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Sustainable Development Policy & Practice
Rio+20: Third PrepCom and the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD)

13-22 June 2012 | Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio+20

Summary of the Meeting

Highlights from Friday, 22 June

On 22 June 2012, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) adopted the outcome document titled “The Future We Want," and, following statements by governments, UN officials and Brazilian President Rousseff, the meeting closed at 8:41 pm. The final day of the three-day event opened with statements by 8 Heads of State and Government and 45 Deputy Prime Ministers, Ministers and heads of delegation. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was among the speakers, and announced a partnership between the US and African nations, with US$20 million in funding, to unlock private financing for clean energy projects in Africa and beyond. In her closing statement, Brazilian President Rousseff pledged US$6 million to UNEP’s fund targeting developing countries, and will direct US$10 million towards climate change challenges in Africa, least developed countries, and SIDS. A similar pledge had been offered earlier in the meeting by Wen Jiabao, Premier of China, and total pledges of US$513 billion in funding were reported to have been committed by governments, the private sector, civil society and other groups in response to a call for voluntary commitments to achieve the Conference’s goals. In closing the Conference, Rousseff stressed that Rio+20 was the most participatory conference in history and was a “global expression of democracy.” She also said that Rio+20 has demonstrated multilateralism is a legitimate pathway to build solutions for global problems. In all, 12,000 individuals were reported to have registered to attend the official Rio+20 event and its 500 official side events, and another 30,000 participated in one or more of the up to 3000 unofficial parallel events that took place throughout Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

ENB web coverage for Friday, 22June

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff receives a gavel as a gift from Ban Ki-moon and officially closes the UN Conference on Sustainable Development
President of the General Assembly Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, and Secretary of the Conference Shaaban Muhammad Shaaban
 

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaking at the closing plenary

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff addresses the conference during the closing plenary
 
Secretary of the Conference Shaaban Muhammad Shaaban, Under-Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management, UNCSD Secretary-General Sha Zukang, and Rapporteur Tania Valerie Raguz, Croatia
 

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Luiz Alberto Figueiredo, Brazil, after the adoption of the outcome document

Members of the Brazilian delegation after the outcome document is adopted
 
 

Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Prime Minister of Denmark

Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State
 
UNCSD Secretary-General Sha Zukang and Jose Maria Figueres, Carbon War Room, during a press conference on commitments

A view of the dais during a meeting between civil society and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
 

Izabella Teixeira, Brazilian Environment Minister, after adoption of the outcome document

Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director of Greenpeace International, and Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation during a meeting between civil society and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
 
Luc Gnacadja, UN Convention to Combat Desertification, intervening in the roundtable discussion

Highlights from Thursday, 21 June

The UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) continued on Thursday, 21 June 2012, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Eighty-five Heads of State and Government, and Ministers were scheduled to address the Rio+20 plenary on Thursday. The high-level participants also took part in two roundtables. In addition, the Rio+20 Partnerships Forum opened, SD-Learning at Rio+20 continued, numerous side events convened and multiple events took place throughout Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Read the ENB daily report with highlights from Thursday, 21 June, in English (in HTML or PDF format) and French (in HTML or PDF format).

ENB web coverage for Thursday, 21 June

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of the Republic of Indonesia, walking to address the Conference

 

Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, CBD Executive Secretary, and Edward Norton, Actor and UN Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity
 

Evo Morales, President of Bolivia

Rafael Correa, President of Ecuador
 
 

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Nitin Desai, former UN Under Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and Secretary-General of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development

South African President Jacob Zuma
 
 

 

French President Francois Hollande
 
Representatives of Local Authorities, NGOs and Women Major Groups
 
Protesters outside the Plenary Hall
UN security holds the media at bay from the protesters
 

Highlights from Wednesday, 20 June

The UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) opened on Wednesday, 20 June 2012, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Following the election of officers, adoption of the agenda and other organizational agenda items, delegates proceeded to conduct a general debate. As of 10:00 pm, 48 Heads of State and Government, Vice-Presidents, and ministers and heads of delegation had addressed the meeting. The high-level participants also took part in a roundtable discussion. In addition, the Rio+20 Partnerships Forum opened, SD-Learning at Rio+20 continued, numerous side events convened and multiple events took place throughout Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Read the ENB daily report with highlights from Wednesday, 20 June, in English (in HTML or PDF format) and French (in HTML or PDF format).

ENB web coverage for Wednesday, 20 June

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff assumes the Presidency of the UNCSD and is greeted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UNCSD Secretary-General Sha Zukang
UNCSD Secretary-General Sha Zukang meets with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Family Photo
 

José Manuel Durão Barroso, President of the European Commission

Lyonchoen Jigmi Yoezer Thinley, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bhutan, and Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
 
A view of the dais during the opening ceremony (l-r): H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, President of the General Assembly Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Secretary of the Conference Shaaban Muhammad Shaaban, UNCSD Secretary-General Sha Zukang, and South African President Jacob Zuma
 

17 year old Brittany Trilford, winner of the tcktcktck Date with History contest, kicks off the Summit by asking leaders, "Are you here to save face, or are you here to save us?"

Wen Jiabao, Chinese Premier, and Sebastián Piñera, President of Chile
 
 

Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, President of the General Assembly (center)

Jean Ping, Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union, and Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India
 
 

Civil society indicating their red lines

 

Highlights from Tuesday, 19 June

During a plenary meeting of the Pre-Conference Informal Consultations, delegates agreed to the Rio+20 outcome document ad referendum. Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota opened the mid-day plenary, informing waiting delegates that he believed they were in a position to adopt the text to be formally presented at the conference for adoption. He observed that, while not ideal, the text represents “the equilibrium” at this point. After numerous statements from delegates, praising Brazil for its leadership, complimenting the outcome as the best that could be achieved at this moment, and noting elements that they would have preferred to be different, Minister Patriota said the pre-consultation for Rio+20 had thus concluded and delegates had fulfilled their task in a way that prepares the arriving leaders for a successful summit. He said inclusion has been an important part of the process, and also highlighted that 500 official and 3000 nonofficial parallel events related to the UNCSD are taking place in Rio.

Read the ENB daily report with highlights from Tuesday, 19 June, in English (in HTML or PDF format) and French (in HTML or PDF format).

ENB web coverage for Tuesday, 19 June

The Brazilian delegation after the plenary where the text was adopted ad referendum (Photo: Maria Elisa Franco/UN)
Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio de Aguiar Patriota (center) reviewing the text with Rio+20 Secretary-General Sha Zukang (right)
A view of dais after the adoption of the text during the closing plenary of the pre-conference informal consultations (l-r): Nikhil Seth, Director, Division for Sustainable Development, UNCSD Secretary-General Sha Zukang, Izabella Teixeira, Brazilian Environment Minister, Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, and Amb. Luiz Alberto Figueiredo, Brazil
Ministers from the Republic of Congo and Kenya asking to take the floor in plenary
 

Braizilian Foreign Minister Antonio de Aguiar Patriota with Elizabeth Thompson, Co-Executive Coordinator of Rio+20

Luiz Alberto Figueiredo, Brazil, Nikhil Seth, Director, Division for Sustainable Development, and UNCSD Secretary-General Sha Zukang, speaking with Braizilian Foreign Minister Antonio de Aguiar Patriota
 
Members of the Secretariat of the Division for Sustainable Development

The plenary was full to capacity

 

Ida Auken, Danish Environment Minister, with Braizilian Foreign Minister Antonio de Aguiar Patriota

Delegates from Algeria with Nikhil Seth, Director, Division for Sustainable Development (center)
 

Highlights from Monday, 18 June

During Monday’s Pre-Conference Informal Consultations, negotiating groups considered IFSD, MOI, green economy, oceans, SDGs, energy, Sections I and II, and Section V.A. Late Monday night, delegates were informed that a plenary would convene at 11:00 pm, to discuss a new version of the outcome document. At 2:18 am, Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio de Aguiar Patriota informed the delegates who were waiting in the plenary hall that a final text would be available by 7:00 am, that a plenary would convene at 10:30 am, and that he would announce to the press that the elaboration of the text has been concluded.

Read the ENB daily report with highlights from Monday, 18 June, in English (in HTML or PDF format) and French (in HTML or PDF format).

ENB web coverage for Monday, 18 June

Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio de Aguiar Patriota (center) during a very brief early Tuesday morning plenary session
Franz Perrez, Switzerland, Stephan Contius, Germany, and Todd Stern, US, following the consultations on IFSD
G-77/China delegates during the IFSD discussions

 

 

Elizabeth Cousens, US Ambassador to ECOSOC, and John Matuszak, US

Delegates from the Holy See and Nicaragua consulting on Section V
 
Press conference between the Elders and Youth delegates: Elders Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Former President of Brazil, and Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway, and Esther Agbarakwe, a youth delegate from Nigeria
A view of the room during the discussions on Section V.a
Jonathan Pershing, US (center), consulting with the G-77/China and the EU on Means of Implementation

Highlights from Sunday, 17 June

The UNCSD “Pre-Conference Informal Consultations led by the host country” continued Sunday. Negotiating groups considered oceans, IFSD, SDGs and MOI in the morning, and green economy and Sections I and II in the afternoon. The SDGs and IFSD groups continued in the evening. Throughout the day, the facilitators of the negotiating groups asked delegates who wanted changes in the text to work with their partners to develop alternatives, and many consultations took place with this objective.

Read the ENB daily report with highlights from Sunday, 17 June, in English (in HTML or PDF format) and French (in HTML or PDF format).

ENB web coverage for Sunday, 17 June

Youth outside the meeting rooms call for a high commissioner for future generations
 
Majid Alsuwaidi, United Arab Emirates, and Paula Cabllero, Colombia, duirng the discussions on SDGs

 

A view of the room during the green economy discussions

Todd Stern, US, consulting with Malia Talakai, Niue, during the discussions on Sections I and II

Luiz Alberto Figueiredo, Brazil, and Nikhil Seth, Director, Division for Sustainable Development, with other members of the Brazilian delegation during informal consultations

Highlights from Saturday, 16 June

The UNCSD “Pre-Conference Informal Consultations led by the host country” began Saturday afternoon. During an opening plenary, the Brazilian organizers discussed the process that they would use to facilitate consultations on the Rio+20 outcome document. A new consolidated text was released at 5:45 pm, and four negotiating groups were supposed to meet at 7:00 pm. However, delegates requested a plenary meeting to present their initial impressions on the draft, so the day concluded with an hour-long plenary.

Read the ENB daily report with highlights from Saturday, 16 June, in English (in HTML or PDF format) and French (in HTML or PDF format).

ENB web coverage for Saturday, 16 June

Nikhil Seth, Director, Division for Sustainable Development, UNCSD Secretary-General Sha Zukang, Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Brazil, and Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado, Brazil, during the afternoon plenary of the pre-conference informal consultations

Mourad Benmehidi, Algerian Ambassador to the UN and Chair of the G-77/China (center)

 

Andre Correa de Lago, Luiz Alberto Figueiredo, and Raphael Azeredo, Brazil

Delegates in the informal plenary

Highlights from Friday, 15 June

The third meeting of the UNCSD PrepCom concluded at 12:16 am on Saturday, 16 June 2012, following a full day of negotiations in multiple “splinter” groups and a decision by the PrepCom to ask Brazil to conduct “pre-conference informal consultations led by the host country.” A special ceremony to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, and side events, events in the Pavilions in Athlete’s Park, and numerous other events took place throughout the city of Rio de Janeiro.

Read the ENB daily report with highlights from Friday, 15 June, in English (in HTML or PDF format) and French (in HTML or PDF format).

ENB web coverage for Friday, 15 June

Maurice Strong, Secretary-General of the 1992 Earth Summit, speaks to the press after a special ceremony to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit

A view of the front row during the evening plenary session with delegations from Brazil, Palestine, Egypt and Algeria

A view of the dais during the closing plenary of the Preparatory Committee

Maurice Strong receives a standing ovation after his speech during a special ceremony to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit (l-r: Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Brazil, Fernando Collor de Mello, former President of Brazil, Maurice Strong, Secretary-General of the 1992 Earth Summit, and Kim Sook, Co-Chair of the Rio+20 Preparatory Committee
 

Brice Lalonde, Rio+20 Co-Executive Coordinator, and Fernando Coimbra and Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado, Brazil

Participants post their "Vision for the Future"
 

Delegates from the G-77/China consulting with the US on water

 

Youth call for a 10 Year Framework of Programmes on SCP

Jimena Leiva, Guatemala, and Farrukh Khan, Pakistan
 

Highlights from Thursday, 14 June

The third meeting of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) continued its work on Thursday, 14 June 2012, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. “Splinter” groups continued negotiations on the draft outcome document to be considered for adoption by the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, Rio+20), which is set to open on 20 June. These groups addressed: means of implementation and sustainable development goals (SDGs); sustainable consumption and production (SCP), water and climate change; oceans; gender, education, health, cities, transport and mining; poverty, food security, biodiversity, mountains and forests; green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; Sections I and II; distaster risk reduction and jobs; the institutional framework for sustainable development (IFSD). A number of consultations also convened during the day, along with approximately 30 side events. Numerous other events took place throughout the city of Rio de Janeiro.

Read the ENB daily report with highlights from Thursday, 14 June, in English (in HTML or PDF format) and French (in HTML or PDF format).

ENB web coverage for Thursday, 14 June

Selwin Hart, Barbados, facilitator of the group on Means of Implementation and SDGs (center), consulting with members of the G-77/China
 
The Fossil of the Day Award went to the United States

A view of the room during the negotiations on food security

 

Artwork in RioCentro

 

Participants during the splinter group on food security

Highlights from Wednesday, 13 June

The third meeting of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) began its work on Wednesday, 13 June 2012, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Seven “splinter” groups continued negotiations on the draft outcome document to be considered for adoption by the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, Rio+20), which is set to open on 20 June. These groups addressed: means of implementation and sustainable development goals (SDGs); sustainable consumption and production (SCP), water and climate change; oceans; gender, education, health, cities, transport and mining; chemicals and desertification; green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; and the institutional framework for sustainable development (IFSD). A number of consultations also convened during the day, along with approximately 20 side events. Numerous other events took place throughout the city of Rio de Janeiro, and countries and the Rio Conventions opened their Pavilions in Athlete’s Park.

Read the ENB daily report with highlights from Wednesday, 13 June, in English (in HTML or PDF format) and French (in HTML or PDF format).

ENB web coverage for Wednesday, 13 June

 

A view of the dais during the opening of the Preparatory Meeting for the UNCSD (l-r): Sha Zukang, UNCSD Secretary General, PrepCom Co-Chairs John Ashe, Antigua and Barbuda, and Kim Sook, Republic of Korea, and the Conference Secretary
 

Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado, Executive Secretary, Brazil National Commission for Rio+20, Sha Zukang, UNCSD Secretary General, and Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, Brazil

Abdelghani Merabet, Algeria, Farrukh Khan, Pakistan, and Co-Chair Kim Sook
 

Civil society press conference

 

Andre Correado Lago, Brazil, and Elizabeth Thompson, Rio+20 Executive Coordinator

Co-Chair Kim Sook, Franz Perrez, Switzerland, and Farrukh Khan, Pakistan
 

Opening press conference (l-r): Pragati Pascale, Spokesperson of the Rio+20 Conference, Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado, Executive Secretary, Brazil National Commission for Rio+20, Sha Zukang, Secretary-General of the Rio+20 Conference, and Nikhil Seth, Director, Division for Sustainable Development

G-77/China delegates during the IFSD discussions

The opening plenary room was also standing room only

Selwin Hart, Barbados, facilitating the group on SDGs and Means of Implementation

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Related Links
UNCSD or Rio+20 resources
*Meeting website
*Third PrepCom website
*Third PrepCom organization of work
*Secretary-General’s report on objectives and themes
*Synthesis report on best practices and lessons learned on the objective and themes of the Conference
*UNCSD website
*UNCSD organization of work
*Implementation of Agenda 21, the programme for the further implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD)
*Side events at Rio+20
*Other events at Rio+20
*SD-Learning at Rio+20
*Partnership Forum
*Rio+20 calendar
*Member states

IISD RS resources
*IISD RS coverage of the World Congress on Justice, Governance and Law for Environmental Sustainability, 17-20 June 2012, Rio de Janeiro
*IISD RS coverage of the Third Round of ‘Informal-Informal’ Negotiations on the zero draft of outcome document of the UNCSD, 29 May - 2 June 2012, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America
*IISD RS coverage of the Second Round of ‘Informal-Informal’ Negotiations on the zero draft of outcome document of the UNCSD or Rio+20, 23 April - 4 May 2012, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America
*IISD RS coverage of Selected Side Events at the Second Round of ‘Informal-Informal’ Negotiations on the zero draft of outcome document of the UNCSD or Rio+20, 23 April - 4 May 2012, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America
*IISD RS coverage of the First Round of ‘Informal-Informal’ Negotiations on the zero draft of the outcome document and Third Intersessional Meeting of the UNCSD or Rio+20, 19-23 and 26-27 March 2012, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America
*IISD RS coverage of Selected Side Events at the First Round of ‘Informal-Informal’ Negotiations on the zero draft of the outcome document and Third Intersessional Meeting of the UNCSD or Rio+20, 19-23 and 26-27 March 2012, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America
*IISD RS coverage of the Initial Discussions on the “zero draft” of the outcome document for the UNCSD or Rio+20, 25-27 January 2012, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America
*IISD RS coverage of the Second Intersessional Meeting of the UNCSD or Rio+20, 15-16 December 2011, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America
*IISD RS summary report of the Economic Commission for Europe’s Regional Preparatory Meeting for the UNCSD or Rio+20, 1-2 December 2011, Geneva, Switzerland (HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS summary report of the 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 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 coverage of the UNCSD or Rio+20) Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Arab Region, 16-17 October 2011, Cairo, Egypt
IISD RS coverage of the Seventh “Environment for Europe” Ministerial Conference, 21-23 September 2011, Astana, Kazakhstan
*IISD RS coverage of the UNCSD or Rio+20 Regional Preparatory Meeting for Latin America and the Caribbean, 7-9 September 2011, Santiago, Chile
*IISD RS summary report of the 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 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 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 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 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 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 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
*UNCSD-L - 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
*Sustainable Energy Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of Sustainable Energy Activities
*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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