In June 2012, Brazil will host the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, known as Rio+20. China Daily reports.
The time is right: there are clear signs that the current development models must be reformulated.Countries – regardless of their wealth – face serious economic and financial crises, socialinequality, hunger, unemployment, losses in biodiversity and climate change. These multiple crisespoint to the timely and urgent need to implement sustainable development models: national projectsthat take a balanced and integrated approach to economic growth, social inclusion andenvironmental protection.
Rio+20 will be an opportunity to hold this discussion at the highest level. The conference will befundamentally different from its predecessor, Rio 92. The summit held 20 years ago representedthe final stages of long negotiation processes that culminated in the signing of important documentsand conventions. While Rio 92 was a destination point, Rio+20 may be considered a point ofdeparture. Rio+20 looks to the future, building a new sustainable development agenda.
One of Brazil’s priorities in Rio+20 will be discussing the eradication of poverty and thestrengthening of financial and technological flows in order to implement sustainable developmentcommitments, which require significant public, private and political resources.
The Rio+20 agenda is organized around two major subjects. The first is a green economy in thecontext of sustainable development and poverty eradication. On this, a general agreement has beenemerging among the different countries on a few aspects: there is not one single model for a greeneconomy; and one must not think about a green economy without taking into account theeradication of poverty, that is, without pursuing social inclusion goals.
Each country will create its own green economy design, based on its national realities, theresources available, and the development challenges it faces. In Brazil, for example, the greeneconomy will be based on the widespread use of renewable energy, as well as on effectivelycombating deforestation and raising income levels for millions of Brazilians. The adoption of asingle standard green economy for all nations could potentially create distortions, such as tradebarriers, which would deepen the disparities among countries, aggravating social problems,particularly in developing countries.
The second subject is governance for sustainable development. In other words, it is necessary toadapt the framework of the UN system so as to strengthen multilateralism, reduce the democraticdeficit and provide greater integration among the social, economic and environmental aspects ofsustainable development.
Rio+20 may decisively contribute to tackling global warming, because sustainable development isthe best answer to the challenges associated with climate change. Brazil, China and the otherpartners of the BASIC Group, South Africa and India, have played a key role in the recent DurbanConference, contributing, through their leadership, to the achievement of positive results. Thanks toDurban, the conditions are now set for a constructive exchange on global warming at Rio+20,which could potentially strengthen the international system regarding climate change. This shouldclearly be achieved without duplicating intergovernmental negotiations, whose legitimate forum isthe United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The world looks to Brazil, the host of Rio+20, for leadership. We will not shy away from this task,for which we have solid credentials, bearing in mind our experience in areas such as clean andrenewable energies, as well as inclusive economic growth policies. Brazil has demonstrated that itis possible to grow and to include, while protecting and preserving.
As Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff mentioned in January 2012, at the World Social Forum inPorto Alegre: after Rio+20, we want the word “development” to always be associated to theadjective “sustainable”.
The author is the Brazilian Minister of Foreign Affairs.
- Green economy a key sticking point in Rio+20 talks (devex.com)
- ITU calls for inclusion of ICT at Rio+20 Summit (ghanabusinessnews.com)
- Countries agree to extend negotiations on Rio+20 outcome document (ghanabusinessnews.com)
- What’s the Agenda for the Rio+20 Conference? (thegoodhuman.com)
- Rio+20 (slideshare.net)
- Youth Involvement Surges In Lead Up To Rio+20 Earth Summit (thinkprogress.org)
- May 2012 (felixdodds.net)
- Rio+20 talk point: your message to the summit on the future you want (bfreenews.com)
- UNCTAD rolls trade message for Rio+20 Summit (ghanabusinessnews.com)
- Mashable Is Heading to Brazil for Rio+Social (mashable.com)