About Rio+20

Objectives and themes

The Rio+20 Conference will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 20 June to 22 June, 2012, in order to mark the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, also called the “Rio Earth Summit”.

The Rio+20 Conference has three main objectives:

  • Securing Political Commitment to Sustainable Development
  • Assess the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development
  • Address new and emerging challenges.

The conference will focus on two themes: 1) a Green Economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; and 2) the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development.


Rio 1992

During the first Earth Summit, held from 3 June to 14 June 1992, 172 governments participated and some 2,400 representatives of non-governmental organizations attended, with 17,000 people at the parallel NGO "Global Forum", who had Consultative Status. Three important agreements were reached: the Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate which in turn led to the Kyoto Protocol. Moreover, the international community adopted Agenda 21, an unprecedented global plan of action for sustainable development.

Johannesburg 2002

The World Summit on Sustainable Development took place in Johannesburg, South Africa from 26 August to 4 September 2002, ten years after the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Rio 1992). This Summit was held in order to get new commitments on sanitation and to underlined yet again the need to address sustainable development as an interlinked agenda. It generated an increased ratification of environmental conventions.


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