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Sustainable Development Policy & Practice
UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Asia Pacific Region

19-20 October 2011 | Seoul, Republic of Korea

Highlights for Thursday, 20 October 2011
View of Seoul (photo courtesy of the Government of the Republic of Korea)
Outside the Lotte Hotel, venue of the meeting
Daily web coverage
19 October - 20 October
The representative of NGOs proposed that the green economy idea be replaced by a focus on sustainable “sufficiency” economies, noting that new labels should not obscure commitments to sustainable development.
The Turkish delegation await the start of the closing plenary.
Delegates peruse the new outcome document distributed in the afternoon.
Meeting Chair Yoon Jong-Soo, Vice-Minister of Environment, Republic of Korea, during the closing plenary.

On Thursday, 20 October 2011, the Asian and Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting for UNCSD convened for its second and final day on 20 October. In the morning, delegates discussed the institutional framework for sustainable development (IFSD). A range of views were expressed, with many speakers agreeing on the value of strengthening IFSD and international environmental governance (IEG). Some favored “strengthening” UNEP, but there was no consensus on whether this should be achieved under UNEP’s current status and structure, or should involve elevating UNEP’s status to that of a UN environment organization (UNEO) or world environment organization (WEO). There was also interest and some support for a proposal to establish a council on sustainable development.

Later in the morning, participants heard statements from the organizers of recent multi-stakeholder consultations designed to provide input for Rio+20. They also heard statements by major groups and international organizations on green economy and IFSD.

In the afternoon, the plenary reconvened following lengthy discussions among the meeting’s bureau members on the outcome of the meeting. Chair Yoon Jong-Soo introduced a new outcome document, which was considerably shorter than the original revised outcome document. The two-page document was entitled, “Seoul Outcome of the Asian and Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting for UNCSD (Rio+20).” The document contains general principles and has some observations on the green economy and IFSD, without going into great detail. After further discussion among participants, delegates agreed that this text would be the regional outcome and to ask the Secretariat to submit it to the UNCSD Secretariat as the outcome from Asia and the Pacific.

Chair Yoon Jong-Soo then asked delegates to turn their attention to a more detailed Chair’s summary of the meeting. He clarified that this document, which sought to capture more of the details of the discussions and various proposals, was not intended for adoption by the group, but was his summary of the discussions.

Delegates then adopted the report of the meeting and heard closing statements from Chair Yoon Jong-Soo and from Sha Zukang, Secretary-General of UNCSD Secretariat and UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs. On the green economy, Sha Zukang noted comments on the value of a roadmap and toolkit, and on the Rio principles, particularly that of common but differentiated responsibilities. He acknowledged concerns that a green economy could be used as a pretext for non-tariff barriers and reiterated the need for clear guidelines. He also noted comments on the idea of developing sustainable development goals. On IFSD, he detected continued interest in simplifying the current governance structure, as well as support for strengthening UNEP and establishing a specialized agency on the environment. He noted strong support for a sustainable development council based on the model of the Human Rights Council. Arguing that failure at Rio+20 is not an option, he stated that we have an “arduous” road ahead and that, although we are still collecting input, negotiations will begin soon. 

The meeting closed at 4:55pm. 

 
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Related Links
Meeting resources
*Meeting website
*Meeting overview
*Provisional agenda
*Review of the implementation of Agenda 21, the programme for further implementation of Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg plan of implementation in Asia and the Pacific
*Report on the institutional framework for sustainable development: Asia-Pacific perspectives
*Asia-Pacific regional preparations for UNCSD
*UN Conference on Sustainable Development website
Major Groups and Stakeholders Asia-Pacific Meeting for Rio +20, 17-18 October 2011, Seoul, Republic of Korea
*UN Commission on Sustainable Development: Asia-Pacific Regional Implementation Meetings

IISD RS resources
*IISD RS Summary Report of the UNCSD 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 UNCSD 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 UNCSD 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 UNCSD 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 UNCSD, 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 2012 UNCSD, 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 UNCSD, 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 UNCSD, 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, 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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