN Headquarters, New York, the Intersessional focused on the subject of the conference, and its two main themes. The Intersessional – not a negotiating session – featured panel discussions, from academia, non-governmental organizations Delegates and UN system representatives.

2nd Preparatory Committee

Held from 7-8 March 2011, at United Nations Headquarters in New York, immediately following the Intergovernmental Policy Meeting for the 19th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development . [12]

2nd Intersessional

Held from 15-16 December 2011 at United Nations Headquarters in New York. [13]

3rd Intersessional

Held from 5-7 March 2012 at United Nations Headquarters in New York. [14]

United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development

The 3rd Preparatory Committee began on 13 June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and ended on 15 June 2012, marking the beginning of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development. [15] The talks were held from 20-22 June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro , Brazil. [16] [17] The conference was expected to draw 50,000 participants, including delegates, environmental activists, business leaders, and indigenous groups. Additionally, about 130 heads of state are expected to be present for the final three days of the summit. [18]


The primary result of the conference was the nonbinding document, “The Future We Want,” has a 49-page work paper. [8] In it, the heads of state of the governments of in their political commitment to sustainable development and their commitment to the promotion of a sustainable future. The document largely reaffirms previous action plans like Agenda 21. [19]

Some important outcomes include the following:

“The text includes language supporting the development of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a set of measurable targets for sustainable development globally. It is thought that the SDGs will pick up where the Millennium Development Goals leave off and address that the original Goals fail to address the role of the environment in development. ” [20]

The attempt to shore up the UN Environment Program (UNEP) in order to make it “leading global environmental authority” [19] by setting forth eight key recommendations, strengthening its governance through universal membership, increasing its financial resources and strengthening its commitment in key UN coordination bodies.

And, in the context of environmental protection, and the importance of environmental protection and the provision of environmental protection services. [21]

Recognition that “fundamental changes in the society consume and produce are indispensable for achieving global sustainable development.” EU officials suggest it could lead to a shift of taxes.

The document calls for the need to return to ocean stocks to sustainable levels “urgent” and calls on countries to develop and implement science-based management plans. [19]

All nations reaffirmed commitments to phase out fossil fuel subsidies.

In addition to the outcome text, there were over 400 voluntary commitments for sustainable development by Member States.

At the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment , 40 African countries agreed to implement “The Future We Want.” [22]

Leaders in attendance

World leaders in attendance at Rio + 20
  • Albania – Prime Minister Sali Berisha [23]
  • Antigua & Barbuda – Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer [24]
  • Argentina – President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner [25]
  • Australia – Prime Minister Julia Gillard [26]
  • Bolivia – President Evo Morales , [27] see Bolivian government proposal Harmony with nature
  •  Brazil – President Dilma Rousseff [27]
  • Bulgaria – President Rosen Plevneliev
  • China – Premier Wen Jiabao [28]
  • Costa Rica – President Laura Chinchilla Miranda [26]
  • Denmark – Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt [26]
  • Ecuador – President Rafael Correa [29]
  • France – President Francois Hollande [30]
  • Grenada – Prime Minister Tillman Thomas [31]
  • Haiti – President Michel Martelly [32]
  • India – Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [28]
  • Indonesia – President Susilo Yudhoyono [31]
  • Iran – President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [26]
  • Lithuania – President Dalia Grybauskaitė
  • Nepal – Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai [33]
  • Nigeria – President Goodluck Jonathan [34]
  • Norway – Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg [35]
  • Portugal – Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho [36]
  • Russia – President Dmitry Medvedev [27]
  • South Africa – President Jacob Zuma [37]
  • South Korea – President Lee Myung Bak [38]
  • Spain – Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy [39]
  • Sri Lanka – President Mahinda Rajapaksa [40]
  • Sweden – Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt [41]
  • Turkmenistan – President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow
  • Uruguay – President Jose Mujica [29]
  • Zimbabwe – President Robert Mugabe [39]

among others Also present were:

  • Carl XVI Gustaf , King of Sweden
  • Albert II , Prince of Monaco
  • Henri , Grand Duke of Luxembourg
  • José Manuel Barroso , President of the European Commission

(look at the official photo of the summit)


Environmental and Indigenous Rights Activists

Activists took initiative at Rio + 20 by staging loud protests, and making their voices heard. Numbered in the thousands, these activists joined the forces of exploitation and degradation of the Earth , as well as the negation of the rights of indigenous peoples . This group is ever more relevant in Brazil have Deforestation Threatens Amazonian ethnic groups everyday. [42]

In addition to holding signs and shouting songs, the crowds took a theatric route to convey their messages. Firstly, they poked at Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, claiming to the global North’s corporate hand. [43] Rousseff’s controversy has arisen over her steadfast desire to further industrialize Brazil, and its economy. Additionally, the crowds assembled for a ritual and symbolic “tearing up” of the plenary’s negotiated text, [44] conveying their disapproval.

Thousands of non-governmental organizations at the Flamengo Park in Rio. They criticized the draft negotiating text, particularly for their failure to mention planetary boundaries or nuclear energy, in light of the Fukushima disaster in Japan. [8] Organizations, such as Greenpeace and the World Wide Fund for Nature , as members of indigenous communities, activists and artists participated. The Danish artist Jens Galschiøt , the leader of the group AIDOH , and the Group 92 used His Freedom to Pollute sculptures to focus global warming is and Its resulting and Increased flow of Refugees. About 20,000 flyers about Freedom to Pollutewere distributed during Rio + 20 and related television program was produced in Denmark.

Ahmadinejad Visit to Rio

There was some controversy over Iran’s involvement in the Rio + 20 conference. Iran feels a delegation, which included President Ahmadinejad , to Rio in June to attend the summit. [45] [46] The controversy of Iranian experience at the summit surrounds the fact that Iran has serious environmental issues, which it has refused to address, continuing human rights violations and is refusing to cooperate with the IAEA over its contentious nuclear program. [47]Ahmadinejad was met with demonstrations, attended by thousands of people, on his arrival in Rio. [48] [49]The Iranian delegation was put with protesters waving banners with the slogan “Ahmadinejad go home” on their arrival in Rio on 20 June. [50]

Participation by Civil Societies

During RIO +20 event and preparatory events UNCSD had given ample opportunities to various stakeholders to contribute to the Rio + 20 and Civil Societies had taken part in various translation work.The logo and promotion of RIO +20 was available in english. [51]

ProjectEarth Network

Ecology and Environment Inc., a New York based Environmental Engineering and Consulting company partnered with UNCSD to create Project Earth Network, an online platform where schools around the world could showcase their remarkable environmental projects. In coordination with the Rio + 20 event, the platform hosted a Global Environment Day Global School Contest in which 7th graders at the International School of Ulaanbaatar (ISU) in Mongolia were declared the Global Winners for their awareness campaign on the impact of plastic shopping bags, including research on plastic bag manufacturing, plastic bagging, and recycling.

Sarasota, Fla.’s Brookside Middle School won in the World Environment Day contests North American sub-category for its mangrove propagule growth project while International School of Brussels in Belgium won the European sub-category, for their creation of a sustainable food source composting program. The Middle-Eastern sub-category winner was Hridith Sudev , a seventh grader from Indian School Salalah in Oman for his organization, Project GreenWorld Internationalwhich promotes sustainable communication across the region through interactive projects. Hridith Sudev later went on to become an inventor and the organization has become a global environmental presence. The World Environment Day contests Earth Day “Green Schools” contest regionally focused on 6th to 12th grade students in the Western New York area.

The idea behind the platform was to encourage sustainability in students across the world. Despite the huge response, the platform was taken over two years ago by the network.

See also

  • Earth Summit
    • Agenda 21
    • Rio Declaration on Environment and Development
  • Durban III The conference opened on 22 September 2011
  • Planetary boundaries
  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • The United Nations Ocean Conference


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