The United Nation Conference on Sustainable Development was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 20 to 22 June 2012. It was preceded by the last preparatory session (‘prepcom’) also held in Rio from 13 to 15 June 2012 which then continued as an informal ‘pre-conference consultation coordinated by Brazil’ from 16 to 19 June in order to produce a consensus Outcome Document to present to the formal conference attended by Heads of State and Government or their representatives, and other high ranking officials.
The Conference had two main two themes: “Green Economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication” and “Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development”. IUCN was present at Rio during this entire period with a “One Programme” delegation comprised of 43 persons including Councillors, Commission Members, Members and secretariat staff. Members of this of delegation contributed to a full ‘Report of IUCN Delegation at Rio’ which can be accessed here. IUCN position papers and other related information are available on these pages.
Outcome of the Rio+20 conference
After arduous and inconclusive negotiations during the last prepcom (June 13-15), the Brazilian government took leadership and presented a new draft outcome document containing a very delicate balance among all positions. This document, labelled “The Future We Want” was finally adopted by Heads of States with much applause which reflected not so much happiness for the quality of the outcome, but rather a great relief that there was an outcome at all! “.
IUCN’s analysis of the “The Future We Want”
The final phase of the negotiations was perilous with many watchers wondering if there would be any possible outcome at all as negotiators at times even got to wordsmith formulations that had been agreed before such at the Rio Principles of 1992. The final balance brokered by Brazil is therefore a mix. For example, while IUCN would have liked to see more bold language on green economy linked to the Aichi Targets and a step forward in negotiations of an implementing agreement on oceans to address the question of marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction, the Union also welcomes the decision to start negotiations on Sustainable Development Goals and to review the governance of sustainable development in the UN, both of which will soon be launched in New York. A more detail analysis of “The Future We Want” in relation to IUCN’s positions may be accessed here.