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Sustainable Development Policy & Practice
Second Intersessional Meeting of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20)

15-16 December 2011 | UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America

Rio+20

Summary of the meeting

Download the IISD RS summary of the meeting in HTML or PDF format.

Highlights for Friday, 16 December

On Friday, delegates at the Second Intersessional Meeting of the UNCSD discussed the structure and format of the zero draft of the outcome document.

In the afternoon, UNCSD Secretary-General Sha summarized views, pointing to support for: a single, focused and action-oriented political document focusing on the objectives and two themes set by UNGA Resolution 64/236; a vision for the future and a declaration of renewed political commitment, accompanied, as an annex, by a set of agreed actions specifying actors, timeframes and means of implementation; and accountability for delivering on commitments, whether negotiated or voluntary, noting some references to a compendium or registry of voluntary commitments to accompany the negotiated outcome. On the green economy, he underlined broad agreement that: the concept be a means to sustainable development; and national action be guided by agreed principles and a menu of policy options, and supported by capacity building for developing national green economy strategies. He also emphasized broad support for sustainable development goals (SDGs), noting that the zero draft will need to reflect this proposal. On the institutional framework for sustainable development, he pointed to the: proposals to “strengthen UNEP/elevate it to a specialized agency” and “growing interest” in creating a sustainable development council to replace the Commission on Sustainable Development.

Co-Chair Ashe expressed hope that the zero draft, to be tabled by the Co-Chairs in consultation with Bureau, will be circulated in mid-January 2012, and gavelled the meeting to a close at 4:52 pm.

Click here for highlights and photos from Friday, 16 December

Nikhil Seth, Director, Division for Sustainable Development, and Sha Zukang, Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, at the close of the session
 
Timothy Wirth, President, UN Foundation, and Sha Zukang
At the close of the meeting, Co-Chair Ashe thanked Vivian Pliner, Secretary, for her contributions to UN sustainable development negotiations over the past 20 years and delegates wished her well on her retirement at the end of December.
 
Brice Lalonde, Executive Coordinator for Rio+20, and Patricia Chaves, Secretariat
Bidding farewell to Vivian Pliner, Secretariat, who is retiring
 
 
Nurgali Ashim, Kazakhstan, notes that his country is celebrating the 20th anniversary as an independent country on 16 December 2011
 
PaperSmart posters were posted throughout the conference room, offering a paperless way to view information related to the conference and to access it quickly on handheld computer devices.
 
 
Special Event: Briefing on Rio+20 by the Government of Brazil
A view of the dais during the briefing
Side Event: Solutions for Rio+20 Outcomes: Sustainable Developement Goals and Principles
A view of the room during the side event on the SDGs
Paula Caballero, Colombia
Moderator Jan-Gustav Strandenaes, Stakeholder Forum, and Ambassador Gyan Chandra Acharya, Nepal
 
Side Event: Achieving Implementation: accountability, engagement and multi-stakeholder cooperation
Robert Laubacher, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, speaking during the event
Panelists during the event

Highlights from Thursday, 15 December

On Thursday, 15 December 2011, Amb. John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda), Co-Chair of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), opened the Second Intersessional Meeting of the UNCSD. Noting that three changes to the Bureau and the accreditation of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to participate in the UNCSD PrepCom needed to be formally adopted, he presided over a short formal meeting of the PrepCom for this purpose.

Amb. Kim Sook (Republic of Korea), newly-elected PrepCom Co-Chair, noted that the Second Intersessional Meeting offers the first opportunity to discuss the 6,000 page compilation document and its discussions will help guide the Bureau and Secretariat in the preparation of the zero draft of the outcome document, which will be tabled in January 2012. Tariq Al-Ansari, Deputy Chef de Cabinet, Office of the President of the General Assembly, on behalf of Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, General Assembly President, said that the expected outcome should be a concise document, with a results-oriented programme of action, clear timeframes and specific targets; and that integration, coherence, and implementation are the cornerstones of the conference outcome. UNCSD Secretary-General Sha Zukang called on governments to “aim high” at Rio, particularly given “new” sustainable development issues, such as food insecurity, volatility in energy prices, global financial instability, and unemployment.

Delegates adopted the organization of work without amendment, and heard opening statements. They then exchanged views on the compilation document and offered comments and guidance for the zero draft.

Click here for highlights and photos from Thursday, 15 December

A view of the dais during the opening plenary
Delegates from Chile and Chad during the morning plenary
Jim McLay, New Zealand
 
A view of the conference room during the opening plenary
Sascha Gabizon, Women in Europe for a Common Future (left) and Gisbert Glaser, speaking for the Scientific and Technological Community
Anita Nayar, Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN), speaking on behalf of Women’s Major Group
 
Nikhil Seth, Director, Division for Sustainable Development, Tariq Al-Ansari, Deputy Chef de Cabinet, Office of the President of the General Assembly, Sha Zukang, Secretary-General of the UNCSD, and Co-Chairs of the UNCSD Preparatory Process John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda) and Kim Sook (Republic of Korea) and Sangeeta Sharma, Secretariat
Questions posed for delegates to reflect on and include during their 3-minute interventions during the discussion on the zero draft of the outcome document
Dessima Williams, Grenada, speaking for AOSIS
 
Special Event: Briefing by the Global Sustainability Panel (GSP)
Varad Pande, India, Janos Pasztor, Executive Secretary, Global Sustainability Panel, Hannu Kyröläinen, Finland, and Fortunato Albrinho, Mozambique
Side Event: Sustainable and Just Cities: New Priorities for the Rio+20 Conference
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaking at the side event
 
Luis Ubiñas, President, Ford Foundation
 
Luis Ubiñas, President, Ford Foundation, Frances Beinecke, President, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Cecilia Martínez, Director, UN-HABITAT New York Office
Side Event: Presentations of the Regional Preparatory Meeting Reports
Presentations of the Regional Preparatory Meeting Reports
Monika Linn, Economic Commission for Europe, presents the report for the Europe regional meeting, and is seated with the Directors of Sustainable Development Divisions of the regional commissions
Related Links
Meeting resources
*Meeting website
*Meeting organization of work
*Compilation Document
*Remarks by Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, and UNCSD Secretary-General

IISD RS resources
*IISD RS summary report of the Economic Commission for Europe’s Regional Preparatory Meeting for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20), 1-2 December 2011, Geneva, Switzerland (HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS summary report of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20) African Regional Preparatory Process, 20-25 October 2011, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS summary report of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20) Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Asia Pacific Region, 19-20 October 2011, Seoul, Republic of Korea (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS summary report of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20) Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Arab Region, 16-17 October 2011, Cairo, Egypt (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF) (Arabic: PDF)
IISD RS coverage of the Seventh “Environment for Europe” Ministerial Conference, 21-23 September 2011, Astana, Kazakhstan
*IISD RS summary report of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20) Regional Preparatory Meeting for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), 7-9 September 2011, Santiago, Chile (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF) (Spanish: HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS summary report of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20) Subregional Preparatory Committee for the Pacific Countries, 21-22 July 2011, Apia, Samoa (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS summary report of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20) Subregional Preparatory Committee for the Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, and South China Sea Countries, 7-8 July 2011, Mahé, Seychelles (HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS summary report of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20) Subregional Preparatory Meeting for the Caribbean, 20 June 2011, Georgetown, Guyana (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS summary report of the Keeping the Green Economy Blue: A Workshop in Preparation for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20), 29 April 2011, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF) (Spanish: HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS summary and analysis of the Second Session of the Preparatory Committee for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20), 7-8 March 2011, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS summary and analysis of the First Intersessional Meeting of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20), 10-11 January 2011, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF) (Spanish: HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS summary and analysis of the First Session of the Preparatory Committee for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20), 17-19 May 2010, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF) (Spanish: HTML - PDF)
IISD RS coverage of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), 26 August - 4 September 2002, Johannesburg, South Africa
*IISD RS coverage of the UN Conference on Environment and Development, 3-14 June 1992, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
*IISD RS archive of sustainable development meetings
*SDG - A mailing list for news on sustainable development policy
*Sustainable Development Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of International Activities Preparing for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development
*SIDS Policy and Practice - A Knowledgebase on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States
*Biodiversity Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of UN and Intergovernmental Activities Addressing International Biodiversity Policy
*Climate Change Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of UN and Intergovernmental Activities Addressing Global Climate Change Policy
*Linkages Update - Bi-weekly international environment and sustainable development news
*African Regional Coverage
*Latin America and Caribbean Regional Coverage
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