Rio+20 - United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development
Compilation Document - Rio+20 - United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development
At its Second Preparatory Meeting in March 2011, the Preparatory Committee for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) requested the
Bureau to initiate an open, transparent and inclusive process, led by member States, to prepare in a timely manner a draft text, based upon all preparatory inputs, to serve as
the basis for an outcome document for the Conference.
The second Preparatory Committee Meeting invited all member States, relevant United Nations system organizations, and relevant stakeholders to provide inputs and
contributions to the Secretariat in writing by 1 November 2011, for inclusion in a compilation text to be presented by the Bureau to member States and other stakeholders for
their comments and further guidance at the second Intersessional Meeting on 15-16 December 2011. This compilation document is to serve as basis for the preparation of a
zero-draft of the outcome document, to be presented for consideration by member States and other stakeholders by January 2012.
Inputs received by the Secretariat are contained in a web-based Compilation Document, available at www.uncsd2012.org/compilationdocument, in their unedited
versions, preceded by an index of terms to facilitate analysis of material submitted.
Part III. Regional Preparatory Meeting Outcomes - Submissions
Africa Region Arab Region Asian and Pacific Region Europe and North America Latin American and
1. We, Ministers of African States, recalling UN Resolution 64/236 calling for the convening of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, otherwise
referred to as Rio+20, to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 2012, and further recalling the African Union Assembly Decision Assembly/AU/Dec.381(XVII) inviting
member States to work on a common African Position for Rio+20, met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 24 to 25 October 2011, in the context of the Africa Regional Preparatory
Process for Rio+20. The aim of the preparatory conference was to deliberate on the objective and themes of Rio+20 and other substantive matters of importance to Africa,
with a view to arriving at a consensus on Africa’s key priorities and concerns to be reflected in the outcomes of Rio+20. In so doing, we took into account the concerns of all
strata of the region’s stakeholders – the public sector, private sector, civil society, youth, trade unions, academia and regional and subregional development institutions.
2. We commend the objective of Rio+20, which is to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assess progress to date and the remaining gaps in
the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development, and address new and emerging challenges. We acknowledge the relevance of the two
Conference themes - A green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, and the Institutional framework for sustainable development - to
advancing the global sustainable development agenda.
3. Recalling that the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI) recognizes the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) as providing the framework for
sustainable development on the continent, we reaffirm our commitment to NEPAD and acknowledge the need to achieve its laudable objectives. We acknowledge and
emphasize that the critical foundation for sustainable development lies in good governance, strong and responsive institutions, wealth creation, social equity and equality,
poverty eradication and environmental sustainability, as well as sustained progress in the achievement of internationally agreed commitments including the Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs). While we strongly believe that the Africa region has made appreciable progress in meeting the requirements for sustainable development, we do
urge the international community to accelerate and increase support to the region, to enable it to enhance implementation of its sustainable development commitment.
4. We call on Rio+20 to reinvigorate political will and international commitment to the goals and ideals of sustainable development, to move the sustainable development
agenda forward, and raise the level of commitment by countries, regions and the international community to a common cause for sustainable development, including the need
to achieve the internationally agreed development goals, such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). We therefore call for the Conference to adopt concrete
measures, supported by adequate means of implementation that would ensure accelerated implementation of sustainable development commitments, including those to be
adopted at Rio+20. We further call on the developed countries to fulfil previous commitments and pledges to help Africa’s efforts in achieving sustainable development.
Africa’s overall performance
5. As we review the region’s performance in the implementation of sustainable development commitments from June 1992 to June 2012, we are strongly encouraged by the
results achieved in governance and institution building. We are delighted by the performance recorded in the pursuit of economic sustainability. We are gratified that we
pushed the performance frontiers of sustainable social development forward; and we note with a strong sense of optimism, the modest gains that the region achieved in
6. To further consolidate progress made, we call for enhanced commitments to advance action in areas critical to Africa’s sustainable development, including: improving
agricultural productivity and food security; promoting research and development and the use of biotechnology for sustainable development; combating desertification and land
degradation; achieving sound management of coastal, marine and lacustrine ecosystems; enhancing sustainable use of natural resources, including freshwater, forests and
biodiversity; promoting sustainable consumption and production and sustainable industrial development; ensuring the sound management of chemicals and waste; promoting
sustainable tourism; ensuring access to secure and sustainable energy; achieving sustainable exploitation of mineral resources; enhancing access to safe drinking water and
sanitation; promoting sustainable urban development; strengthening disaster risk preparedness and reduction; achieving inclusive and equitable growth; and furthering
progress made in health and education.
II. New and emerging challenges
7. We are deeply concerned that Africa’s progress towards sustainable development is being severely compromised by new and emerging challenges. Chief among these are
the adverse impact of climate change, increasing water scarcity, biodiversity and ecosystem loss, desertification, hazardous and electronic waste, low resilience to natural
disasters, the energy crisis, the food crisis, rapid and unplanned urbanization resulting from rural-urban migration, piracy, human trafficking, migration and the global financial
and economic crises. These challenges have led to the spread of new diseases, worsening poverty, and unemployment, especially of the youth.
8. We do, however, recognize that some of these new and emerging challenges also provide opportunities such as spurring the transition to a green economy, taking into
account the human resource potential and the vast and largely untapped natural resources that are being discovered in many African countries. Other opportunities include
the paradigm shift in development planning, adapting to and mitigating climate change, and accelerating regional cooperation.
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9. We note that Africa is largely dependent on natural resources to achieve growth and development, which may be hindered by the impact of climate change.
Notwithstanding its low greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, it is the continent that will be the worst affected by climate change, mainly because of its low adaptive capacity.
Climate change is significantly altering Africa’s development pathway. We are taking concrete steps to address the climate change challenge and commit ourselves to
addressing this development challenge, while leveraging opportunities such as capacity-building and technology transfer. We reiterate our call to the international community
to support Africa in this endeavour.
10. Annex I parties of the Kyoto Protocol (KP) must commit to a second commitment period under the KP for the period from 2013-2017, and reduce their emissions by 40 per
cent below 1990 levels by 2017. Annex I parties must provide non-annex parties, particularly African countries, with appropriate additional and long-term financing,
technology, and capacity-building support, in order to enable them to face the adverse effects of climate change.
11. We are concerned that increasing severe biodiversity loss, desertification and land degradation, exacerbated by the effects of climate change, are major problems that
countries have to address.
12. We note that the intensity of desertification of most of Africa’s arable land is a serious challenge to sustainable development in Africa. Most of the land in Africa is prone to
degradation and suffers the worst impact of drought, desertification, and deforestation, with 65 per cent of the population affected. We recognize the economic and social
significance of land, particularly its contribution to growth, food security, and poverty eradication, and will step up efforts to effectively implement initiatives at regional,
subregional, national, and local levels to combat these problems, promote sustainable land and water management, and reinforce north-south and south-south cooperation.
13. We note, with concern, the inadequate support provided by the international community to the implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
(UNCCD), despite its unique global role in preventing and reversing desertification and land degradation with impact on poverty eradication, preservation of the resource
base for food security, building adaptation and resilience of affected ecosystems and populations to climatic shocks such as drought.
14. We are concerned about persistent high food prices in many countries in Africa. Food prices increased dramatically as a result of droughts in grain-producing countries.
There were also reduced yields, depleting cereal stocks and multiple demands on existing stocks from human and animal consumption. While the interventions undertaken
jointly with affected communities and the international community have boosted food output, we are concerned about the high cost of food in Africa. We shall, therefore, take
measures to ensure that the benefits derived from our efforts trickle down and contribute positively to reducing hunger and poverty. We invite developed countries to provide
developing countries with sound technologies, particularly biotechnologies, bearing in mind the precautionary principle, to increase production in the agricultural sector.
15. We are further concerned about the effects of the international economic crisis, financial debts of African countries, the danger of the Doha round failing, and the
repercussions of not achieving sustainable development in Africa.
16. We remain concerned that 40 per cent of the 1.4 billion people worldwide without access to energy services are in Africa, and almost entirely in sub-Saharan Africa.
Access to sustainable energy facilitates development and contributes to the achievements of internationally agreed sustainable development goals, including the MDGs.
However, we recognize the opportunities offered by the energy sector in terms of growth, social and economic development and improved quality of life. We reiterate our
commitment to addressing the energy challenge by improving the availability of sustainable forms of energy in rural areas.
17. We recognize that Africa is the fastest urbanizing continent globally, with a growth rate of 3.4 per cent. Almost 40 per cent of Africa’s people live in urban areas; and it is
projected that by 2050, 60 per cent of all Africans will be living in cities. Not only are planning and financing urban development a priority, they also present a major
opportunity to structure growth that will lead to job creation to secure ecosystem integrity, and deliver affordable public services. Furthermore, we recognize the need to
provide adequate support to the informal sector, which presents significant potential for poverty eradication. We, therefore, undertake and equally enjoin the international
community to promote well-planned human settlements and to catalyze green-based urban growth for the realization of sustainable urbanization.
18. We are concerned by increasing challenges posed by internal and international migration, compounded by climate change, and call for appropriate solutions to be found
at the national and international levels to protect the dignity of migrants.
19. We recognize the special needs and challenges faced by countries emerging from conflicts. In this regard, we urge the international community and the United Nations
system to address these needs and challenges by providing technical assistance, financial support and infrastructure development.
20. We affirm the many actions undertaken by African countries to address new and emerging challenges, and call on the international community to provide meaningful
support, including by adequately supplementing the means of implementation at the disposal of African countries.
III. The green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication
21. We reiterate the need to define the green economy as a tool for achieving sustainable development, and to assess the opportunities and challenges related to this
concept, as well as the means of implementation needed to achieve a smooth transition to a green economy in our countries.
22. We note that the combined stream of economic, social and environmental crises that have plagued the global economy in recent years points to a need to reorient the
current development models towards a more efficient, inclusive and sustainable economy by enhancing the resource efficiency of national economies, and decoupling
economic activity from environmental degradation. In this context, we recognize that the transition to a green economy could offer new opportunities for advancing the
achievement of Africa’s sustainable development objectives through economic growth, employment creation, and the reduction of poverty and inequalities, in accordance with
the principles and recommendations of the 1992 Rio Summit and the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development.
23. We confirm that through a consultative process, African countries have already begun to identify opportunities and challenges in the region’s transition to a green
24. We emphasize that, for Africa to benefit from this transition, the promotion of a green economy in the region should be underlined by national objectives, social, economic
and environmental development imperatives and the attainment of internationally agreed sustainable development commitments, including the MDGs. In this regard, we call
on the international community to put an international investment strategy in place to facilitate the transition towards a green economy. Furthermore, there is a need to foster
better understanding of the green economy in the context of Africa, as a way to protect and sustain natural capital, improve resource efficiency, including innovative financing,
and sustainable consumption and production, and enhance contributions to sustainable development.
25. We emphasize the need to ensure the sustainable management of lands as part of the green economy efforts. We are aware that managing a green economic
transformation will require an enabling environment, including policies and institutional frameworks that imply a critical role for the State, through public investment, fiscal and
social policies, regulations, public procurement, public-private partnerships, sustainable livelihoods, and market creation at national, regional and global levels, as well as the
facilitation of an active participation of non-State actors. We recognize the African private sector as a critical player in the region’s transition to a green economy. We
encourage the private sector and other major groups, including women, youth, farmers, trade unions, academia, civil society, scientific and technological community and
non-governmental organizations to play their rightful role in the context of sustainable development.
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26. We note that, Africa, being at the early stages of industrialization, has an opportunity to pursue sustainable industrial growth that limits the environmental, social and
economic costs of industrialization, and increases the efficient use of energy and material input, thereby enhancing international competitiveness. Therefore, there is a need
to remove all obstacles to the full implementation of this process. The African Ten-Year Framework of the Programme on Sustainable Consumption and Production, as
endorsed by the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) and the African Union, and the subsequent activities on developing national local sustainable
consumption and production action plans should be used and supported to contribute to the promotion of sustainable industrial development and the green economy.
27. We strongly urge the international community to support African countries to enable them to benefit fully from the sectors in which they have a comparative advantage. We
fully recognize that forest ecosystems are important for the people as well as for adapting to and mitigating climate change. We therefore request the international community
to support countries in the sustainable management of their forests through the effective and efficient implementation of the mechanisms of the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
28. We note that without protecting, restoring and managing our land sustainably, we will miss biodiversity, climate change, forests and MDGs targets; we will not alleviate
rural poverty and hunger, ensure long-term food security, or build resilience to drought and water stress. These will have implications on social and political stability, including
geopolitical conflicts and migration.
29. We therefore stress that the time has come for the international community to commit itself to a land degradation neutral world by setting sustainable development goals
on land use, with targets towards achieving zero net land degradation.
30. We call for making sustainable land-use in agriculture, food security, energy and forestry a cornerstone of the green economy for sustainable development and poverty
31. We further call for enhanced implementation of UNCCD, supported by a globally agreed strong and effective science-policy interface, and improvement of the financing
framework for implementation.
32. We reiterate that the green economy should not be used as a trade barrier or to impose conditionalities on developing countries; neither should it be used by developed
countries as a pretext for not fulfilling their pledges and commitments towards developing countries. The green economy should be based on the Rio principles, including the
principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, and respect the policy space of each country.
33. We emphasize that transitioning to a green economy, including the scoping thereof, should be accompanied by adequate means of implementation, including new and
additional financial, technological and technical assistance to developing countries, in Africa, especially. At the regional level, countries need to develop their own marketing
mechanisms. Furthermore, all parties, in particular, developed countries, should refrain from using unilateral measures or initiatives in this framework.
34. We further emphasize that the transition to a green, efficient and inclusive economy in Africa would require increased investments, access to technologies and capacity-
building. This calls for the development of a new generation of physical and institutional infrastructure. To this end, we are of the view that an agreement on the Global
Ten-Year Framework of Programmes to promote sustainable consumption and production would be a useful contribution, by Rio+20, to support the transition to green
economies and help developing countries with financial and technical support, appropriate technology transfer, capacity-building and market access.
35. We are pleased to note that several African countries have already begun to identify opportunities and challenges in the region’s transition to a green economy through
different regional support programmes. We are further gratified that over the years, innovative policies and practices on sustainable forms of farming, renewable energy
development, ecosystem-based adaptation, resource efficient production and the enhancement of natural capital have been successfully implemented in some countries. We
welcome the exchange of experiences and best practices in these areas, and call for the scaling up of these practices. We underscore the need for mechanisms to regulate
the use of land for commercial purposes, with equity and judicial considerations of communities in mind.
IV. Institutional and strategic frameworks for sustainable development
36. We emphasize that the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development (IFSD) should be based on Chapter 11 of the JPOI, the provisions of Chapter 38 of Agenda
21 (A21), the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 (PFIA21), and the principles of the Rio Declarations, in particular, that of common but differentiated
responsibilities. Furthermore, IFSD should promote the achievement of internationally agreed sustainable development goals, including the MDGs, taking into account the
Monterrey Consensus and the needs of developing countries.
37. We are guided by the call made by the African Union Summit to ensure that Africa’s interests on IFSD are defined and taken into account.
38. We acknowledge the need to strengthen international environmental governance within the context of the institutional framework for sustainable development, in order to
promote a balanced integration of the economic, social and environmental pillars of sustainable development.
39. We call on the Conference to agree that all institutional frameworks for sustainable development should take the specific needs of Africa into account, in addressing the
implementation gap, capacity-building, technology transfer, and linking the science-policy interface for environmental sustainability.
40. We recognize that IFSD is not an end in itself but is linked to the achievement of commonly agreed sustainable development goals, and should lead to the balanced
integration of the three pillars of sustainable development, without putting any additional burden on developing countries or posing an obstacle to their development
41. We acknowledge that sustainable development requires balanced integration of its three pillars - economic, social and environmental - by institutions and strategies that
promote holistic and integrated approaches. We recognize that the region has responded to this requirement with varying degrees of success. However, a common challenge
that persists is balancing the three pillars, especially in planning, budgeting, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of plans and programmes.
42. We confirm that institutional reforms have been undertaken and sustainable development strategies developed, while implementation has commenced at all levels. We
are pleased that to a large extent, multi-stakeholder participation has improved, and institutional and programmatic linkages have been established. The various long-term
visions, plans and strategies have also catered for inter-generational and intra-generational equity.
43. We note that institutional reform is an ongoing process designed to implement sustainable development strategies. In addition to reforming global coordination of the
sustainable development agenda, we recall that the WSSD identified NEPAD as the regional framework for sustainable development and, in this regard, we call for enhanced
implementation through subregional initiatives.
44. We urge countries to consider establishing, reviving and further strengthening national sustainable development strategies and councils, with a mandate to address the
challenge of integrating economic, social and environmental goals by engaging a broader range of ministries and stakeholders at country level. We call on Rio+20 to explore
the possibility of reactivating and reinvigorating the National Councils for Sustainable Development to enable them to coordinate, consolidate and ensure the mainstreaming
of cross-cutting issues in the highest decision-making bodies. These should be adequately capacitated to play a more active role. To this end, we call on the international
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community to assist in developing effective and responsive institutional frameworks for sustainable development in the region.
45. We recognize that regional and subregional institutions have a significant role to play in spurring the establishment and development of institutional and strategic
frameworks for sustainable development, as well as in ensuring their effective operationalization and implementation. We underscore the need to support these institutions
and facilitate institutional coherence and harmonization of relevant development policies, plans and programmes. Furthermore, there is an urgent need to ensure effective
linkage among global, regional, subregional and national processes to advance sustainable development, based on the principle of subsidiarity.
46. We support the efforts to reform the United Nations Economic and Social Council and the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, to enhance their
capabilities to help countries achieve sustainable development, and we emphasize the importance to increase synergies, coherence, and coordination within the United
Nations system and between the United Nations system and international financial institutions, as well as between the Rio Conventions, with respect to their individual
mandates, to support developing countries to achieve sustainable development.
47. We underscore the need for the full involvement of all key ministries and relevant stakeholders, in order to adequately mainstream sustainable development goals into
national policies, strategies, plans and programmes. In this respect, we call on Rio+20 to decisively support the involvement of all ministries and other stakeholders to enable
them to exercise their full responsibilities in sustainable development.
48. We are concerned about the impacts that rising sea levels, coastal erosion, dumping of hazardous waste, degradation of lacustrine ecosystems, and unsustainable fishing
are having on concerned communities, national economies and sustainable development. In this context, we recommend the introduction of a global mechanism for revitalizing
institutions at global, regional and national levels for sustainable management of coastal, marine, and lacustrine resources, while respecting national sovereignty.
49. We undertake to establish platforms for dialogue on sustainable development among stakeholders at the regional, subregional and national levels, to promote and
popularize sustainable development in the African context. We also undertake to assess how best to implement commitments and share experiences with a view to
determining what works, what does not work and why, and to take appropriate actions to accelerate implementation progress.
50. We recognize the need for a clear and actionable indicator framework for sustainable development at the national level, to enhance understanding, guide integration
modalities and identify the type of linkages that should exist among different sectors. In this connection, we request global and regional institutions to promote the
development and application of sustainable development indicator frameworks.
51. We also recognize the need to have new reference indicators to assess the economic, social, and environmental performance of our economies, alongside the Gross
Domestic Product. We should also use these new indicators and the Human Development Index to have a better understanding of the state of our economies and ensure the
preservation of our natural environment and a more sustainable development. We recommend the adoption of policies that promote the integration of the true environmental
costs of production and consumption into accounting models, in order to address the cause rather than the symptoms of environmental and natural resource degradation and
depletion. We also recognize the need for multifaceted and empirical and scientific evidence-based standardization systems , to help us move to sustainable consumption and
growth. We call on the international community to support Africa in adopting these systems.
52. We reaffirm the role of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in promoting a balanced integration of the three pillars of sustainable development in the
region, and call on the Commission, the African Union Commission, the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency, the African Development Bank, and the Regional
Economic Communities to continue facilitating consultative meetings and processes to monitor, evaluate and scale up the implementation of sustainable development
commitments by African countries.
53. In line with the Assembly of the African Union decision (Assembly/AU/Dec.381(XVII)), calling on member States to take into consideration the need to strengthen,
consolidate and transform the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) into an international specialized institution for the environment based in Nairobi, Kenya, we
strongly call on the Rio +20 Conference to endorse the decision of the Assembly of the African Union which recognizes that current institutional structures did not fully
address Africa’s needs in matters of the environment, sustainable development and climate change, within the context of revision of institutional frameworks for sustainable
54. In the context of the African position for the establishment of an international specialized institution, we affirm that any such institution, whatever its form, should have the
(a) Have a strong mandate and the political visibility, to fulfil the key functions of an effective international environmental governance system as set out in the Nairobi-Helsinki
outcomes, working with major economic and social sectors at the international level to ensure that their policies are mutually-supportive of sustainable development;
(b) Be universal in its membership and decision-making, with each member State allocated one vote and decisions taken by consensus;
(c) Be an autonomous body that could set the global policy agenda for environment and provide guidance for environmental financing; (d) Have secure, stable, additional and
predictable financing to fulfil its mandate;
(e) Have increased authority to bring coordination and coherence to the range of multilateral environmental agreements, by promoting synergies while respecting the legal
autonomy of the conferences of the parties to those agreements;
(f) Have a strengthened regional presence, and improved implementation at the national level through the development of operational capacity;
(g) Have the authority to lead a process of United Nations system-wide strategic planning for the environment and to coordinate the inputs of the many agencies with
environmental mandates in the international system;
(h) Promote the science-policy interface to deal with pressing environmental sustainability concerns, and to support national and regional scientific networks and scientists;
(i) Have the ability to enhance capacity and technology support, especially for Africa, monitor the effectiveness of implementation, and facilitate access to technology and
55. We stress that a new specialized institution should not imply the establishment of an environment inspection body, compliance mechanism for developing countries, or the
introduction of green conditionalities or trade barriers, and should not lead to additional financial burdens for Africa.
V. Means of implementation
56. We recognize that African countries are primarily responsible for driving their own sustainable development agenda. In this regard, we confirm that countries have
established and strengthened regional, subregional and national organizations to accompany them in the development process. We also recognize that well-targeted external
support is crucial to meeting the incremental costs of realizing commitments on means of implementation.
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57. We emphasize that Rio+20 must focus on delivering on the Means of Implementation. There are several critical gaps undermining the fulfilment of international
commitments on the achievement of sustainable development in Africa, especially in the areas of finance, external debt, trade investment, capacity-building, and technology
transfer. This package of international commitments and support, which must be urgently met, includes:
(a) The commitment of developed countries to allocate 0.7 per cent of their GDP to developing countries in the framework of official development assistance must be met, as
well as the target of 0.15 per cent to 0.20 per cent of gross national income for least developed countries;
(b) The need to meet the commitment of doubling aid to Africa by 2010 as articulated at the Summit of the Group of Eight, held at Gleneagles in July 2005;
(c) The urgent need for the international community to adopt an effective, equitable, durable and development-oriented solution to the debt problems of developing countries,
particularly through total debt cancellation, and increased concessional financial flows;
(d) The need to fully implement the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity Building, and the provisions contained in Chapter 34 of Agenda 21 and the JPOI
Agreements on technology transfer;
(e) The need for a development-oriented universal, rules-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system, and to reinvigorate multilateral trade
negotiations, to achieve a development-oriented outcome of the Doha Round. We also call for facilitating the accession of developing countries to the World Trade
(f) The need to recognize that science and technology are vital for the achievement of development goals and that the “technological gap” impedes the capacity of African
countries to participate fully in the global economy. It also constitutes a major challenge in their efforts to enhance productive capacity, increase competitiveness, attract
private capital flow, generate income and employment, reduce poverty and achieve sustained economic growth and sustainable development;
58. We affirm that the following means of implementation identified in Agenda 21, PFIA21 and JPOI are indispensable to ensuring the full and effective translation of
sustainable development commitments into tangible sustainable development outcomes in the areas of financing, technology development and transfer, capacity
development, globalization and trade, regional integration and South-South cooperation. We also affirm that the Paris Declaration and the Accra Agenda for Action on aid
effectiveness, as well as the ongoing discussions between Africa and its partners on development effectiveness, are equally relevant;
59. We recognize that in order to meet current sustainable development commitments and any new commitments that may emerge from Rio+20, we need to capitalize on the
synergies that exist among the various means of implementation, to ensure the effectiveness of the interventions, and invest financial and human resources efficiently. For
instance, appropriate investments in vocational training and capacity development will help the transition towards a green economy and sustain the existing blue economy,
which, in turn, will facilitate economic diversification and improve the prospect of international trade for African products. In this regard:
(a) We commit ourselves to enhancing our efforts to improve the national governance environment, ensuring full accountability of institutions and transparent and inclusive
planning and budgetary processes, by developing national strategies for sustainable development. In this respect, we call on the international community to step up efforts to
support the strengthening of institutions and planning capabilities in Africa;
(b) We undertake to improve domestic resource mobilization for sustainable development, including through innovative mechanisms, and increased use of public-private
(c) We underscore that despite the need to increase domestic effort, Africa alone cannot meet the sustainable development challenge, especially in the face of new and
emerging issues such as climate change, and the global financial and economic crisis. We therefore enjoin the international community to meet its commitments in terms of
transfer of financial and technological resources, while ensuring that these complement and strengthen domestic effort, and are conducive to skills development and capacity-
building. In this regard, we shall make development effectiveness a key priority, to which non-traditional donors should also adhere;
(d) We call on development partners and non-traditional donors to make more use of country systems to strengthen their national institutional structures, and to include
sustainable development criteria in financial international institutions, in order to facilitate investment in sustainable development. This would advance the development
effectiveness agenda. We understand development effectiveness in the broader context of sustainable development, which fosters greater policy coherence with trade,
investment and other sectoral policies, which greatly influence progress towards sustainable development. In this context, we pledge to harmonize local, national, subregional,
regional and international efforts and pursue policy coherence;
(e) We enjoin the international community to fulfil commitments undertaken within the framework of the Copenhagen Accord and the Cancun Agreements for additional
fast-start financing, and long-term financing, effective 2013, including the establishment of a Green Climate Fund, which should be directly accessible to developing countries;
(f) We recognize the need to enhance south-south cooperation and to adopt and promote coordinated, integrated, inclusive and transparent cooperation arrangements and
(g) We emphasize that technology transfer should target appropriate and safe green technologies that can help Africa exploit its rich natural resource base without
undermining its sustainability. We will step up efforts to improve skills development, while ensuring that the targeted skills are conducive to the transition towards a green
economy. Furthermore, we call for the transfer of appropriate technologies to be based on fair and equitable principles;
(h) We affirm the need to reform education curricula and systems in Africa in support of the sustainable development agenda in general, and the transition to a green
economy in particular. We recognize the key role played by science, technology and innovation in the implementation of a sustainable development agenda. We undertake to
increase investments in science, technology and innovation in order to ensure that Africa is not left behind in the race for green technologies. We shall promote and
strengthen institutions for technology innovation, introduce codes and standards that can foster green developments, build partnerships within and outside the region for
technology development, and also encourage industry-academia-government partnerships. In this respect, we recognize that it is critical to strengthen networking among
institutions and centres of excellence within and outside Africa;
(i) We call for a programme of support to help African countries assess the costs and benefits of a green economy transition, formulate and implement relevant policies that
address the needs and priorities of Africa so that the green economy contributes to Africa’s sustainable development and poverty eradication objectives;
(j) We underscore the need to develop comprehensive national capacity development strategies, including the three facets of capacity development, namely: human resource
development; organizational development; and institutional development, in order to help minimize migration of skilled labour. We commit ourselves to strengthening
partnerships with non-traditional actors and the private sector, both within and outside countries, in order to leverage resources and capacities for sustainable development;
(k) We recognize that regional integration has a critical role to play in promoting economic diversification, expanding markets, pooling and more efficient allocation of
resources, and addressing transboundary as well as globalization issues and challenges confronting Africa. We thus pledge to deepen and accelerate regional integration in
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(l) We further recognize that while trade is clearly an important element of sustainable development, we will ensure that our economies do not rely solely on international trade
for economic growth, as this would over-expose them to the vagaries of international markets. In this regard, we undertake to enhance intra-African trade, and call on the
international community to support economic diversification in Africa, as it can play a key role in reducing the region’s vulnerability to external shocks;
(m) We are deeply concerned that despite its size, Africa has too little a voice in international institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the
World Trade Organization, and at the G-20. The continent’s specific needs are not well taken into account in the current debate on reshaping the international financial
architecture. We therefore stress the need for Africa’s special circumstances and interests to be fully reflected in the international governance set up.
60. We acknowledge that sustainable development requires all major groups at all levels to play a meaningful role, as participation engenders collective ownership of a
process and promotes a strong sense of commitment in the delivery of results. In this regard, the participation of all stakeholders representing the nine major groups in
national, regional and international forums on sustainable development should be ensured.
Déclaration consensuelle africaine pour Rio+20
1. Nous, Ministres représentant les États africains, rappelant la résolution 64/236 de l’Assemblée générale des Nations Unies demandant la convocation de la Conférence
des Nations Unies sur le développement durable, également désignée par l’appellation Rio+20, qui se tiendra à Rio de Janeiro (Brésil) en juin 2012, et rappelant également
la décision Assembly/AU/Dec.381(XVII) de la Conférence de l'Union africaine invitant les États membres à œuvrer à la préparation d’une Position africaine commune pour
Rio+20, nous sommes réunis à Addis-Abeba (Éthiopie) les 24 et 25 octobre 2011, dans le cadre du processus préparatoire régional africain à Rio+20. La Conférence
préparatoire avait pour but d’examiner les objectifs et les thèmes de Rio+20, ainsi que d'autres questions de fond intéressant l’Afrique, en vue de parvenir à un consensus sur
les principales priorités et préoccupations du continent à inclure dans les conclusions de Rio+20. Ainsi, nous avons pris en considération les préoccupations de l’ensemble
des parties prenantes de la région, notamment le secteur public, le secteur privé, la société civile, les jeunes, les syndicats, le monde universitaire et les institutions de
développement régionales et sous-régionales.
2. Nous nous félicitons de l’objectif de Rio+20, qui est de susciter un engagement politique renouvelé en faveur du développement durable, d’évaluer les progrès accomplis
jusqu’à présent ainsi que les lacunes et retards restant à combler dans la mise en œuvre des textes issus des grandes réunions au sommet consacrées au développement
durable, et de relever les nouveaux défis qui se font jour. Nous constatons la pertinence des deux thèmes de la Conférence, à savoir : L'économie verte dans le contexte du
développement durable et de l'élimination de la pauvreté, et Le cadre institutionnel du développement durable, pour faire progresser l'action mondiale menée en faveur du
3. Rappelant que le plan de mise en œuvre de Johannesburg reconnaît le Nouveau Partenariat pour le développement de l'Afrique (NEPAD) comme cadre du développement
durable sur le continent, nous réaffirmons la fermeté de notre attachement au NEPAD et reconnaissons la nécessité de réaliser ses objectifs louables. Nous reconnaissons et
soulignons que le développement durable a pour fondements essentiels la bonne gouvernance, des institutions fortes et caractérisées par le dynamisme de leurs réactions,
la création de richesse, l’équité et l’égalité sociales, l’élimination de la pauvreté et la préservation de l’environnement, ainsi que des progrès constants vers la réalisation
d’engagements convenus au plan international, notamment des Objectifs du Millénaire pour le développement (OMD). Si nous sommes persuadés que l’Afrique a progressé
de manière notable pour ce qui est de satisfaire aux exigences du développement durable, nous exhortons néanmoins la communauté internationale à accélérer et à accroître
le soutien apporté à la région pour lui permettre de renforcer la mise en œuvre des engagements pris en matière de développement durable.
4. Nous appelons les participants à Rio+20 à revigorer la volonté politique et l’engagement international en faveur des objectifs et idéaux du développement durable, à faire
avancer le programme de développement durable et à rehausser l’engagement des pays, des régions et de la communauté internationale pour faire cause commune en vue
du développement durable, compte tenu de la nécessité de réaliser les objectifs de développement convenus au plan international, dont les Objectifs du Millénaire pour le
développement (OMD). Nous demandons donc aux participants à la Conférence d'adopter des mesures concrètes assorties de moyens de mise en œuvre adaptés en vue de
l'accélération de la mise en œuvre des engagements pris en matière de développement durable, y compris de ceux qui seront adoptés dans le cadre de Rio+20. Nous
appelons également les pays développés à tenir les engagements qu’ils ont pris et les promesses qu’ils ont faites d’aider les efforts des pays africains en vue du
Résultats d’ensemble de la région Afrique
5. Alors que nous faisons le bilan du respect des engagements pris en matière de développement durable dans la région entre juin 1992 et juin 2012, nous sommes fortement
encouragés par les succès enregistrés dans les domaines de la gouvernance et de la création d’institutions. Nous nous félicitons des avancées sur la voie de la viabilité
économique. Nous sommes heureux d’avoir repoussé les limites des réalisations associées au développement social durable et notons avec beaucoup d’optimisme les
modestes résultats que la région a enregistrés en matière de viabilité environnementale.
6. Pour consolider encore les progrès réalisés, nous demandons un renforcement des engagements dans les domaines cruciaux pour le développement durable de l'Afrique,
notamment l'amélioration de la productivité agricole et de la sécurité alimentaire; la promotion de la recherche-développement et de l'utilisation des biotechnologies aux fins
du développement durable; la lutte contre la désertification et la détérioration des sols; la gestion rationnelle des écosystèmes côtiers, marins et lacustres; le renforcement de
l'utilisation durable des ressources naturelles, notamment l'eau, les forêts et la biodiversité; la promotion de modes de consommation et de production durables et d'un
développement industriel durable; la gestion rationnelle des produits chimiques et des déchets; la promotion du tourisme durable, l'accès à l'énergie sans danger et durable,
l'exploitation durable des ressources minérales, l'amélioration de l'accès à l'eau potable et à l'assainissement; la promotion du développement urbain durable; le renforcement
de la préparation aux catastrophes et de la réduction des risques de catastrophes; la croissance sans exclusive et équitable; et le renforcement des progrès réalisés dans les
domaines de la santé et de l'éducation.
II. Nouveaux défis
7. Nous sommes très préoccupés par le fait que les progrès de l'Afrique vers un développement durable sont sérieusement compromis par de nouveaux défis qui se font jour.
Il s'agit principalement des effets néfastes des changements climatiques, de la rareté croissante de l'eau, de l'épuisement de la biodiversité et des écosystèmes, de la
désertification, des déchets dangereux, notamment électroniques, de la faible capacité de résistance aux catastrophes naturelles, de la crise énergétique, de la crise
alimentaire, de l’urbanisation rapide et non planifiée résultant de l’exode rural, de la piraterie, de la traite des êtres humains, des migrations et de la crise financière et
économique mondiale. Ces crises ont entraîné la recrudescence de nouvelles maladies, ainsi que l'aggravation de la pauvreté et du chômage, en particulier chez les jeunes.
8. Nous reconnaissons cependant que certains de ces nouveaux défis offrent aussi des possibilités, notamment celles de favoriser la transition vers une économie verte
tenant compte du potentiel de ressources humaines et des vastes ressources naturelles largement inexploitées découvertes dans de nombreux pays africains. Au nombre
des possibilités figurent également la réorientation de la planification du développement vers l'adaptation aux changements climatiques et l'atténuation de leurs effets et
l'accélération de la coopération régionale dans ce domaine.
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9. Nous notons la forte dépendance de l'Afrique vis-à-vis des ressources naturelles pour assurer sa croissance et son développement, qui peuvent être affectés par les effets
des changements climatiques. En dépit de ses faibles émissions de gaz à effet de serre, l’Afrique sera néanmoins le continent qui souffrira le plus des changements
climatiques à cause principalement de ses faibles capacités d’adaptation. Ces changements et leurs effets entravent sérieusement le développement de l’Afrique. Nous
sommes en train de prendre des mesures concrètes pour faire face aux problèmes posés par les changements climatiques et nous nous engageons à résoudre ce problème
de développement, tout en tirant parti des possibilités offertes comme le renforcement des capacités et le transfert de technologies. Nous réitérons notre appel à la
communauté internationale d’appuyer l'Afrique dans cette entreprise.
10. Les parties à l'Annexe I du Protocole de Kyoto doivent souscrire à la deuxième période d’engagement au titre du Protocole, allant de 2013 à 2017, et réduire leurs
émissions de 40% par rapport à leurs niveaux de 1990 d'ici à 2017. Les parties à l'Annexe I doivent fournir aux États non parties, notamment africains, le financement
supplémentaire et à long terme, la technologie et l'appui en matière de renforcement des capacités nécessaires pour leur permettre de faire face aux effets néfastes des
11. Nous sommes préoccupés par l'aggravation de l’appauvrissement de la diversité biologique, la désertification et la dégradation des sols, exacerbées par les effets des
changements climatiques, qui représentent un problème majeur que les pays doivent affronter.
12. Nous notons que l’intensité de la désertification de la majorité des terres arables de l’Afrique représente un obstacle majeur au développement durable du continent.
L’essentiel des terres de l’Afrique sont susceptibles de dégradation et subissent le plus fort effet de la sécheresse, de la désertification et de la déforestation, phénomènes
qui affectent 65% de la population. Nous reconnaissons l'importance économique et sociale de la terre, en particulier sa contribution à la croissance, à la sécurité alimentaire
et à l’éradication de la pauvreté et nous nous engageons à redoubler d'efforts pour la mise en œuvre effective des initiatives régionales, sous-régionales, nationales et
locales pour lutter contre les problèmes évoqués plus haut, promouvoir une gestion durable des terres et des ressources hydriques et renforcer la coopération Nord-Sud et
13. Nous notons avec inquiétude l’insuffisance du soutien que la communauté internationale apporte à la mise en œuvre de la Convention des Nations Unies sur la lutte
contre la désertification, en dépit du rôle mondial irremplaçable que celle-ci joue pour prévenir et faire reculer la désertification et la détérioration des terres, ce qui se
répercute sur l’élimination de la pauvreté, sur la protection du stock de ressources naturelles en vue de la sécurité alimentaire, sur la mise au point de mesures d’adaptation
et le renforcement de la résilience des écosystèmes et des populations affectés par des chocs climatiques comme les sécheresses.
14. Nous sommes préoccupés de constater que les prix des produits alimentaires restent élevés dans de nombreux pays africains. Ils avaient déjà enregistré des hausses
spectaculaires suite aux sécheresses ayant frappé les pays producteurs de grains, auxquelles se sont ajoutés la baisse des rendements, l’appauvrissement des réserves
céréalières et les multiples pressions exercées sur les réserves existantes par la consommation humaine et animale. Si les actions conjuguées des collectivités sinistrées et
de la communauté internationale ont dynamisé la production alimentaire, nous restons préoccupés par le coût élevé des denrées en Afrique. Nous prendrons donc des
mesures pour que les bénéfices issus de nos efforts se répercutent et contribuent à la réduction de la faim et de la pauvreté. Nous invitons les pays développés, tout en
gardant à l'esprit le principe de précaution, à doter les pays en développement de technologies écologiquement rationnelles, en particulier de biotechnologies, pour accroître
la production dans le secteur agricole.
15. Nous sommes en outre inquiets des retentissements de la crise économique internationale, de la dette des pays africains, du risque d'échec du Cycle de Doha et des
conséquences qui s’ensuivraient si l’Afrique ne parvenait pas au développement durable.
16. Nous demeurons préoccupés par le fait que 40% des 1,4 milliard de personnes privées d'accès aux services énergétiques dans le monde se trouvent en Afrique,
majoritairement dans la partie subsaharienne du continent. L'accès à des énergies durables facilite le développement et contribue à la réalisation des objectifs de
développement durable internationalement convenus, y compris les OMD. Nous reconnaissons toutefois également que le secteur de l'énergie offre des possibilités en
termes de croissance, de développement socioéconomique et d'amélioration de la qualité de vie. Nous réitérons notre engagement à faire face à la crise de l'énergie en
améliorant la disponibilité d'énergies durables dans les zones rurales.
17. Nous reconnaissons que l'Afrique est le continent qui connaît l'urbanisation la plus rapide du monde, avec un taux de croissance urbaine de 3,4%. Près de 40% des
populations africaines vivent dans des zones urbaines et on estime à 60% la proportion des Africains qui y vivront d'ici à 2050. La planification et le financement du
développement urbain deviennent donc non seulement une priorité mais également une possibilité unique d’asseoir une croissance créatrice d’emplois, d’assurer l'intégrité
des écosystèmes et d’offrir des services publics abordables. En outre, nous reconnaissons la nécessité de fournir un soutien adéquat au secteur informel, qui se caractérise
par l’importance de son potentiel d’élimination de la pauvreté. Nous nous engageons donc et exhortons par ailleurs la communauté internationale à promouvoir des
établissements humains bien planifiés et à favoriser une croissance urbaine verte pour réaliser une urbanisation durable.
18. Nous sommes préoccupés par les problèmes croissants découlant des migrations internes et internationales, aggravés par les changements climatiques, et nous
appelons à la recherche de solutions appropriées à l'échelle nationale et internationale permettant de préserver la dignité des migrants.
19. Nous reconnaissons également que les pays sortant de conflits font face à des besoins et à des défis particuliers. À cet égard, nous lançons un appel à la communauté
internationale et au système des Nations Unies afin qu’ils aident ces pays à résoudre leurs problèmes en apportant une assistance technique et financière et en facilitant la
mise en place d’infrastructures.
20. Nous affirmons que de nombreuses mesures ont été prises par les pays africains pour faire face aux nouveaux défis qui se font jour, et appelons la communauté
internationale à fortement appuyer ces pays, notamment en apportant le complément nécessaire aux moyens de mise en œuvre dont ils disposent.
III. L’économie verte dans le contexte du développement durable et de l’éradication de la pauvreté
21. Nous réitérons la nécessité de définir l’économie verte comme un outil pour parvenir au développement durable et d’évaluer les possibilités offertes par ce concept et les
défis qu’il pose, ainsi que les moyens de mise en œuvre nécessaires pour effectuer une transition harmonieuse vers l'économie verte dans nos pays.
22. Nous notons que la série des crises économiques, sociales et environnementales qui ont durement frappé l'économie mondiale au cours de ces dernières années atteste
la nécessité de réorienter les modèles de développement actuels vers une économie plus productive, ouverte et durable en améliorant l’efficience de l’utilisation des
ressources des économies nationales et en veillant à ce que l'activité économique n’entraîne pas la dégradation de l'environnement. Dans ce cadre, nous reconnaissons que
le passage à une économie verte pourrait offrir de nouvelles possibilités de réaliser les objectifs de développement durable de l'Afrique grâce à la croissance économique, à
la création d'emplois et à la réduction de la pauvreté et des inégalités, conformément aux principes et aux recommandations du Sommet de Rio de 1992 et du Sommet
mondial pour le développement durable de 2002.
23. Nous confirmons que les pays africains ont déjà commencé, grâce à un processus consultatif, à recenser les possibilités et les défis se rapportant au passage de la
région à une économie verte.
24. Nous insistons sur le fait que la promotion de l'économie verte dans la région doit être sous- tendue par les objectifs nationaux, les impératifs sociaux, économiques et
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environnementaux du développement et la réalisation des objectifs de développement convenus à l’échelon international, y compris les OMD, si l’on veut que l’Afrique tire
parti de cette transition. À cet égard, nous appelons la communauté internationale à mettre en place une stratégie d'investissement international en vue de faciliter à la
transition vers une économie verte. Par ailleurs, il convient de favoriser une meilleure compréhension de l'économie verte dans le contexte de l'Afrique, comme moyen de
protéger et de maintenir le capital naturel, d’accroître l’efficience de l’utilisation des ressources, notamment par des financements innovants et des modes de consommation
et de production durables, et d'améliorer les contributions au développement durable.
25. Nous soulignons la nécessité de veiller à la gestion durable des terres dans le cadre des initiatives visant à parvenir à l’économie verte. Nous sommes conscients que la
gestion de la transformation économique verte nécessitera l’existence d’un environnement favorable, notamment des politiques et de cadres institutionnels qui attribuent à
l’État un rôle fondamental, à travers l'investissement public, les politiques budgétaires et sociales, les réglementations, la passation des marchés publics, les partenariats
publics-privés, les moyens de subsistance durables et la création de marchés aux échelons national, régional et international ainsi que la facilitation de la participation active
des acteurs non étatiques. Nous reconnaissons le secteur privé africain comme un acteur essentiel de la transition de la région vers une économie verte. Nous encourageons
ce secteur et d’autres groupes importants, notamment les femmes, les jeunes, les exploitants agricoles, les syndicats, les milieux universitaires, la société civile, la
communauté scientifique et technologique et les organisations non gouvernementales, à jouer le rôle qui leur revient de droit dans le développement durable.
26. Nous notons que l'Afrique, puisqu’elle se trouve au début de son processus d’industrialisation, a l’occasion de mettre en œuvre une croissance industrielle durable qui
non seulement limite les coûts environnementaux, sociaux et économiques de l’industrialisation, mais aussi accroît l’efficacité de l’utilisation de l’énergie et des facteurs de
production matériels, améliorant de ce fait la compétitivité à l’échelon international. Il convient donc d’éliminer tous les obstacles à la véritable mise en œuvre de ce
processus. Il faudrait utiliser et soutenir le Cadre décennal des programmes pour une consommation et une production durables en Afrique, tel qu’approuvé par la
Conférence des ministres africains de l’environnement et l’Union africaine, ainsi que les activités ultérieures visant à élaborer des plans d'action nationaux ou locaux de
consommation et de production durables pour contribuer à la promotion d’un développement industriel durable et de l'économie verte.
27. Nous engageons vivement la communauté internationale à apporter son soutien aux pays africains pour qu’ils tirent pleinement parti des secteurs où ils possèdent un
avantage comparatif. Nous reconnaissons tout à fait l’enjeu que représentent les écosystèmes forestiers non seulement pour les populations, mais également pour
l'adaptation aux effets des changements climatiques et leur atténuation. Nous demandons donc à la communauté internationale d’aider les pays à gérer durablement leurs
forêts grâce à la mise en œuvre efficace et efficiente des mécanismes de la Convention-cadre des Nations Unies sur les changements climatiques.
28. Nous notons que si la viabilité de nos terres n’est pas protégée, restaurée et gérée, nous manquerons les cibles relatives à la biodiversité, aux changements climatiques
et aux forêts et celles des OMD; nous ne ferons reculer ni la pauvreté rurale ni la faim, nous n’assurerons pas la sécurité alimentaire à long terme, nous n’améliorerons pas
les capacités de résistance à la sécheresse et au stress hydrique, avec toutes les répercussions que cela comporte pour la stabilité sociale et politique, entre autres du point
de vue des conflits géopolitiques et de la migration.
29. Nous soulignons donc qu’il est temps que la communauté internationale s’engage en faveur d’un monde caractérisé par l’absence de dégradation des terres, en fixant
des objectifs de développement durable pour l’utilisation des sols associés à des cibles tendant au degré zéro de la détérioration foncière.
30. Nous lançons un appel pour faire de l’utilisation durable des terres dans les domaines de l’agriculture, de la sécurité alimentaire, de l’énergie et de la sylviculture une
pierre angulaire de l’économie verte en vue du développement durable et de l’élimination de la pauvreté.
31. Nous appelons en outre au renforcement de la mise en œuvre de la Convention des Nations Unies sur la lutte contre la désertification, étayé par une interface solide et
efficace entre la science et les politiques et également par l’amélioration du cadre financier d’exécution.
32. Nous réitérons que l’économie verte ne devrait pas servir d’obstacle aux échanges et imposer des conditionnalités aux pays en développement ; elle ne devrait pas non
plus servir de prétexte aux pays développés pour ne pas tenir leurs promesses ou honorer leurs engagements vis-à-vis des pays en développement. L’économie verte doit
être basée sur les principes de Rio, notamment le principe de responsabilités communes mais différenciées, et respecter l'espace politique de chaque pays.
33. Nous insistons sur le fait que la transition vers une économie verte, notamment son cadrage, devrait être assortie de moyens de mise en œuvre adéquats, y compris une
assistance financière, technologique et technique, nouvelle et additionnelle, à l’intention des pays en développement, en particulier en Afrique. À l'échelon régional, les pays
doivent élaborer leurs propres mécanismes de commercialisation. En outre, toutes les parties, en particulier les pays en développement, devraient s’abstenir de prendre des
mesures ou des initiatives unilatérales dans ce cadre.
34. Nous insistons en outre sur le fait que le passage à une économie verte efficace et sans exclusive en Afrique nécessiterait un accroissement des investissements, l'accès
aux technologies et le renforcement des capacités. Pour cela, il faut développer une nouvelle génération d’infrastructures physiques et institutionnelles. À cette fin, nous
sommes d'avis qu'un accord sur le Cadre décennal des programmes pour une consommation et une production durables en Afrique serait une contribution utile de Rio+20
pour accompagner le passage à des économies vertes et pour aider les pays en développement grâce à un appui financier et technique, au transfert de technologies
appropriées, au renforcement des capacités et à l'accès aux marchés.
35. Nous notons avec satisfaction qu’un certain nombre de pays africains ont déjà commencé à recenser les possibilités et les problèmes liés au passage de la région à une
économie verte par le truchement de différents programmes d'appui régionaux. Nous nous félicitons également que des politiques et pratiques innovantes concernant les
formes de production agricole durables, le développement des énergies renouvelables, l’adaptation basée sur les écosystèmes, la production économe en ressources et le
renforcement du capital naturel aient été mises en œuvre avec succès dans un certain nombre de pays au fil des ans. Nous sommes favorables à l’échange de données
d’expérience et de pratiques optimales dans ces domaines et nous appelons au renforcement de ces pratiques. Nous insistons sur la nécessité de mécanismes permettant de
réglementer l’utilisation des terres à des fins commerciales dans un souci d’équité et de justice pour les communautés concernées.
IV. Cadres institutionnels et stratégiques du développement durable
36. Nous soulignons que le cadre institutionnel du développement durable devrait être établi à partir du chapitre 11 du plan de mise en œuvre de Johannesburg, des
dispositions du chapitre 38 d'Action 21, du programme relatif à la poursuite de la mise en œuvre d'Action 21 et des principes des déclarations de Rio, en particulier le principe
de responsabilités communes mais différenciées. En outre, il devrait promouvoir la réalisation d'objectifs de développement convenus au plan international, notamment les
OMD, en tenant compte du Consensus de Monterrey et des besoins des pays en développement.
37. Nous sommes guidés par l'appel lancé par le Sommet de l'Union africaine en faveur de la définition et de la prise en compte des intérêts de l'Afrique dans le cadre
institutionnel du développement durable.
38. Nous sommes conscients de la nécessité de renforcer la gouvernance environnementale internationale dans le contexte du cadre institutionnel du développement
durable, afin de promouvoir l'intégration équilibrée des piliers économique, social et environnemental du développement durable.
39. Nous appelons la Conférence à convenir que tout cadre institutionnel du développement durable doit prendre en compte les besoins particuliers de l'Afrique s’agissant
des déficits de mise en œuvre, du renforcement des capacités, des transferts de technologies et des liens entre science et politiques pour assurer la viabilité
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40. Nous reconnaissons que le cadre institutionnel du développement durable n'est pas une fin en soi, mais il se rattache à la réalisation d'objectifs de développement
durable convenus, et il devrait conduire à l'intégration équilibrée des trois piliers du développement durable de façon équilibrée, sans causer de charges financières
supplémentaires aux pays en développement ni entraver leurs perspectives de développement.
41. Nous reconnaissons que le développement durable exige l'intégration équilibrée de ses trois piliers (économique, social et environnemental) par les institutions et les
stratégies favorisant des approches globales et intégrées. Nous reconnaissons que la région s'est acquittée de cette exigence avec différents degrés de réussite. Toutefois,
l’équilibre des trois piliers, en particulier dans la planification, la budgétisation, la mise en œuvre, le suivi et l’évaluation des plans et programmes, demeure un défi commun.
42. Nous confirmons que des réformes institutionnelles ont été entreprises, que des stratégies de développement durable ont été élaborées et que leur exécution a débuté à
tous les niveaux. Nous nous félicitons de voir que, dans une grande mesure, la participation multipartite s'est améliorée et que des liens entre institutions et programmes ont
été établis. Les différents plans, visions et stratégies à long terme ont également tenu compte de l'équité inter- et intra générationnelle.
43. Nous notons que la réforme institutionnelle est un processus en cours dont l’objet est d’exécuter les stratégies de développement durable. Outre la réforme de la
coordination mondiale du programme de développement durable, nous rappelons que le Sommet mondial pour le développement durable a consacré le NEPAD en tant que
cadre régional pour le développement durable et, à cet égard, nous demandons un renforcement de la mise en œuvre au moyen d’initiatives sous-régionales.
44. Nous exhortons les pays à envisager d’établir, de revigorer et de renforcer plus avant les stratégies et conseils nationaux de développement durable, en les dotant d’un
mandat visant à relever le défi d’intégrer les objectifs économiques, sociaux et environnementaux en encourageant la participation d’un plus grand nombre de ministères et de
parties prenantes au niveau des pays. Nous demandons aux participants à Rio+20 d’examiner la possibilité de ranimer et de redynamiser les conseils nationaux du
développement durable afin de leur permettre d’assurer l’intégration des questions transversales ainsi que la coordination de ces questions et le renforcement de leur prise
en compte au sein des plus hautes instances décisionnelles. Ces conseils devraient se voir dotés des capacités leur permettant de jouer un rôle plus actif. À cette fin, nous
invitons la communauté internationale à participer à la mise au point de cadres institutionnels de développement durable efficaces et souples dans la région.
45. Nous reconnaissons que les institutions régionales et sous-régionales ont un rôle important à jouer dans l’accélération de la création et du développement de cadres
institutionnels et stratégiques, ainsi que dans leur mise en service effective. Nous soulignons la nécessité de soutenir ces institutions afin de favoriser la cohérence
institutionnelle et d’harmoniser les politiques, les plans et les programmes de développement pertinents. En outre, il est impératif d’établir un véritable lien entre les processus
internationaux, régionaux, sous-régionaux et nationaux pour promouvoir le développement durable en se fondant sur le principe de subsidiarité.
46. Nous soutenons les efforts qui visent à réformer le Conseil économique et social de l’ONU et la Commission du développement durable pour renforcer leurs capacités
d’aider les pays à parvenir au développement durable et nous insistons sur l’importance d’accroître les synergies, la cohérence et la coordination au sein du système des
Nations Unies et entre ce système et les institutions financières internationales, de même qu’entre les conventions de Rio au regard de leurs mandats respectifs, afin
d’appuyer les pays en développement pour qu’ils parviennent au développement durable au niveau national.
47. Nous soulignons la nécessité de la pleine participation des ministères compétents et des parties prenantes concernées pour bien intégrer les objectifs du développement
durable dans les politiques, stratégies, plans et programmes nationaux. À cet égard, nous invitons instamment les participants à Rio+20 à appuyer résolument l’implication de
tous les ministères et autres parties prenantes de façon qu’ils exercent leur pleine responsabilité en matière de développement durable.
48. Nous nous inquiétons des conséquences que l’élévation du niveau des mers, l’érosion côtière, le déversement de déchets dangereux, la dégradation des écosystèmes
lacustres et les pratiques de pêche non viables font porter sur les communautés concernées, les économies nationales et le développement durable. Dans ce contexte, nous
recommandons l’établissement d’un mécanisme international pour redynamiser les institutions aux niveaux international, régional et national, en vue de la gestion durable des
ressources côtières, marines et lacustres, tout en respectant les principes de la souveraineté nationale.
49. Nous nous engageons à créer, à l’intention de tous les acteurs et à tous les échelons - régional, sous-régional et national - des cadres de dialogue sur le développement
durable, afin de promouvoir et de vulgariser le développement durable dans le contexte régional africain. Nous nous engageons aussi à évaluer la meilleure façon de mettre
en œuvre des engagements et de mutualiser les expériences afin de déterminer ce qui est efficace, ce qui ne l’est pas et pourquoi, et à lancer des actions pertinentes pour
accélérer les progrès de mise en œuvre.
50. Nous reconnaissons la nécessité de disposer, au niveau national, d'un cadre d’indicateurs clair et pratique pour le développement durable, afin d’aboutir à une meilleure
compréhension, d’organiser les modalités d'intégration et de rechercher les types de liens qui devraient exister entre les différents secteurs. À cet égard, nous demandons
aux institutions internationales et régionales de promouvoir l’élaboration et l'application de cadres d'indicateurs du développement durable.
51. Nous reconnaissons aussi la nécessité de disposer, parallèlement au produit intérieur brut (PIB), de nouveaux indicateurs de référence pour évaluer les performances
économiques, sociales et environnementales de nos économies et de les utiliser. Nous devrions utiliser ces nouveaux indicateurs, ainsi que l’indicateur du développement
humain (IDH), pour mieux comprendre l'état de nos économies et pour garantir la préservation de notre environnement naturel et un développement plus durable. Nous
recommandons l’adoption de politiques encourageant l’intégration aux modèles comptables des véritables coûts environnementaux de la production et de la consommation,
afin de traiter la cause plutôt que les symptômes de la détérioration et de l’épuisement des ressources environnementales et naturelles. Nous reconnaissons également la
nécessité de disposer de systèmes de normalisation multidimensionnels fondés sur des données empiriques et scientifiques, pour passer à une consommation et à une
croissance durables. Nous appelons la communauté internationale à aider l’Afrique à adopter ces systèmes.
52. Nous réaffirmons le rôle de la Commission économique pour l’Afrique (CEA) en ce qui concerne la promotion de l’intégration équilibrée des trois piliers du développement
durable dans la région et nous appelons la Commission, la Commission de l’Union africaine, l’Autorité de planification et de coordination du NEPAD, la Banque africaine de
développement et les communautés économiques régionales à continuer à faciliter les réunions et les processus consultatifs, afin de suivre, d'évaluer et d’accélérer la mise
en œuvre des engagements des pays africains en matière de développement durable.
53. En conformité avec la décision Assembly/AU/Dec.381(XVII) de la Conférence de l’Union africaine demandant que soit prise en considération la nécessité de renforcer,
consolider et transformer le Programme des Nations Unies pour l’environnement (PNUE) en institution internationale spécialisée pour l’environnement, basée à Nairobi
(Kenya), nous demandons instamment aux participants à la Conférence Rio+20 d’entériner la décision de la Conférence de l’Union africaine qui reconnaît que les structures
institutionnelles actuelles ne répondent pas pleinement aux besoins de l’Afrique en ce qui concerne l’environnement, le développement durable et les changements
climatiques, dans le contexte de l’examen des cadres institutionnels du développement durable.
54. Concernant la position africaine sur la création d'une institution spécialisée internationale, nous affirmons que cette institution, quelle que soit sa forme, devrait répondre
aux critères ci-après :
a) Avoir un mandat clair et une visibilité politique, pour s’acquitter des fonctions principales d’un système de gouvernance environnementale internationale tel que prévu dans
les conclusions de Nairobi-Helsinki, et collaborer avec les secteurs économiques et sociaux majeurs à l’échelon international pour faire en sorte que leurs politiques se
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complètent et soutiennent le développement durable;
b) Être ouverte à tous les États et régie par un système de prise de décision où chaque État membre a une voix et où les décisions sont prises par consensus ;
c) Être autonome et capable de définir un programme politique mondial pour l'environnement et de donner des orientations pour la mobilisation de fonds en faveur de
d) Disposer d’un financement sûr, stable, additionnel et prévisible pour remplir sa mission ;
e) Disposer de pouvoirs accrus pour coordonner l’éventail d'accords multilatéraux sur l'environnement et en assurer la cohérence, en encourageant les synergies tout en
respectant l'indépendance juridique des conférences des parties à ces accords ;
f) Avoir une présence régionale renforcée et assurer une meilleure exécution à l’échelon national grâce au développement de capacités opérationnelles ;
g) Disposer des pouvoirs pour conduire un processus de planification stratégique à l'échelle du système des Nations Unies en ce qui concerne l'environnement et de
coordonner les contributions de plusieurs organismes ayant un mandat se rapportant à l'environnement dans le système international ;
h) Encourager le lien entre la science et les politiques pour répondre à la préoccupation pressante qu’est la durabilité de l’environnement et pour soutenir les réseaux
scientifiques nationaux et régionaux et les chercheurs;
i) Être capable de renforcer les capacités et l'appui technologique, en particulier en Afrique, de contrôler l’efficacité de la mise en œuvre effective et de faciliter l'accès à la
technologie et son transfert.
55. Nous soulignons qu’une nouvelle institution spécialisée ne saurait impliquer la création d'un mécanisme de l'environnement, organisme de contrôle de conformité, pour les
pays en développement, ou la mise en place de conditionnalités vertes ou des barrières commerciales, et ne doit pas conduire à des charges financières supplémentaires
V. Moyens de mise en œuvre
56. Nous reconnaissons qu’il incombe principalement aux pays africains de chercher à atteindre leurs objectifs en matière de développement durable. À cet égard, nous
réaffirmons que les pays ont mis en place ou renforcé des organisations régionales, sous-régionales et nationales pour les accompagner dans le processus de
développement. Nous reconnaissons également l’importance capitale d’un appui extérieur bien ciblé pour faire face aux coûts marginaux liés à l'exécution des engagements
pris au titre des moyens de mise en œuvre.
57. Nous insistons sur le fait que la prestation des moyens de mise en œuvre doit être au cœur de la Conférence Rio+20. Il existe des retards dommageables en ce qui
concerne la tenue des engagements internationaux liés à la réalisation du développement durable en Afrique, particulièrement dans les domaines du financement, de la dette
extérieure, de l’investissement dans le commerce, du renforcement des capacités et du transfert de technologies. Cet ensemble d’engagements et d’appui de la communauté
internationale, qu’il faudra honorer de toute urgence, comprend :
a) L’engagement des pays développés d’allouer 0,7% de leur PIB aux pays en développement dans le cadre de l’aide publique au développement (APD) qui doit être tenu, de
même que l’objectif de 0,15% à 0,20% du revenu national brut pour les pays les moins avancés;
b) La nécessité d’honorer l’engagement de doubler l’aide à l’Afrique à l’horizon 2010, tel qu’énoncé lors du Sommet du G-8, tenu à Gleneagles, en juillet 2005 ;
c) Le besoin urgent pour la communauté internationale d’adopter une solution, efficace, équitable, durable et orientée vers le développement au problème de la dette des
pays en développement, particulièrement par le biais de l’annulation totale de la dette et l’accroissement des flux de financement concessionnel ;
d) La nécessité de pleinement prendre en compte le Plan stratégique de Bali pour l’appui technologique et le renforcement des capacités et de mettre en œuvre les
dispositions énoncées dans le chapitre 34 d’Action 21 et dans le plan de mise en œuvre de Johannesburg concernant le transfert de technologies ;
e) La nécessité de mettre en place un système de commerce axé sur le développement, universel, reposant sur des règles, ouvert, sans exclusive, équitable et multilatéral, et
de relancer les négociations multilatérales sur le commerce afin de réaliser des résultats de développement au titre du Cycle de Doha. Nous appelons également à la
facilitation de l’accès des pays en développement à l’Organisation mondiale du commerce (OMC) ;
f) La nécessité de reconnaître que la science et la technologie jouent un rôle clef dans la réalisation des objectifs de développement et que le « retard technologique » bride
la capacité des pays africains à pleinement participer à l’économie mondiale et constitue un obstacle majeur à leurs efforts visant à améliorer la capacité de production, à
renforcer la compétitivité, à attirer les flux de capitaux privés, à générer des revenus et des emplois, à réduire la pauvreté et à réaliser une croissance économique soutenue
et le développement durable.
58. Nous affirmons que les moyens de mise en œuvre ci-après définis dans Action 21, dans le programme relatif à la poursuite de la mise en œuvre d'Action 21 et dans le
plan de mise en œuvre de Johannesburg sont indispensables pour garantir la traduction pleine et effective des engagements pris au titre du développement durable en
résultats tangibles dans les domaines du financement, de la mise au point et du transfert de technologies, du renforcement des capacités, de la mondialisation et des
échanges, de l'intégration régionale et de la coopération Sud-Sud. Nous affirmons également que la Déclaration de Paris, le Programme d'action d'Accra sur l'efficacité de
l'aide et les discussions en cours entre l'Afrique et ses partenaires sur l'efficacité du développement sont tout aussi pertinents.
59. Nous reconnaissons que, pour honorer les engagements actuels pris dans le domaine du développement durable et tout autre nouvel engagement pouvant résulter de
Rio+20, nous devons tirer parti des synergies existantes entre les différents moyens de mise en œuvre afin de garantir l'efficacité des interventions et investir judicieusement
les ressources financières et humaines. Ainsi, des investissements appropriés dans la formation professionnelle et le renforcement des capacités contribueront au passage à
une économie verte et soutiendront l’économie bleue existante, qui, à son tour, facilitera la diversification économique et améliorera les perspectives d’échanges
internationaux pour les produits africains. À cet égard :
a) Nous prenons l'engagement d'améliorer l'environnement de la gouvernance à l'échelon national, en veillant à tenir les institutions entièrement responsables, en faisant en
sorte que les processus de planification et d’élaboration du budget soient transparents et ouverts, et en élaborant des stratégies nationales de développement durable. À cet
égard, nous invitons la communauté internationale à intensifier les efforts visant à soutenir le renforcement des institutions et les capacités de planification en Afrique ;
b) Nous nous engageons à améliorer la mobilisation des ressources internes en faveur du développement durable, notamment par le biais de mécanismes novateurs et du
recours accru aux partenariats publics-privé ;
c) Nous soulignons qu’en dépit de la nécessité d'accroître les efforts intérieurs, l'Afrique, à elle seule, n'est pas en mesure de relever le défi du développement durable, en
particulier face à des problèmes nouveaux et émergents tels que les changements climatiques et la crise financière et économique mondiale. Nous exhortons par conséquent
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la communauté internationale à honorer ses engagements en ce qui concerne le transfert de ressources financières et technologiques, tout en veillant
à ce qu'elles complètent et renforcent les efforts intérieurs et qu'elles favorisent l’acquisition de compétences et le renforcement des capacités. À cet égard, nous nous
engageons à faire de l'efficacité du développement une priorité absolue à laquelle les bailleurs de fonds non traditionnels doivent également se conformer ;
d) Nous invitons les partenaires au développement et les bailleurs de fonds non traditionnels à davantage utiliser les systèmes en place dans les pays afin de renforcer les
structures institutionnelles nationales et à inclure les critères de développement durable dans les institutions financières internationales afin de faciliter l’investissement dans
le développement durable. Cela permettrait de faire avancer le programme d’efficacité du développement. Nous comprenons l'efficacité du développement dans le contexte
plus large du développement durable, favorisant ainsi une plus grande cohérence des politiques avec les politiques commerciales, les politiques d’investissement et d’autres
politiques sectorielles qui déterminent les progrès sur la voie du développement durable. Dans ce cadre, nous nous engageons à harmoniser les efforts locaux, nationaux,
sous-régionaux, régionaux et internationaux et à améliorer la cohérence des politiques ;
e) Nous exhortons la communauté internationale à honorer les engagements pris dans le cadre de l’Accord de Copenhague et des accords de Cancún en vue de
financements accélérés supplémentaires et du financement à long terme à partir de 2013, notamment la création d’un Fonds vert pour le climat auquel les pays en
développement auraient directement accès ;
f) Nous reconnaissons la nécessité de renforcer la coopération Sud-Sud, ainsi que d’adopter et de promouvoir des arrangements et des initiatives de coopération qui soient
coordonnés, intégrés, sans exclusive et transparents ;
g) Nous insistons sur le fait que le transfert de technologie doit s'orienter vers des technologies vertes adéquates et sans danger, susceptibles d'aider l'Afrique à mieux
exploiter son riche patrimoine de ressources naturelles sans compromettre sa viabilité. Nous intensifierons nos efforts en vue d’améliorer l'acquisition de compétences, tout
en veillant à ce que les compétences recherchées soient propices au passage à une économie verte. En poutre, nous demandons à ce que le transfert des technologies
appropriées repose sur des principes de justice et d’équité ;
h) Nous affirmons la nécessité de remanier les programmes scolaires et les systèmes éducatifs en Afrique à l’appui du programme de développement durable dans son
ensemble et de la transition vers une économie verte en particulier. Nous reconnaissons également le rôle clef que jouent la science, la technologie et l'innovation dans la
mise en œuvre d'un programme de développement durable. Nous nous engageons à accroître les investissements dans la science, la technologie et l’innovation, afin de
garantir que l’Afrique ne se laisse pas distancer dans la course aux technologies vertes. Nous nous engageons aussi à promouvoir et à renforcer les institutions travaillant à
l’innovation technologique, à introduire des codes et des normes à même de promouvoir le développement vert, à établir à l'intérieur et à l'extérieur de la région des
partenariats dans le domaine du développement technologique et à encourager les partenariats entre les industries, les universités et les pouvoirs publics. À cet égard, nous
reconnaissons qu'il est primordial de renforcer la mise en place de réseaux entre les institutions et les centres d'excellence, à l'intérieur et à l'extérieur de l’Afrique ;
i) Nous demandons un programme de soutien pour aider les pays africains à évaluer les coûts et les avantages de la transition vers une économie verte, à élaborer et à
exécuter des politiques pertinentes qui traitent les besoins et les priorités de l’Afrique, afin que l’économie verte contribue aux objectifs de développement durable et
d’élimination de la pauvreté;
j) Nous soulignons la nécessité d'élaborer des stratégies nationales globales de renforcement des capacités tenant compte des trois composantes du développement des
capacités, à savoir la mise en valeur des ressources humaines, le développement organisationnel et le développement institutionnel, pour réduire au minimum la migration de
la main-d’œuvre qualifiée. Nous nous engageons à renforcer les partenariats avec les acteurs non traditionnels et le secteur privé, tant à l'intérieur qu'à l'extérieur des pays,
dans le but d’exploiter les ressources et les capacités en faveur du développement durable ;
k) Nous reconnaissons que l'intégration régionale joue un rôle important dans la promotion de la diversification économique, l’élargissement des marchés, la mutualisation
des ressources et leur allocation plus rationnelle, le traitement des questions et défis de nature transfrontières ou se rapportant à la mondialisation auxquels l’Afrique fait face.
Nous nous engageons, par conséquent, à approfondir et à accélérer l'intégration régionale sur le continent ;
l) Nous reconnaissons en outre que si les échanges sont, de toute évidence, un élément important du développement durable, nous veillerons malgré tout à ce que nos
économies ne soient pas uniquement tributaires des échanges internationaux pour la croissance économique, étant donné qu’une telle dépendance les exposerait de façon
excessive aux aléas des marchés internationaux. À cet égard, nous nous engageons à renforcer le commerce intra-africains et invitons la communauté internationale à
soutenir la diversification économique en Afrique puisqu'elle peut jouer un rôle déterminant dans la réduction de la vulnérabilité de la région aux chocs externes ;
m) Nous sommes vivement préoccupés de ce que la voix de l’Afrique, malgré la taille du continent, ne compte guère dans les institutions internationales, telles que la Banque
mondiale, le Fonds monétaire international et l'Organisation mondiale du commerce, et au G-20. Les besoins spécifiques du continent ne sont pas suffisamment pris en
compte dans le débat en cours sur la refonte de l'architecture financière internationale. Nous soulignons par conséquent qu'il est impératif que les circonstances et les
intérêts particuliers de l'Afrique soient pleinement pris en compte dans la gouvernance internationale.
60. Nous reconnaissons que le développement durable exige que tous les principaux groupes, quel que soit le niveau où ils se trouvent, jouent un rôle important étant donné
que la participation engendre l'appropriation collective d'un processus et crée un sentiment fort d’engagement à obtenir des résultats. À cet égard, il faudrait garantir la
participation de toutes les parties prenantes représentant les neuf grands groupes dans les instances nationales, régionales et internationales consacrées au développement
Outcome of the Arab Regional Preparatory Meeting for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20)
We, the representatives of Arab States participating in the Arab Regional Preparatory Meeting for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20),
Recalling resolution 64/236 of the General Assembly of the United Nations, dated 24 December 2009, on the preparatory process for the United Nations Conference on
Recalling resolution (341-XXII) of 20 December 2010 adopted by the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for the Environment at its twenty-second session to convene an
Arab preparatory meeting for Rio+20,
Reaffirming the need for a balanced approach to achieve sustainable development and promote linkages and interaction among its economic, social and environmental
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Stressing further the need to achieve fair and equitable development, so as to ensure the right of everyone to live with dignity in social cohesion and harmony; to decent
employment; and to freedom from poverty, hunger and disease,
Considering that regional cooperation is a fundamental pillar for strengthening sustainable development programmes in a balanced way through regional integration, the
exchange of expertise and best practices, sharing of knowledge, and emphasizing the inclusion of a regional dimension into the outcomes of Rio+20, on the basis of the
commitment to the principles of the Rio Declaration (1992), Agenda 21, the Millennium Development Goals, and the 2002 Johannesburg Plan of Implementation of the World
Summit on Sustainable Development (2002),
Reaffirming the importance of consistent and effective preparation for Rio+20 at the national and regional levels, through concerned institutions, for forging a unified position
to represent the Arab region at Rio+20, which would reaffirm commitment to the principles of sustainable development, lead to a road map to sustainable development goals
in the region and ensure a better future for its people,
We hereby agree on the following:
A. General Recommendations
1. To ensure that the principles set forth in the Rio Declaration in 1992 are not compromised, and to reject any attempt to renegotiate them. Outcome of the Arab Regional
Preparatory Meeting for Rio+20 2
2. To reaffirm the principles of the Rio Declaration, particularly principle 7 on the common but differentiated responsibilities of States, and also principle 23 on the protection of
the environment and natural resources of people under oppression, domination and occupation.
3. To further emphasize the importance to implement the outcomes of the United Nations summits and conferences on sustainable development, including Agenda 21, the
Millennium Development Goals, the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development and the Monterrey Consensus; and that
developed countries honour the commitments made at these summits; and that developing countries achieve the full enjoyment of their rights.
4. To achieve sustainable development by enhancing and integrating its economic, social and environmental pillars.
B. Progress Achieved and Gaps in the Implementation of the Outcomes of Major Summits on Sustainable Development
1. Arab countries have made progress towards sustainable development in a number of areas, notably education, health and the environment.
2. Challenges remain, especially in poverty eradication, job creation, the right to development, social cohesion, women's rights, the right of access to information, the needs of
youth, trade liberalization, the transfer and localization of appropriate technology, finance mechanisms, and capacity building in the areas of sustainable development.
3. In order to face those challenges, Arab countries:
(a) Call on developed countries to honour their commitments, particularly towards developing countries; failure to honour commitments made in previous summits has been a
major reason for the delay in the achievement of sustainable development in developing countries since the first Rio conference in 1992;
(b) Reaffirm their commitment to implement the Sustainable Development Initiative in the Arab Region adopted by the 2004 Arab Summit, and to bring it in line with new and
emerging developments and challenges and support national and regional efforts and policies aimed at achieving sustainable development in the Arab region, including
agreed upon goals;
(c) Refrain from accepting any additional commitments on developing countries; developed countries must fulfil their commitments towards developing countries, including the
provision of adequate funding, transfer of appropriate technology and capacity-building to achieve sustainable development goals;
(d) Stress the importance of promoting Arab regional integration as an imperative for achieving sustainable development;
(e) Support the participation of women, young people, persons with special needs, the private sector, civil society organizations and stakeholders in development and
decision making processes;
(f) Assert that conflict, occupation, aggression and economic sanctions are major obstacles to achieving sustainable development; special support is therefore, required to
meet the development needs of people suffering from these problems, particularly people living under occupation;
Outcome of the Arab Regional Preparatory Meeting for Rio+20 3
(g) Stress the need to support and establish sustainable development information and data networks, with a view to strengthening the decision-making process and the
creation of a regional sustainable development information system.
C. New and Emerging Challenges
1. Emerging social and political transitions in the region provide an opportunity to reconsider development priorities; notably give the social pillar greater attention in order to
achieve social justice, create new job opportunities in public and private sectors, and reduce the brain drain, especially among young people.
2. Emerging issues facing the Arab region include:
(a) Climate change and climate change adaptation, the adverse effects stemming from the adaptation measures and the implications on the social and economic sectors, in
addition to food security, water security, increasing drought and desertification, land degradation, natural disasters and extreme events (dust storms, heat waves and floods),
diseases and epidemics;
(b) The impact of the global financial and economic crisis on developing countries, and the impasse of Doha Round negotiations. In this context, Arab countries call for the
establishment of a fair international trade system that provides developing countries with adequate resources to support their efforts towards achieving sustainable
development. They also call for devising a solution for the external debt problem, and honouring commitments to provide official development assistance at internationally
(c) Unprecedented population growth and urbanization over the past years, which has inflicted more pressure on infrastructure and increased demand for the provision of
basic services such as water supply, sanitation, healthcare and education.
D. Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development
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1. An institutional framework for sustainable development is not an end in itself; it is rather a means to implement decisions agreed upon in the upcoming conference.
Therefore, such a framework should address the three dimensions of sustainable development, and should not impose any further burdens, technical or trade barriers or
conditionalities on developing countries.
2. The institutional framework has to be addressed on the basis of the following considerations:
(a) The need to adopt an integrated and comprehensive approach for sustainable development along it three dimensions, to strengthen the existing international institutional
framework with a view to address its gaps and to work towards establishing and strengthening the institutional framework for sustainable development on both the national
and regional levels;
(b) The institutional framework for sustainable development should not be used as a pretext to set environmental considerations as barriers or conditions on the provision of
(c) The need to strengthen and establish national councils for sustainable development with a clear structure and defined terms of reference to enhance their ability to
implement sustainable development strategies, plans and programmes;
(d) At the international level, focus should be placed on activating available mechanisms and existing institutions to address the shortcomings in coordination, and ensure
cooperation and the optimum use of available resources, particularly already scarce financial resources, prior to considering the possibility of creating new Outcome of the
Arab Regional Preparatory Meeting for Rio+20 4 institutions, in addition, to activating, strengthening and enhancing the existing institutional structures for sustainable
development at the regional level, including regional commissions such as the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, and regional offices such as those of the
United Nations Environment Programme.
(e) The need to strengthen coordination among international, regional and national frameworks, and support further coordination and coherence among United Nations
agencies and organizations.
E. The Green Economy
1. There is as yet no agreement on the definition of green economy.
2. In this respect, Arab countries highlight the following:
(a) Any concept of green economy to be agreed upon in the future shall not imply that the green economy is an alternative for sustainable development but rather a tool to
achieve it. The opportunities and challenges of a green economy shall be assessed, in addition to the required means of implementation, primarily funding, transfer and
localization of appropriate technology, capacity-building and provision of technical support to developing countries;
(b) If an international concept of the green economy is to be adopted, special emphasis shall be placed on the principle of gradual transition to a green economy, in
accordance with the socio-economic characteristics of individual countries and through the adoption of appropriate policies;
(c) The concept of a green economy shall not be used as:
- A standard model applicable to the region as a whole;
- A pretext to create trade barriers and environmental standards that are difficult to implement;
- A basis and precondition for providing financial support and aid to recipient countries;
- A means to restrict the right of developing countries to utilize their natural resources according to their own development priorities; or
- A tool to exempt developed countries from honouring their commitments towards developing countries.
Outcome of the Arab Regional Preparatory Meeting for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) - English
Outcome of the Arab Regional Preparatory Meeting for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) - Arabic
Report ARAB REGIONAL PREPARATORY MEETING FOR THE UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (RIO +20)
Asian and Pacific Region
Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
in collaboration with
United Nations Environment Programme
Asian Development Bank
The Asian and Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development
Seoul, 19-20 October 2011
Report of the Asian and Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development
I. Matters Calling for Action by the Secretariat or Brought to Its Attention
1. The Asian and Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) adopted the Report of the Asian
and Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting for UNCSD and agreed to provide the Seoul Outcome of the Meeting as an input to the UNCSD.
II. Proceedings of the Meeting
A. Sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific: Key challenges and opportunities
2. Under agenda item four on Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific, the Secretariat provided an overview of the programme for the Meeting and procedures,
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followed by reports from a number of subregional, regional and global meetings related to the UNCSD.
a) H.E. Mr. Fa’amoetauloa Taito Faale Tumaalii, Minister of State, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Samoa, presented the outcomes of the Rio+20 Pacific
Preparatory Meeting: Joint Ministerial Meeting, held 20-22 July 2011 in Apia, Samoa. His Excellency reported that the Pacific Meeting adopted the “Green economy in a blue
world” theme for Rio+20 to reflect that the smallness and isolation of the Pacific population does not allow sufficient human capacity to build resilience. Thus, capacity-
building remains a key issue for sustainable development and the management of the global commons of the world’s largest ocean. Small Island Developing Countries need
additional and considerable external financing and seek agreements with the international community to improve access to funds.
b) Mr. Kilaparti Ramakrishna, Director of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) Subregional Office for East and North-East
Asia, presented the outcome of the Sixteenth Senior Officials Meeting of the North-East Asian Subregional Programme for Environmental Cooperation (NEASPEC), which
was held 1-2 September 2011 in Seoul, Republic of Korea. The Meeting of the North-East Asian countries discussed the need to reinforce political commitment to sustainable
development. Countries in North-East Asia expressed the view that the Rio+20 should have a concise political declaration and a focused political document on its two themes
that provide meaningful insights to formulating international development goals after 2015 with a vision for sustainable development. The Meeting also heard the views of
member States on the issues of “the principle of common but differentiated responsibility”, “human security” and “green protectionism” with regard to the global discussion on
a green economy.
c) Mr. Yifan La, Deputy Director-General of the Department of International Organizations and Conferences, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, provided an overview of the
High-Level Symposium on the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, held 8-9 September 2011 in Beijing, China. Mr. La expressed that Rio+20 should be
action-oriented and consensus-based and not renegotiate or retract agreed instruments, principles and outcomes of major summits on sustainable development. The
international community should make provision for technology, finance and capacity- building for sustainable development. To facilitate this, renewed political commitment is
essential for increasing the integration of all three pillars of sustainable development. Mr. La indicated that a green economy could be a good instrument to achieve
sustainable development. Strengthened governance in all three pillars as well as improved integration among the three pillars is essential, and the United Nations should
continue to play a leading role towards achieving that goal.
d) Mr. Dana Adyana Kartakusuma, Assistant Minister, Economy and Sustainable Development, Ministry of Environment, Indonesia, presented the highlights of the High-Level
Dialogue on an Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development, which was held 19-21 July 2011 in Solo, Indonesia. The Dialogue produced seven messages: (1) the
need for renewed political commitment for sustainable development and a translation of this commitment into implementation; (2) the need to ensure that the three pillars of
sustainable development work together; (3) at the international level, the need for an organization to enhance the integration of sustainable development; (4) at the national
level, the need for more integrated support for national strategies; (5) the need to strengthen the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); (6) the need to review and
support sustainable development governance at the local, national and regional levels; and (7) the need for new and additional financing to enable implementation for
capacity-building and technology transfer.
e) H.E. Mr. Ruslan Iskanderovich Bultrikov, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Environment Protection of the Republic of Kazakhstan, delivered a presentation on the progress
made on the development of the Europe-Asia- Pacific Green Bridge Partnership Programme of the Astana “Green Bridge” Initiative. Based on the Initiative, which was
welcomed and endorsed as an outcome of sixth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific (MCED-6, in Astana, October 2010), the
Green Bridge Partnership Programme was developed with international partners. The Green Bridge Partnership Programme was supported by the seventh Environment for
Europe Ministerial Conference (Astana, September 2011) and proposes simple and practical measures to sustain reforms, create enabling conditions for green technologies,
attract private green investment and transfer successful experience to interested countries and organizations. The Green Bridge Partnership Programme is proposed as an
effective mechanism for supporting existing programmes, linking with various sectors of the economy and encouraging investment through policies and projects. The list of
potential green projects of the Green Bridge Partnership Programme was presented, and all participating countries and organizations were invited to cooperate in these
f) Mr. Rajneesh Dube, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forest, India, presented the outcome of the Delhi Dialogue on Green Economy and Inclusive Growth,
which was held 3-4 October 2011 in New Delhi, India. Mr. Dube reported that many in the Dialogue considered the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities to be
crucial in the context of reinvigorating Agenda 21; he acknowledged that poverty eradication is an important benchmark for green economy policies. The Dialogue reiterated
that there should be recognition of national priorities and conditions that define the nature of the policies and strategies adopted by each country to green their economies.
There is the need for creating a sustainable development fund at the global level to enable the transition to a green economy. The Dialogue also called for a green economy
road map, with a tool box of flexible policies, instruments and best practices.
g) Mr. Sergio Luis Lebedeff Rocha, Minister-Counsellor of the Embassy of Brazil in Seoul, briefed the Meeting on the status of preparations for the UNCSD in Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil, and expressed his expectation for active participation of all government and major group representatives in the Conference.
3. Key outcomes and recommendations from a number of stakeholder meetings were presented, as follows:
a) Ms. Chee Yoke Ling, Director of Programmes, Third World Network, presented a statement from The Road to Rio+20: Charting Our Path, which was held 17-18 October
2011 in Seoul, Republic of Korea. She indicated that although the environmental dimension of sustainable development has remained weak, the economic dimension
characterized by market liberalism, privatization and deregulation has resulted in global financial instability. Employment and livelihoods, the rights of women, indigenous
peoples, youth and other vulnerable groups have suffered for this. There is concern that the preparatory process has not sufficiently looked into the gaps over the past 20
years. She emphasized that the focus should be on the integration of the three pillars of sustainable development rather than on a green economy or green growth. There is a
basic right to natural resources that should be used in a sustainable manner. Regarding the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development, the creation of a
Sustainable Development Council at the General Assembly is recommended, along with strengthening UNEP and coordinating system-wide reforms.
b) Mr. Bruce McKellar, Chair of the International Council for Science (ICSU) Regional Committee for Asia and the Pacific, provided an overview of issues raised during the
ICSU-UNESCO Asia Pacific Regional Science and Technology Workshop in Kuala Lumpur in April 2011. The Workshop recognized that the continued use of the Earth’s
resources and ecosystems in an unsustainable manner will lead to the situation in which the planet will not support us, recognized already by the number of people living in
extreme poverty. A green economy coupled with a clear commitment to poverty reduction is a practical way to achieve sustainable development, for which the indicators of
sustainable development should be fully utilized. With regard to institutional reform for sustainable development, there is a need to integrate the environment, society,
economics, natural and social sciences and technology in a holistic manner.
c) Prof. Hironori Hamanaka, Chair of the Board of Directors, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), summarized the outcomes of the International Forum for
Sustainable Asia and the Pacific, which was held in July 2011 in Yokohama, Japan. The messages were: resilience is a key factor for pursuing sustainable development; a
green economy is an important interim milestone for shifting towards sustainable development; and a better institutional framework for sustainable development is one of the
necessary conditions that supports efforts by all stakeholders at all levels. With regard to the institutional framework, universal membership for UNEP should be realized, and
there needs to be a strengthening and coordinating of existing institutions and networks at the regional level.
d) Mr. Paul Lagoy Quintos, Programme Manager, IBON International, reported on the meeting titled “Promoting a Transformative Agenda for Sustainable Development: A
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Strategy Workshop on Rio+20”, which was held in August 2011 in Bangkok, Thailand. The outcome “People’s Statement” called upon governments and the United Nations
system to deliver on the promises and commitments made at the Rio Summit 20 years ago and asked that they reaffirm and operationalize the Rio Principles. The participants
expressed concern that the green economy theme chosen for the Rio+20 does not fully or holistically address the social, economic and ecological challenges of sustainable
development today. Instead, the participants requested governments to look at people-centred sustainable development that is supported and promoted by an enabling
environment. Regarding the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development, Rio+20 should work towards establishing a broad inclusive multi-stakeholder consultative
body or network that is tasked with supporting the promotion and implementation of Agenda 21 and Rio+20 resolutions.
e) Ms. Daphne Dolot Roxas, Executive Director and Co-convener, Asian Women’s Network on Gender and Development, presented the outcome of the Asian Women’s
Forum on Gender Justice and the Green Economy: Special focus on water, energy and food security, which was held 12-16 September 2011 in Bangkok, Thailand. Key
recommendations from this meeting include the need for recognizing gender inequity and an integration of gender perspectives in planning, decision-making processes and
implementation of programmes and projects in water, energy and food security. With respect to these three sectors, the participants called for a rights-based approach to
development and women’s empowerment and that gender mainstreaming must include sex-disaggregated data, gender analysis, gender action plans, monitoring and
evaluation, gender indicators, gender budget audits and support to women’s leadership in all levels of decision-making.
4. Statements by representatives of member states, major groups and other organisations covered the topics of a green economy in the context of poverty eradication and
sustainable development and the institutional framework for sustainable development and stakeholder perspectives. The highlights of those statements have been compiled
in the Chair’s Summary, attached as annex I to this report.
B. The Asian and Pacific Regional Outcome on Sustainable Development
5. It was agreed that the “The Seoul Outcome”, as attached in annex II would be submitted as an input to the UNCSD.
C. Other matters
6. A number of participants expressed appreciation to the Government of the Republic of Korea for its generosity in hosting this event. Several participants also expressed
their appreciation to the organizers and partner organizations for their support in attending the Meeting.
D. Adoption of the report of the Asian and Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting
7. The Report of the Asian and Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting for UNCSD was adopted on 20 October 2011.
III. Organization of the Regional Preparatory Meeting
A. Opening session
8. The opening session included seven statements from distinguished speakers, organizers, partners, the host government and the UNCSD Secretariat.
a) The Secretary-General of the UNCSD Secretariat, Mr. Sha Zukang, opened the session with an overview of Asia and the Pacific, a region that represents more than half of
humanity and has much to contribute to a sustainable future, considering its great progress in reducing poverty and protecting ecosystems. Mr. Sha emphasized that Rio+20
must start with a reaffirmation of the Rio principles and the need to renew and reinvigorate political will and commitment. In this connection, he highlighted that a green
economy could be a vehicle for integrating the three pillars of sustainable development and a way of reinforcing coherence among economic, environmental and social
policies and that the discussion on the institutional framework for sustainable development has been gaining importance and interest.
b) Mr. Nessim Ahmad, Director of the Environment and Social Safeguards Division of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), followed with remarks as a collaborating partner to
the Meeting by stating that almost two billion people live without proper safe sanitation in Asia and nearly half of billion have no safe drinking water. Rising food prices place
pressure on Asia’s poor. Mr. Ahmad indicated that green policy measures and new green market opportunities may increasingly become key drivers for growth in the region.
c) Mr. Young-woo Park, Regional Director and Representative for Asia and the Pacific for UNEP, noted the potential for Rio+20 to contribute to the evolution of sustainable
development in a way that recognizes and values Asian and Pacific assets and priorities. Regarding a green economy, he remarked that the concept is an instrument to
achieve sustainable development and that a green economy would contribute to income generation, job creation and poverty reduction. He also noted that to achieve
sustainable development, all three pillars of the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development— environment, social and economic—must be mutually supportive and
d) H.E. Mr. Henri Djombo, Minister of Sustainable Development, Forest Economics and Environment in the Republic of Congo, presented the perspectives of the African
region in the lead up to the UNCSD and stressed that the Asia and Pacific region and Africa share a common destiny in the context of sustainable development, in particular,
through Rio+20 and beyond. He said that Rio+20 should present the opportunity to catalyse a paradigm shift in growth in the twenty-first century and strengthen cooperation
between industrialized and developing countries to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
e) Representing the UNCSD Bureau, Ambassador Kim Sook indicated that a green economy has particular relevance to the Asia and Pacific region and can provide an
alternative development path for sustainable growth and environmental protection, which will ultimately contribute to eradicating poverty. A transition to a green economy
requires strengthening strategic partnerships between developing and industrialized countries and utilizing public-private partnerships where possible. Institutional
mechanisms to facilitate financial assistance and technology transfer to developing countries will have a significant impact on the success of Rio+20. In this context,
strengthening the mandate of regional commissions should also be examined.
f) Representing the organizers of the Asian and Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting, Mr. Shun-ichi Murata, Deputy Executive Secretary of ESCAP, highlighted that the
region has plenty of home-grown innovative approaches for supporting the development of a green economy, considering it had the foresight to adopt a ministerial declaration
that identified the need to shift towards green growth at the fifth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific in 2005. He expressed his
expectation that, based on their rich experiences, Asia and the Pacific can embrace this unique opportunity to form an effective and powerful regional voice so that the region
can play a key role in the development of a global partnership for a green economy.
g) Finally, in the keynote speech, the host of the event, H.E. Dr. Yoo Young-Sook, Minister for Environment of the Republic of Korea, welcomed the delegates with the
perspective that there is a broad consensus that a green economy can provide an alternative development model by making the economy work for the environment. Her
Excellency emphasized that the opportunities and benefits of a green economy must be maximized through effective policies that also promote social equity. She warned that
the transition to a green economy will be a huge challenge for the international community, which will need to work together to make country-specific models for building green
economies and narrowing the implementation gap.
9. The Meeting was attended by 39 member and associate member States of ESCAP, specifically: Afghanistan, Armenia, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam,
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Cambodia, China, Fiji, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, New
Zealand, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand,
Timor-Leste, Tonga, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Viet Nam.
10. The non-member States of Brazil and the Republic of Congo were also present.
11. Four members of the UNCSD Secretariat and three of the UNCSD Bureau were also present.
12. Representatives of the following United Nations bodies and specialized agencies were present: the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the United Nations
Environment Programme, the United Nations Centre for Regional Development, the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, the United Nations Office for
Project Service, the United Nations University and the World Health Organization.
13. Representatives from the following intergovernmental organizations and other entities also attended: the Asian Development Bank, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat,
Global Green Growth Institute, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, the International Institute for Sustainable Development, the South Asia Co-operative Environment
Programme and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme.
14. The following non-governmental organizations and civil society groups also attended: CropLife Asia, the Global Compact Local Network Korea, the International Chamber
of Commerce, the Honam Petrochemical Corporation, Korean Metal Workers’ Union, the Asia Pacific Network on Food Sovereignty, the Asian NGO Coalition for Agrarian
Reform and Rural Development, the Indonesian Farmers and Fishers Society Organization, the Peasant Movement of the Philippines, the World Farmers’ Organisation, the
Indigenous Peoples’ International Centre for Policy Research and Education, the Island Sustainability Alliance CIS INC, the City Government of Dipolog in Zamboanga del
Norte Province, the Local Governments for Sustainability (South Asia), the International Council for Science (ICSU) Regional Committee for Asia and the Pacific, the ICSU
Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development, Asian Women’s Network on Gender and Development, the Helena Benitez
Global Forum, Philippine Women’s University, Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era, the Ecofund, the Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and
Natural Resource Management, the Environmental Challenge Organisation (Singapore), the Freedom from Debt Coalition, the Jubilee South, the Asia Pacific Movement on
Debt and Development, the Project Survival Media, Advocates for Youth, the Tunza Asia Pacific Youth Networks (UNEP), Youth with a Mission (Samoa), the Action Group on
Erosion, Technology and Concentration, the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development, the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, the Centre for
Environment and Development, the Earth Council Asia-Pacific Inc., the Forum for Nature Protection, the Greeneration Indonesia, the Greenovation Hub, the China Civil
Climate Action Network, Greenpeace, the IBON International, the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, the International Green Purchasing Network, the Korean
Federation for Environmental Movement, the National Institute for Disaster Prevention, the Ole Siosiomaga Society, the Stakeholder Forum for Sustainable Future, the
Regional Environmental Center for Central Asia, the World Society for the Protection of Animals, the Third World Network and the World Wildlife Fund International.
15. Nineteen observers from various international organizations, institutes, companies and civil society organizations were also present.
C. Election of officers
16. The Meeting elected the following officers to the Bureau:
H.E. Mr. Yoon Jong-soo (Republic of Korea)
Mr. Yifan La (China)
Ms. Anna Klyukhina (Russian Federation)
H.E. Mr. Vijavat Isarabhakdi (Thailand)
Mr. Dana Adyana Kartakusuma (Indonesia)
Mr. Rajneesh Dube (India)
Mr. Golam Kibria (Bangladesh)
H.E. Mr. Ruslan Iskanderovich Bultrikov (Kazakhstan)
Mr. Sangov Odil (Tajikistan)
Ms. Christine Deborah Schweizer (Australia)
H.E. Mr. Fa’amoetaula Taito Faale Tumaalii (Samoa)
Mr. Asif Qayyum Qureshi (Pakistan)
Mr. Atsushi Suginaka (Japan)
17. The Meeting adopted the agenda EDD/UNCSD/RPM/1, with a slight modification to agenda item five:
1. Opening of the Meeting.
2. Election of officers.
3. Adoption of the agenda.
4. Sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific: Key challenges and opportunities:
(a) Review of the implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable
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Development (Johannesburg Plan of Implementation) in Asia and the Pacific;
(b) Green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication;
(c) Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development.
5. Asian and Pacific Regional Outcome on Sustainable Development.
6. Other matters.
7. Adoption of the report.
8. Closing of the Meeting.
The Asian and Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development
19-20 October 2011, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Almost 300 delegates from 39 countries of the Asian and Pacific region met in Seoul to prepare for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD).
This document presents the summary by the Chair of the Regional Preparatory Meeting of the range of views expressed during the Meeting. It does not reflect a consensus
on any of the issues discussed.
1. The emerging development challenges were highlighted by many interventions. The need to change development and economic models to respond to these challenges
and as a way to improve progress on sustainable development and poverty eradication was noted.
2. At the same time, the diversity of the region’s resource endowments, stages of development and capacities preclude a universally applicable model of sustainable
development. Many countries in the region are already addressing sustainable development challenges with different national and subregional policies, strategies, initiatives
and economic instruments related to the green economy. Several are establishing supportive national institutional frameworks, such as inter-ministerial committees and
working groups. The outcomes of the fifth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific (MCED-5, March 2005, Seoul), which addressed
environmentally sustainable economic growth, or green growth, was a catalyst for many of these initiatives.
3. The shared priorities noted by many delegations included: access to basic needs, food security and sovereignty, equitable income distribution and the provision of
opportunities for a better life in an inclusive and sustainable way. In relation to natural resource management, improving the management of marine ecosystems was
highlighted. The challenges of climate change and the need for specific support in this regard were noted, especially for Small Island Developing States and for farmers. The
priority development areas identified were: harmonizing rapid economic growth with employment generation and environmental sustainability; promoting sustainable urban
development and transport; enhancing ecological carrying capacity; improving energy access and resource management for sustainable development; improving water
resource management for sustainable development; and enhancing the resilience of socio- economic development to climate change and natural disasters.
4. There is a need to make provisions for the technology, financing and capacity- building that are necessary to support developing countries’ efforts to achieve sustainable
development, including through economic transformation. Appropriate technology, technology cooperation and technology transfer need to be strengthened. Industrialized
countries should take the lead in changing consumption and production patterns and help developing countries with financial support, technology transfer, capacity-building
and market access. Related comments noted that integrated science (natural, social and economic) has a fundamental role to play in expanding the knowledge needed for
sustainable development. At the same time, technological solutions alone will not address all the challenges—changes in social values and practices in addition to technical
solutions will be required.
5. It was acknowledged that to drive the required changes, there is a need for all stakeholders to be engaged. The international community’s support for creating an enabling
environment for sustainable development, including through a transition to a green economy, would be required. Support to member States is provided by the Government of
Republic of Korea, and among others, through the Global Green Growth Institute, the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, the United Nations
Environment Programme, the Asian Development Bank and the United Nations Development Programme.
6. The outcomes of Rio+20 should include practical measures for achieving sustainable development and for supporting a transition to a green economy at the global and
national levels. Among the proposals made in this regard were: sustainable development goals that are linked to the Millennium Development Goals; the adoption of poverty-
reduction goals that support the development of green economy indicators; and the adoption of sustainable development measures to complement national gross domestic
product-boosting measures. Proposals relating to financing included the creation of a Sustainable Development Fund, the creation of a Green Economy Fund and a tax on
financial transactions. Other proposals included the establishment of a Green Economy Clearing House and a Global Partnership on Green Growth as a way to support
poverty eradication and sustainable development.
7. Other comments related to Rio+20 outcomes noted that the Conference should seek to make progress on food and water security and sustainable energy. A
comprehensive approach should be developed to alleviate the short-term impacts of food shortages and excessive price volatility on developing countries. Rio+20 should
agree to: increase research on agricultural and marine productivity; improve market access for farmers through greater trade liberalization and better market infrastructure;
and to improve the coordination among international food security institutions. Rio+20 should also provide a valuable platform to share sustainable development best practice
and encourage effective governance, including on water management and water-use efficiency in food production. In addition, Rio+20 should address access to sustainable
energy by seeking to reduce the global energy intensity and expand the level of renewable energy used in national energy portfolios. It was also noted that knowledge
systems and innovations need to be galvanized.
8. An effective reform of the institutional framework for sustainable development would also support a just transition to a green economy. When the establishment of a
Sustainable Development Council is discussed, provisions should also be considered for the participation of major groups’ representatives.
9. An objective appraisal of the implementation of sustainable development commitments and action plans was urged, including identification of areas for further progress.
There were calls for further progress on: strengthening the holistic integration of the environment, economic and social dimensions of sustainable development; strengthening
national councils for sustainable development; defining post-Kyoto commitments; implementing the agreed Rio Principles, in particular Rio Principle 10 on access to
information; gender equality, democracy and human rights; regulatory frameworks for financial markets; recognizing the importance of peoples’ participation; addressing the
challenges of the least developed countries and small island States; providing children and youth with education, training and opportunities; and addressing child labour and
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10. Other areas where the need for further progress was identified included: a framework for promoting sustainable consumption and production, commitments to workers’
rights and decent jobs; promoting rights-based approaches to development; participation of major groups in decision-making processes, particularly in relation to the
management of natural resources; the use of gender-disaggregated data; and partnerships between business and industry, governments and the natural science, social
science and technology communities.
Green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication
11. A green economy was identified as one of the means to achieve sustainable development, a vehicle for integrating the three pillars of sustainable development and a way
of reinforcing coherence among economic, environmental and social policies. Some delegations further noted that a green economy was essential for achieving sustainable
development and promoting economic growth for poverty eradication.
12. Although Rio+20 would consider this important theme, several delegations emphasized the need for Rio+20 to secure a renewed and strengthened political commitment
to sustainable development. Potential confusion regarding the introduction of a new term to the international development agenda was noted. It was also emphasized that
green economy measures could not substitute for Kyoto protocol commitments.
13. Although it was recognized that there is no consensus on the definition of a green economy, some common themes were identified: low-carbon growth that delivers
affordable and sustainable energy supplies to households; sustainable consumption and production; increased resource efficiency; strengthened measures to manage
climate change; sustainable forestry management; sustainable development of mega-cities; the strengthened environmental health of oceans; resilience to natural disasters;
and links between environmental degradation and the health of people and ecosystems, among others.
14. A transition to a green economy should follow a people-centred approach and should be clearly linked to poverty-reduction efforts. Comments in this regard included the
following: a people-centred approach should address the needs of the disadvantaged and most vulnerable populations; there is a need to recognize human security issues;
there is a need to improve social justice; and partnerships should promote sustainable development rather than be exploitative and opportunistic.
15. It was emphasized that member States need the flexibility to select those measures for achieving a green economy that are applicable to their own development contexts
and that green economy options should be fair, open, inclusive, equitable and rules-based. Applying the theme of “greening economies” in the “blue world” context of the
Pacific small island States and countries with a significant fisheries sector and large numbers of coastal communities requires special focus and attention at Rio+20. This is
important not just for their benefit but for the sake of the globe as a whole, which depends significantly on the state of the Pacific Ocean and its resources. The “blue
economy” approach reflects the importance of marine resources and ecosystems as a foundation for sustainable development, in particular for the many countries for which
they are an important source of food, livelihoods, income and culture.
16. Several interventions emphasized that any transition to a green economy should be based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibility. Some interventions
also noted that countries should establish regulatory and market-based measures to facilitate such a transition in a way that mitigates any adverse impacts on the poorest and
most vulnerable populations. This would also include the reform of environmentally harmful subsidies, such as fossil fuel and fishing subsidies.
17. Several delegations remarked that support provided to developing countries should be coordinated to promote aid effectiveness and that a transition to a green economy
should not involve the imposition of conditionalities on overseas development aid. In the context of aid effectiveness, it was noted that there is a need for simplifying climate
change-financing modalities to allow increased access and reduced transaction costs for developing countries.
18. It was proposed that the systematic exchange of knowledge and best practices for promoting a green economy should be supported through appropriate mechanisms that
could include establishing knowledge-exchange platforms and centres of excellence in green technologies and global cooperation in priority sector areas, such as water,
energy and the marine environment. This would also include strengthening global observation networks to address climate change and natural disasters.
19. The implementation of a green economy must involve all corners of society, down to the community and individual levels. There were calls for: countries to integrate the
concept of sustainable development into national education curricula; public awareness- raising campaigns; and for civil society organizations to be included in decision-
making and implementing processes. A role for the private sector in research and development, technological innovation, investment and support through corporate social
responsibility programmes was highlighted. There was also a call for the current and potential role of women in achieving sustainable development to be addressed at
Rio+20, including encouraging full participation of women in economic and political decision-making processes.
20. The use of unilateral measures that use a green economy and environmental protection as an obstacle to trade must be avoided. It was proposed that support should be
provided in the form of capacity development and technology transfer to ensure access to global markets for countries in the region, which is central to achieving a green
economy and sustainable development.
21. The interventions of delegations further noted that a green economy would need to:
- Be built on sustainable production and consumption patterns and ensuring all people’s well-being;
- Be implemented in a way that fully engages stakeholders to ensure an inclusive transition to more sustainable development pathways, including through equitable access to
resources and opportunities for advancement and providing decent work and ensuring the equitable distribution of benefits;
- Ensure that these approaches are developed and maintained in a way that promotes a supportive and open international economic system that would lead to economic
growth and sustainable development and does not constitute a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination or a disguised restriction on international trade;
- Secure the necessary investments towards sustainable management of ecosystems, including through joint management and protection frameworks, such as the Coral
Triangle Initiative and the Pacific Oceanscape framework; at the same time, the marginalization of communities must be avoided;
- Focus on the development and application of an explicit and supportive programmatic approach for poverty reduction;
- Mobilize financing from domestic sources in addition to international sources of financing, including by reducing or eliminating environmentally and economically damaging
subsidies and internalizing environmental costs in market prices;
- Promote technologies that are critical for increasing access to basic services, in particular water, sanitation and energy, in an integrated manner and in addition to
eco-efficient resource use.
Institutional framework for sustainable development
22. The core of sustainable development lies in the coordinated development of the three pillars of economic development, social progress and environmental protection. An
institutional framework for sustainable development must be centred on ensuring that these three pillars are addressed in a balanced manner.
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23. The international community needs to commit to a meaningful strengthening of governance in all three pillars and to make improving the integration of the three pillars of
sustainable development into policymaking a priority.
24. Any reforms will need to focus on improving the functioning of governance structures in this regard on all levels—local, subnational, national, subregional, regional and
global. Furthermore, reforms should also provide for the engagement of member States and with United Nations agencies to ensure the strategic direction and national
implementation of outcomes as well as open and inclusive mechanisms for engaging all stakeholders, in particular the most disadvantaged populations, women and youth, in
25. The United Nations should continue to play a leading role in advancing the progress of sustainable development and in providing technical and capacity- development
support to developing countries. Better coordination among the United Nations agencies, programmes, funds and institutions needs to be ensured, following the principle of
Delivering as One, which will increase effective field and country implementation. The role of regional commissions, as a key element of the regional institutional framework
for integrating the three pillars of sustainable development, as per provisions of Agenda 21, needs to be further strengthened to effectively support the implementation of
regional and subregional sustainable development strategies and plans.
26. At the global level, international financial institutions will also need to review their programmatic strategies to ensure the provision of better support to developing countries
for the implementation of sustainable development. Also at the global level, Rio+20 should identify steps for reforming global governance for sustainable development,
including short-and medium-term actions. Options for strengthening the United Nations Economic and Social Council and/or establishing a Sustainable Development Council
should be considered. The role of any Sustainable Development Council should be to enhance the monitoring of the progress of sustainable development. To make any
Sustainable Development Council that might be established as a result of Rio+20 more effective and inclusive, an advisory body consisting of major groups’ representatives,
including women and youth, and the scientific community could be established. Such a structure would need to be duplicated at the national level to allow for the effective
implementation of sustainable development.
27. Any institutional reform needs to ensure that environmental governance is also strengthened to eliminate the segregation of the environment pillar from the economic and
social pillars and to cater for the proliferation of the multilateral environmental agreements. Universal membership and predictable funding for UNEP would be important in the
short run. Some interventions noted that the international community needs to review the options and/or support for further strengthening and elevating the status of UNEP to
a global environment organization while others were against this proposal.
Partnerships for sustainable development
28. Global, regional and subregional partnerships proved to be successful mechanisms for a more inclusive approach to the implementation of sustainable development after
the World Summit for Sustainable Development in 2002. Forming regional and inter- regional partnerships to provide support for developing capacity, enhancing policymaking
and decision-making processes and increasing awareness were emphasized as effective means for implementing, financing and transferring technology.
29. Delegates also proposed the following partnerships for sustainable development as regional contributions to Rio+20 outcomes:
- Astana Green Bridge Initiative: Europe-Asia-Pacific Partnership for Implementation of Green Growth (Kazakhstan). The Green Bridge Partnership Programme developed
under this initiative requires a multilateral, long-term partnership, a more stable basis for green investments and a technology transfer mechanism for green technologies and
innovations. The programme will be able to ensure free assistance and advice to countries and institutions on new technologies or innovation and also use other countries’
experiences in to help to reform policies to attract green investment. The Government of Kazakhstan welcomed the participation of member States of the Europe and
Asia-Pacific regions to share their experiences, lessons learned and best practices.
- Eco-city development as reflected in the Future City (Japan). The future mega- cities in Asia need to be designed and developed in a sustainable manner to maximize the
benefits of low-carbon technologies and waste management.
- Initiative to Cultivate Sustainable Citizens (Japan). The development of human resources in Asia and the Pacific is the key to implementing sustainable development.
The Asian and Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development
19-20 October 2011, Seoul, Republic of Korea
1. The participants of the Asian and Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development met in Seoul, Republic of Korea on
19-20 October 2011.
2. Recognizing that the Asia and Pacific region is one of the most diverse regional groupings, characterized by high economic growth rates while being home to the largest
number of the world’s poor,
3. Further recognizing that the diverse range of States in the region, including but not limited to Small Island Developing States, high-mountain States and land-locked States,
continues to face many special and particular vulnerabilities,
4. Reaffirming the principles contained in the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development Agenda 21, as well as the instruments further adopted for the implementation
of Agenda 21, in particular the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation,
5. Also reaffirming that the main objective of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) is to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable
development, assessing progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development and addressing
new and emerging challenges,
6. The participants considered that the outcome of the Rio+20 conference should be:
- Based on the Rio Principles, including the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities
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- Supportive of global partnerships for sustainable development.
7. Participants agreed that a green economy has to be seen in the context of the overriding objectives of sustainable development and poverty eradication. The green
economy approach should take into account the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities in particular, in the context of the Rio Principles. In that regard:
- It should:
- Promote sustained economic growth for poverty eradication
- Be one of the means to achieve and promote sustainable development
- Facilitate trade opportunities for all countries, in particular, developing countries
- Address the three pillars of sustainable development in a comprehensive, coordinated, synergetic and balanced manner
- Allow sufficient policy space and flexibility for governments to pursue sustainable development strategies, based on national circumstances and respective stages of
- Promote the inclusion of vulnerable sections of society, women and youth
- Involve all stakeholders
- Facilitate technological innovation and transfer and promote access to green technologies at affordable costs
- Address the challenges of delivering a green economy in Small Island Developing States in particular, along with high-mountain and land- locked States
- Increase resilience to natural disasters.
- It should not be used as a pretext for green protectionism.
8. There is a need to reform and improve the institutional framework for sustainable development. The reforms should:
- Strengthen coherence and coordination
- Enhance implementation at all levels
- Strengthen governance in all three pillars
- Promote the spirit of multilateralism
- Improve balance and integration among the three pillars
- Promote institutional capacity-building at all levels
- Be aimed at enhancing the role of the United Nations at all levels, including regional and subregional levels.
9. The participants expressed their gratitude to the Government of the Republic of Korea, ESCAP, UNEP and ADB for the excellent arrangements and warm hospitality.
Europe and North America
Economic Commission for Europe
Regional Preparatory Meeting for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development
Geneva, 1 and 2 December 2011
Item 8 of the provisional agenda
Co-Chairs’ summary and closure of the meeting
Report of the Regional Preparatory Meeting for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development
Co-Chairs’ summary of the meeting
I. Introduction 1–5 2
II. Assessment of progress in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development and addressing new and emerging challenges 6–25 3
III. A green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication 26–55 6
IV. The institutional framework for sustainable development 56–80 11
1. In preparation for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD; Rio+20 Conference), scheduled to take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June
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2012, member States of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) and representatives of major groups, United Nations agencies and other international
bodies met in Geneva to identify the specific challenges and priorities of the ECE region with regard to the Rio+20 Conference, including policy recommendations and good
2. The Regional Preparatory Meeting was opened by the Executive Secretary of ECE, who highlighted that, since 1992, the political and economic circumstances of ECE
member States had undergone profound changes. Despite economic growth, in many economies inequality had increased substantially. Progress in reducing the overall
environmental impact had been limited, and in some areas it had continued to worsen. In the context of greening the economy, the current economic crisis could be used as
an opportunity for a dramatic shift from the growth model of the past, in which the industrial revolution that had fuelled rapid economic growth hinged on the exploitation of
natural resources and had generated large but unevenly distributed wealth. During the Seventh “Environment for Europe” Ministerial Conference, held in Astana in
September 2011, ministers from the ECE region had agreed to take the lead in the transition to a green economy. In that connection, the inter-agency report, “From Transition
to Transformation: Sustainable and Inclusive Development in Europe and Central Asia”, prepared jointly by all the United Nations entities active in the field of sustainable
development and the green economy in the ECE region, was a comprehensive substantive contribution to Rio+20.
3. In his address to the meeting, the Secretary General of UNCSD observed that the ECE region had a very important role to play in advancing the transition towards a green
economy, as many countries were already implementing the required policies and measures and thus had good practices and experiences to share. Developing countries and
countries with economies in transition were therefore counting on the support of developed countries in the ECE region. Seven priority areas had been identified during the
global preparatory process and had been reaffirmed in the submissions for the compilation document: combating poverty, including through green jobs and promoting social
inclusion; advancing food security and sustainable agriculture; sound water management; energy access, including from renewable sources, as well as energy efficiency and
sustainability; sustainable cities; management of oceans; and improving resilience and disaster preparedness. He also gave an overview of the main ideas put forward as
possible outcomes on green economy and the institutional framework for sustainable development. In that regard, it was important to note that member States and
stakeholders had stressed cross-cutting issues, including sustainable consumption and production, gender mainstreaming, education, science and technology, and means of
implementation such as official development assistance and capacity-building.
4. The Chief of the Executive Office of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) identified five outstanding environmental concerns for Europe and five for North
America. For Europe, these were air quality; biodiversity; chemicals and waste management; climate change; and freshwater quality; for North America, top concerns were
soil, land use and land degradation; desertification; environmental governance; freshwater quality; and energy. Inter-agency cooperation played an important role in the
region, and joining efforts in supporting countries to address environmental concerns yielded positive effects. In striving for sustainable development, it was necessary to
move away from the three pillars paradigm to a more intertwined, coherent and holistic approach. For its part, UNEP had recently produced reports to inspire the discussions
on green economy, such as the landmark report, Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication, the regional report “Green
Economy Success Stories from the UNECE Region” (ECE/ASTANA.CONF/2011/INF/25), as well as Keeping track of our changing environment: from Rio to Rio+20, prepared
in advance of the upcoming fifth UNEP Global Environment Outlook report in 2012.
5. The Deputy Regional Director of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) addressed the need for a managed transformation to a sustainable model of
economic and social development. Fossil fuel-based economic growth had led to unequal societies with a series of social problems. With regard to energy access for the
poor, renewable energy such as solar panels and biomass should be used. The region needed to move away from dirty forms of traditional energy also because of their
health impact. In order to achieve the transformation to sustainable energy, Governments needed to phase out direct or indirect subsidies for fossil fuel energy in all its forms.
The transformation to a more sustainable society should include the establishment of a social protection floor that would help vulnerable groups cope with new dynamics of
labour markets and increasing energy prices. Finally, partnerships with the private sector were needed for technologies, innovation and investment.
II. Assessment of progress in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development and addressing new and emerging challenges
6. The co-Chair of the Regional Preparatory Meeting, the Vice-Minister of Environmental Protection of Kazakhstan, reported on the outcomes of the Seventh “Environment for
Europe” Ministerial Conference and progress made in the development of the “Green Bridge” Interregional Partnership Programme, which had been supported by the Sixth
Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific and had been presented at the Astana Conference. A “Global Energy-Ecological Strategy”
had been developed by leading scientists of Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation. Kazakhstan had proposed to discuss that Strategy and the “Green Bridge” Partnership
Programme at the Rio+20 Conference as a practical and voluntary mechanism for the transition to a green economy.
7. Delegations observed that the world had significantly changed since the 1972 Stockholm Conference and also presented a different situation to the one existing in 1992.
While there has been some progress in addressing the three pillars of sustainable development in the ECE region, challenges still remained in many areas in the economic,
social and environmental fields. Outstanding environmental concerns in the ECE region included air quality, biodiversity, chemicals and waste management, energy, climate
change, freshwater quality, land use and degradation and environmental governance. Within the social pillar, equity was highlighted as a serious challenge, and within the
economic pillar reference was made to the global economic and financial crisis.
8. The importance of ecosystems, biodiversity and land and water resources and the threats they faced, as well as effective natural resource management were all repeatedly
mentioned by delegations as challenges. There was a need for sustainable management of oceans, including coastal areas. The urban built environment was also
highlighted; it was considered urgent to focus on improving the sustainability and resilience of the built environment in cities (“Living Cities”), as the global population not only
continued to grow steeply but also became increasingly urban. Construction lagged substantially behind other industries in achieving productivity gains.
9. Some delegations mentioned the need to go beyond general discussions and preparation of documents at the Rio+20 Conference and to come to a consensus on concrete
targets and goals, including putting in place sustainable development goals.
10. The two themes of the Rio+20 Conference offered promising ways to achieve the objectives of the Conference. A majority of delegations stressed that the main
operational outcome of Rio+20 should include a green economy road map with specific goals, objectives and actions at the international level, as well as a package of
reforms, which included the upgrading of UNEP into a specialized agency for the environment, leading to a strengthened international environmental governance as part of a
more balanced and effective institutional framework for sustainable development. At the same time, a few others encouraged participants to bring their own compendium to
Rio that would describe in detail how the individual groups or coalitions of participants would undertake action to help build a sustainable future. Those delegations also
favoured strengthening existing institutions that had already proven their worth instead of trying to set up a new statutory institution on the environment.
Addressing equity issues
11. Many delegations underlined that the challenge of addressing equity issues in a number of areas in the ECE region still remained. In spite of some progress, there were a
great number of people living in poverty in the region without access to affordable, safe and reliable energy, sanitation and basic commodities, or receiving a fair distribution of
wealth and the benefits of development. In that regard, unequal societies had a series of problems that equal societies did not have: higher rates of mental illness, more
people imprisoned, lower life expectancies and more children dying before they reached their first birthday. The larger the gap between rich and poor, the greater the social
problems. Equal societies laid the foundation for a better system of education and better education meant a country was more competitive in a knowledge economy; it was
also suggested that the role of education should be stressed in the region and for development cooperation to be strengthened. The Rio+20 Conference provided a unique
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opportunity to reconfirm the political commitment towards equitable and sustainable development.
12. The issue of gender inequality, in particular, still remained a challenge, speakers noted, as women were still the majority of the poor and had not been taken into
consideration in sustainable development strategies. When women were afforded equal access to resources and opportunities and participated in decision-making processes
they could become drivers as well as beneficiaries of equitable economic growth, environmental sustainability and poverty eradication. For women to become active agents of
change and catalysts for sustainable development, their economic, social and political rights needed to be strengthened.
13. Several speakers also proposed a social protection floor, which would help poor and vulnerable groups cope with the new dynamics of labour markets and increasing
14. Some delegations mentioned the opportunity of the Rio+20 Conference to re examine the relationship between health and development. Achieving health equity was
clearly a main objective of sustainable development: healthy populations were central to sustainable development, with a healthy environment being a prerequisite for good
Monitoring progress in achieving sustainable development
15. Many delegations spoke on the topic of monitoring and assessing progress in achieving sustainable development, and the possible need for data, research, indicators
and monitoring. Successful approaches in the ECE region were identified, especially the development of a shared environmental information system (SEIS), but also the
strong multilateral institutions within the region working in this field (notably the European Environment Agency (EEA), ECE, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development (OECD) and EUROSTAT). Rio+20 should prioritize the ability of all countries to monitor and assess their own environments and integrate that information with
social and economic information to inform the development decision-making processes. Health as well as population indicators might also provide an important indicator of
progress towards sustainable development. Some speakers promoted a move beyond gross domestic product as a measure of prosperity and recognition of natural capital. It
was also pointed out that the failure to assign a value to the “care economy” led to a failure to identify adequately the impacts of policy decisions on women.
Promoting cross-sectoral approaches
16. Several speakers focused on the need to involve other sectors in addition to the environmental sector, as well as on cross-sectoral policy formulation, notably addressing
the water, energy and food security nexus. In contrast, a narrow sectoral perspective had led to collateral damage and policy gaps, such as limited access to food, energy,
and water and sanitation. One example of a successful cross-sectoral approach was an energy policy that also addressed policies on climate change adaptation and
mitigation, agriculture, industry, health, education, infrastructure, communications and pollution control.
17. There was repeated reference to economic instruments, particularly subsidies, taxes and green procurement. Many delegations sought the removal of inappropriate or
perverse subsidies, with several focusing on fossil fuel subsidies, and one on subsidies to the nuclear industry. Fossil fuel subsidies did not benefit the poor. Green taxes
were also mentioned, with several speakers suggesting that the transformation to sustainable development, or social and environmental protection, might be financed through
a financial transaction tax.
Implementing the Rio Principles
18. Another common theme was public or stakeholder participation, and transparency, as part of the commitment to implement Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration (on public
participation, access to information and access to justice). New technologies should be promoted to bolster inclusive participation. It was also suggested that there should be
stronger application of the precautionary principle, for example, via assessment of the impacts of new and emerging technologies or research-based evaluations of policies.
More broadly, some delegations emphasized the need to integrate economic, social and environmental considerations into decision-making, with broad participation in
decision-making processes, referring in particular to the Chisinau Declaration, which had been recently adopted by the Meeting of the Parties to the Convention on Access to
Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention).
19. Many delegations noted the importance of energy efficiency, energy-efficient buildings and sustainable energy access for the poor, as well as of the security of energy
supply. One speaker suggested the need for a global energy strategy. The importance of resource efficiency and technological development and innovation was also
mentioned. Disaster risk reduction
20. The inclusion of disaster risk reduction in development strategies, with adequate funding, was also stressed by speakers, as the region was facing a range of new risks
and an increased vulnerability to disasters.
Multilateral agreements and processes
21. Delegations recognized that important progress had been made at the global and regional levels with regard to the implementation of multilateral environmental
agreements. The recent meetings of conferences of the Parties to the various Rio Conventions, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (Nagoya Conference), the
United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (Changwon Conference), and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Cancun Conference), had
resulted in decisions to assist in the achievement of sustainable development goals. Nonetheless, there was an awareness of the need for greater coherence between
agreements, the development of global chemical agreements and stronger implementation and enforcement of environmental legislation.
22. Several delegations mentioned the five ECE environmental conventions as successful examples of regional conventions supporting sustainable development that could
be shared with other regions. In addition, a number of delegations highlighted the importance of the “Environment for Europe” process in the ECE region and mentioned the
successful outcomes of the Astana Ministerial Conference, including the Ministerial Declaration with its emphasis on the sustainable management of water and water-related
ecosystems and on greening the economy.
23. Also highlighted were the ECE and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) work on education for sustainable development and, more
broadly, the contribution of research and development and the transfer of knowledge and technology. The region had much to offer in science, technology and innovation.
24. Generally, speakers recognized that ECE as well as other organizations in the region had good processes in the field of sustainable development, some of which could be
shared with other regions. Nonetheless, there was still far to go in supporting the implementation of the commitments made in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
25. Finally, several delegations stressed the need for a refreshed political commitment to sustainable development by the international community.
III. A green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication
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26. It was widely recognized that green economy offered an opportunity to bring together and strengthen economic, environmental and social aspects to achieve sustainable
development goals. However, participants agreed that there could be no one-size-fits-all framing of the green economy; any agreement in Rio would have to take into account
the individual economic and political circumstances of countries. Policies supporting a green economy should not result in increased discrimination or barriers to international
trade and investment.
27. While a few delegations explicitly expressed reservations, the vast majority explicitly supported an internationally agreed green economy road map consisting of political
and action-oriented components to be adopted at Rio+20. The road map could cover the vision for the next two decades, containing specific goals, objectives and actions at
the international level and timelines and guiding principles for implementation, monitoring and review mechanisms. An accompanying policy toolbox would provide a set of
practical instruments to support countries’ implementation efforts to meet the goals and targets.
28. Some delegates stressed the need to mainstream green economy at the national level, including through the development of national plans for a green economy. In that
regard, it was important to strengthen and further develop the capacity of countries, including through advisory services and sharing of good practices.
29. Regarding the policy mixes that had the potential to achieve a green, inclusive and competitive economy over the short, medium and long term, and the role played by
regional cooperation in that respect, there was a general consensus that country circumstances differed and therefore so would their policy choices. One delegation pointed
out that countries could draw on a variety of options and tools, such as: improving data collection and data sharing; developing strategies for improving resource conservation
and productivity to assure food security; conserving biodiversity and using natural resources and ecosystems sustainability; developing and deploying clean energy
technologies; promoting low carbon development; improving consumer outreach efforts to promote green purchasing; developing human capacity for the green economy and
green jobs creation; eliminating fossil fuel subsidies; and supporting the elimination of trade barriers to environmentally friendly goods and services.
30. The governance of the green economy had to reach across different sectors. In particular, ministers of finance, economy, and energy were important stakeholders in
designing the green economy toolkit and needed to be comfortable with the decisions taken.
31. It was further generally agreed by participants that the development and implementation of green economy policies called for the active involvement of all stakeholders,
including the private sector, non-governmental organizations and local communities.
32. The rights and the perspective of the individual should be a central component of the green economy. Democratic and transparent societies which allowed individuals to
achieve their full potential should be considered as part of sustainable development. Education for sustainable development was important in many dimensions, including
improving consumer choice, equipping decision makers with adequate information and increasing political will in the promotion of green economy.
Sustainable production and consumption pattern
33. Participants highlighted the importance of increases in resource efficiency, e.g., through developing and deploying clean energy technology, water resources
management, urbanization and transport management. The need to reduce absolute levels of resource consumption through a fundamental change in consumption and
production patterns was also recognized by many delegations. The adoption and implementation of the Ten-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption
and Production, negotiated at the nineteenth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, was recommended by several delegations.
Green economy, poverty and employment
34. Green economy could help to address poverty, which remained high in a number of ECE countries, especially those in Central Asia and the Caucasus. Social inclusion
and the green economy’s contribution to combating poverty had therefore to be strengthened urgently. Concrete suggestions included facilitating access to technology,
especially energy technology, by the vulnerable and the poor. That was much less an issue of intellectual property rights, and concerned making technologies available in
much smaller increments and quantities so as to reach the individual. Another suggestion was to expand green microfinance and small capital grants, together with private
sector partners, for the benefit of local people. Finally, one could explore the potential of export promotion, e.g., of green technology fairs for smaller cities and communities.
35. It was noted that the region was facing a record level of unemployment among youth. Furthermore, the structural change that would be triggered by the green economy
could be disruptive for industries and labour markets if not combined with the appropriate labour market policies. However, with a correct set of complementary labour market
policies, there could be net increases in employment, job quality, income distribution and social inclusion. Those complementary policies included the provision of social
protection floors, education and skills development and promoting economic diversification. Areas offering potential for job creation were identified in public transport, housing,
renewable energy, waste management and recycling.
Identifying priorities and designing policy mixes for the green economy
36. Despite the need to avoid a one-size-fits-all approach for all countries, some common actions could already be identified to promote the green economy in many countries
in the ECE region, for example: (a) investment in key areas, including energy efficiency, biodiversity, sustainable agriculture, recycling, and others; (b) the use of a
well-balanced policy mix, combining regulatory and market-based instruments, such as carbon pricing and emissions trading systems; (c) improved governance and
encouraging private sector involvement; and (d) the removal of harmful subsidies (i.e., fossil fuel subsidies).
37. The policy mix for the green economy had been well covered by the green economy reports of UNEP, OECD, the Group of 20, as well as recent United Nations reports on
the topic, which provided important sources of reference for countries in that regard. In the context of the ECE region, in addition to the inter-agency report highlighted by the
ECE Executive Secretary (see para. 2 above), a recent OECD report had focused on tailoring the green economy recommendations to the countries in Eastern Europe and
Central Asia. The report gave prominence to the agricultural and energy sectors due to their importance for the region, and found that there were important constraints in
access to financing due to high interest rates.
38. It was essential to do more analytical work on the potential impacts of the green economy at the national level, including advisory services, in order to better understand
and communicate the benefits of green investments compared with business as usual. Such work could be supported by the World Bank, UNEP, UNDP, the International
Labour Organization and others. ECE was well placed to play a role in the transition towards green economy in the ECE region, building on its success in improving
environmental protection and promoting sustainable development. In that vein, delegations at the Astana Conference had already shown their intention to take the lead in
greening the economy by deciding to extend SEIS to the whole pan-European region and to include a chapter on green economy in the forthcoming third cycle of
Environmental Performance Reviews.
Promoting innovation and new technologies for sustainable development
39. It was emphasized that basic and applied research, research and development and innovative policies would play an important role in greening the economy. Government
policy was critical in setting the right incentives and providing subsidies where needed. It was also important to carry out more research in the area of food security.
40. There was good potential for making practical progress on the use and dissemination of technologies. One participant called upon those countries that had such
technologies to set up a technology pool that could transfer technologies to those countries that lacked them. Others also stressed the importance of developing policy
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instruments to support the transfer of technologies within countries and from developed to developing countries and thought that the World Bank, the International Monetary
Fund or the World Trade Organization could play a major role in helping to develop such mechanisms.
41. Official development assistance for the lower income countries of the ECE region and other regions could serve as a driving force for involving stakeholders, building
capacities and transferring knowledge and good practices. However, it needed to be targeted and efficiently used and was not a means for addressing all challenges.
Capacity development should provide country-specific advice and, where appropriate, region- and sector-specific advice within national contexts.
42. Several participants highlighted the importance of financial institutions in enabling the necessary investments to take place from a sustainable development perspective. A
great deal of convergence in environmental and social policies to reflect international good practice could already be observed. Concrete initiatives included those by the
international financial institutions, the Equator Principles, the UNEP-Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and others. Many financial institutions also invested in other financial
institutions through credit lines, equity investments and through guarantees, and demanded that the same policies be followed downstream. There was, however, a need for
greater coherence at both the international and national levels, as well as a regulatory framework that was conducive to responsible financing.
Engaging the private sector
43. The importance of engaging the private sector was stressed by many participants. Public policy had to be aligned with private incentives and had to create a long-term
policy framework upon which the private sector could base its decisions. Without green business, there would be no green economy. There was also an important role for
voluntary standards, such as the “Energy Star” label for energy-efficient products.
44. In that respect, one specific proposition was to create a global policy framework, to be promoted by UNEP FI or the Global Reporting Initiative, for global and listed
enterprises to make sustainability part of their policies and to conduct material accounting as part of their published accounts, based on global standards such as the
Principles for Responsible Investment. That practice had already been pioneered by business. Sustainability reporting had proved to be driving performance and driving
change, empowering investors and the public to make assessments about enterprises’ sustainability performance. The concrete suggestion was not to make such reporting
mandatory, but rather to make mandatory the reporting of the reasons why such sustainability reporting had not been applied by a particular company. To date, the proposal
had been piloted successfully in Denmark and South Africa and had led to a much higher level of reporting by enterprises. The practice was considered low-hanging fruit and
could become common practice for all large companies.
45. Furthermore, public-private partnerships (PPPs) were regarded as a significant part of the policy mix to build sustainable infrastructure which could help to sustain the
economic recovery. Some very good partnerships had already emerged, but the overall result was still mixed. PPPs should be part of an international sustainable
development policy, and what had and what had not worked should be further explored. It was also necessary to develop more harmonized models for reporting on PPPs for
46. The “Green Bridge” Initiative, which was supported by the Sixth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific, could be a practical
mechanism for transferring green technologies and investment among the countries of Europe, Asia and the Pacific. The Green Bridge Partnership Programme, based on that
initiative, could provide a long-term and stable base for green investment and cooperation.
47. Sustainable public procurement was supported as a first critical step to further the green economy at the national as well as the subnational level. Concrete progress was
proposed in the form of sustainable public procurement targets that could be met by an increasing number of countries over the years. The role of multilateral environmental
48. Some delegations stressed the many concrete policy tools under various multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) and programmes. The ECE region should make
full use of the already existing instruments. The MEAs serviced by ECE were unique legal instruments, and should be instrumental in paving the way towards a green
economy. In particular, the Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment under the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (Espoo
Convention) could help to integrate green economy considerations into other sectoral strategies besides the environment. The Aarhus Convention had also proved its
importance as an instrument for implementing sustainable development and, specifically, Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration. The Convention on the Protection and Use of
Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention) helped foster resource efficiency through the equitable and reasonable use of water resources by
integrating water in development and sectoral policies, in particular the food-energy nexus. The Water Convention’s Protocol on Water and Health was also a powerful tool to
ensure universal equitable access to safe water supply and adequate sanitation. The Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents fostered, among
others, safe production technologies and safety techniques. Finally, the emission targets from the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution and its protocols
promoted low-emission technologies and technological innovation.
49. At the subregional level, it was noted that the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Protocol, adopted as part of the Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean
Sea against Pollution, was the only legal instrument in the world for coastal zone management.
50. The transformational change that had occurred in Central and Eastern Europe during the 1990s had lessons to offer for the impending green economy transformation,
particularly in the field of energy, some speakers noted. Energy efficiency in buildings was singled out as having the potential to generate a large number of jobs and to
engage local level stakeholders and the private sector.
51. Energy sustainability, affordability and security should be at the heart of the discussion about sustainable development. Government energy subsidies were viewed by
some delegations as wasteful and needed to be replaced with market-based pricing that captured environmental costs, combined with income supports to address negative
distributional impacts that might result from the removal of subsidies. Priority should be given to improving energy efficiency from source to use, to reducing the carbon
intensity of the energy sector, including through the promotion of renewable energy, and to enabling the cost-effective development and deployment of sustainable energy
52. Finally, there was a call from some delegates to exclude nuclear power from the green economy undertaking due to the negative impacts arising from nuclear accidents.
Water and sanitation
53. Another priority area stressed was water and sanitation. An estimated 884 million people lived without safe, adequate access to water and those estimates were probably
a gross underestimation of the real numbers, which were thought to be closer to 3.5 to 4 billion. Enabling access to water and sanitation encouraged well-being and jobs and
needed to be given more attention. Water use efficiency should be promoted broadly. Increasing water productivity and sustainably managing shared water resources was of
critical importance for many countries, in particular for Central Asian countries. Policy instruments for sustainable financing in the water sector needed to marry three levers:
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the use of revenues from tariffs, taxes and transfers to support access by the poor.
Food security and sustainable agriculture
54. Many delegations, including major groups, noted the importance of food security and sustainable agriculture within the context of a green economy and poverty
eradication, and proposed to strengthen the implementation of sustainable agriculture. Development of policies for sustainable agriculture, conducive to people’s well-being,
the welfare of farm animals and the preservation of natural resources and ecosystem services, were essential.
Indicators measuring progress towards a green economy
55. Regarding indicators, there was a definite need for ways to measure and assess progress towards a green economy. It was a priority to quantify the natural capital stock
and integrate it into national/international accounting systems. While countries needed to define their own relevant sets of indicators for measuring progress towards green
economy, there was also a need to achieve some international comparability. There should be a commonly defined methodology and a transparent review process of the data
IV. The institutional framework for sustainable development
Increased momentum on institutional framework for sustainable development discussions
56. Many delegations emphasized the increased momentum underpinning discussions on the institutional framework for sustainable development, especially in recent
months. There was an emerging consensus on the need to act ambitiously both on international environmental governance and on the broader institutional sustainable
development framework in order to deliver on sustainable development, greener economies and poverty eradication. Some delegations noted that the reason for the mounting
ambition levels related to the dissatisfaction with the existing institutional system.
57. Several delegations stressed the need to strengthen, in particular, the environmental pillar of sustainable development, especially in the light of the growing evidence of
the extent to which the planet’s resources were being exhausted.
Current institutional framework for sustainable development weaknesses
58. A number of delegations stressed the current weaknesses in the institutional architecture in addressing global sustainability challenges. They highlighted in particular the
challenges related to implementation, fragmentation and coordination. Some noted the lack of implementation support for developing countries and, in particular, the
constraints faced by UNEP in terms of limited authority and insufficient resources.
59. Other delegations emphasized that during the current period of financial crisis, the world could not afford inefficiencies in the international environmental governance
system, although one delegate noted that the financial crisis did not allow for a major institutional overhaul.
Principles for institutional framework for sustainable development
60. A number of delegations stressed that reform of the institutional framework for sustainable development had to be grounded in a number of key principles, especially the
need to renew political commitment for sustainable development, the importance of integrating the three pillars of sustainable development and the need to enhance the
integration of sustainable development.
Institutional framework for sustainable development outcomes needed from Rio+20
61. Delegations noted the current lack of agreement on the actual institutional options at the global level, especially for the international institutional architecture. There was,
however, a consensus on the need to improve the organization of the institutional framework at the global level. There was also agreement on the importance of
strengthening governance at the regional, national and local levels.
62. Some delegations emphasized that, whatever the actual outcome, Rio+20 had to send a strong and focused message about the need to strengthen the institutional
framework in order to address the new generation of challenges and ensure effective implementation at all levels. There was a need to move beyond negotiation to genuine
implementation. Delegations also stressed that strong political commitment was needed to move beyond business as usual.
63. Delegations also emphasized the need to engage international and regional financial institutions.
64. Furthermore, there was a need for ensuring greater coherence among MEAs and for measures to enhance their implementation and compliance.
Reform of the institutional framework for sustainable development at the global level
65. With regard to reforming the institutional framework for sustainable development at the global level, the options under discussion ranged from incremental steps to more
ambitious reform measures. Those included the strengthening of existing bodies, such as the Commission on Sustainable Development, UNEP and the Economic and Social
Council, or the creation of new bodies such as a United Nations Sustainable Development Council, which could undertake such activities as peer reviews for sustainable
66. A vast majority of delegations emphasized that the best way to strengthen the environmental pillar was to upgrade UNEP to a specialized agency, based in Nairobi, to
ensure a more balanced institutional framework for sustainable development. However, some delegations suggested that the goals of strengthening institutions could be
achieved without transforming them.
67. Some delegates underscored the need to integrate sustainability principles into the heart of United Nations decision-making processes, and the important role a new
Council for Sustainable Development that would subsume the Commission on Sustainable Development could play in that connection. One delegate favoured the
establishment of a world environment court, and another raised the need to fully include national parliaments into international decision-making.
68. Other speakers proposed the creation of an intergovernmental panel on sustainable development modelled on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the
Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Such a body would ensure a deeper interface between science and policy.
69. On the challenge of strengthening integration, some delegations suggested a legal framework, such as an international convention on sustainability/environmental impact
assessment, possibly based on the ECE Espoo Convention and its Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment.
70. Many delegations underscored the importance of implementing Rio Principle 10, including by means of the Aarhus Convention. A few delegations emphasized that there
were different ways to operationalize Principle 10 in accordance with national specificities. Some delegates supported the commencement of international negotiations on a
new international convention (modelled along the Aarhus Convention), while other delegations preferred other options for strengthening Principle 10, including joining the
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Aarhus Convention, which was open for global accession.
Institutional framework for sustainable development reform at the regional level
71. At the regional level, some delegations called for strengthening the mandates of the regional commissions and improving their interface with other regional bodies. They
also stressed the importance of regional and subregional cooperation to address transboundary environmental challenges, and the important role the Regional Environmental
Centres played in that respect. It was also noted that ECE was the only region so far with a legally binding instrument on the implementation of Principle 10, namely, the
72. The importance of regional cooperation was also emphasized in the context of the role that sustainability played in the promotion of peace and security. The Environment
and Security Initiative (ENVSEC) was highlighted as an important example of inter-agency cooperation and partnership between OSCE, UNEP, UNDP, the Regional
Environmental Centre for Central and Eastern Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and ECE. The innovative structure of ENVSEC could serve as a model for other
73. Many delegations stressed the importance of building upon the successful experience with the five ECE environmental conventions. They referred specifically to the
Aarhus Convention and the Espoo Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment (and its Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment).
Institutional framework for sustainable development at the national level
74. Delegations said that there was a need to ensure that integration was embedded in the heart of national decision-making. In that regard, national sustainable development
councils had to be re-established and/or strengthened in the light of the important role that they played in promoting policy coherence and the role of key stakeholders. The
national councils should be promoted at Rio as a model for other countries to use.
75. Some also highlighted the need for a “whole-of-government” approach to ensure decision-making that strengthened coherence between Government departments and
integrated sustainability into key policy domains. Others noted the importance of a “delivering as one” approach that had helped national Governments and other actors to
improve overall policy coherence.
76. Some delegations underlined the usefulness of national strategies for sustainable development, while emphasizing the need to include sustainable development into other
77. The establishment of ombudspersons for future generations at the national and/or international level was favoured by some delegations. Others highlighted the need for
sustainability indicators to assist in the measuring of progress regarding the implementation of sustainable development.
Institutional framework for sustainable development at the local level
78. Delegations noted that the success with local Agenda 21’s around the world, and highlighted the important role that local governments played, especially since they were
the level of government closest to citizens and the providers and managers of essential services. It was also suggested by some that the role of local governments be
strengthened by allocating them the status of “governmental stakeholders”. Any future institutional framework for sustainable development should be based on a multi-level
governance system to ensure shared ownership and commitment in the elaboration and implementation of sustainable development policies.
Engagement of major groups
79. In terms of the engagement of major groups, several delegations highlighted the importance of the Aarhus Convention, especially its role in strengthening democracy and
environmental rights throughout the region. The success of the Aarhus Convention was reflected in the existence of a number of Aarhus Centres in 10 countries in the ECE
80. Some Government and major groups representatives advocated co-management at the Bureau level within the new institutional framework for sustainable development.
Latin American and Caribbean Region
Conclusions of the Latin American and Caribbean Regional Meeting Preparatory to
the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development
1. The ministers and representatives of the Governments of Latin America and the Caribbean, gathered in Santiago from 7 to 9 September 2011, salute the organization of
the Latin American and Caribbean Regional Meeting Preparatory to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.
2. Welcome the organization of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in the Latin American and Caribbean region.
3. Recall that, pursuant to resolution 64/236 of the General Assembly of the United Nations, the objective of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development
(Rio+20) is to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assessing progress to date and the remaining gaps in implementation of the outcomes of the
major summits on sustainable development, and addressing the new and emerging challenges.
4. Reaffirm the commitment of the countries of the region to continue to contribute constructively to a successful outcome of Rio+20.
5. Reaffirm also the relevance of, as well as their commitment to, the principles and objectives set forth in the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, Agenda 21,
the Millennium Declaration, the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development and the Latin American and Caribbean Initiative for Sustainable Development, the
Monterrey Consensus of the International Conference on Financing for Development and the Doha Declaration on Financing for Development, the Barbados Programme of
Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, the Mauritius Strategy and the World Charter for Nature.
6. Recognize the progress made thus far and the gaps still remaining as regards achievement of the goals of sustainable development, which are more pressing in the case
of the small island States of the Caribbean.
7. Note that some of the barriers to the achievement of sustainable development are the scientific and technological gap, the lack of sufficient financing and the fragmentation
8. Affirm that to the existing issues for the achievement of sustainable development have been added new and emerging challenges. The countries of Latin America and the
Caribbean commit to address these challenges and to adopt decisions at the Rio+20 Conference.
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9. Reiterate that the objective to be achieved is sustainable development, which should ensure the balance between these three interconnected pillars: social, economic and
environmental, while maintaining the fundamental principles of common but differentiated responsibilities and equity.
10. Affirm the need for commitments to achieve:
i. the eradication of extreme poverty,
ii. a change in patterns of production and consumption, in which the developed countries should play a leading global role,
iii. effective access to and transfer of safe and appropriate technologies, without conditionalities and on preferential terms for developing countries,
iv. the promotion of a global intellectual property rights regime that facilitates the transfer of such technologies, in keeping with the commitments undertaken by each country,
v. full implementation of the right to access to environmental information, participation and justice enshrined in Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration,
vi. a global institutional framework for sustainable development which is efficient and flexible and ensures the effective integration of its three pillars,
vii. new, additional, stable and predictable financing for supporting implementation activities in developing countries,
viii. the fulfilment of mitigation and adaptation commitments in relation to climate change and the building of resilience to its impacts,
ix. greater South-South cooperation and exchange of successful experiences,
x. the restoration of harmony with nature,
xi. better ways of measuring countries’ wealth that adequately reflect the three pillars of sustainable development.
1. Reaffirm respect for multiculturalism and for the knowledge and traditional values of the region’s indigenous peoples and local and traditional communities.
2. Recognize the importance of the participation and the contribution of civil society to sustainable development, in particular, women, indigenous peoples and local and
traditional communities, and encourage all stakeholders to engage more fully with the actions of Governments.
3. Express their firm determination to continue to work towards sustainable development, with the primordial purpose of eradicating poverty and achieving equality in our
societies, bearing in mind the particular characteristics of each of the States of the region.
4. Take note of and express our thanks for the proposals presented by Bolivia “Rights of nature”; Colombia and Guatemala “Sustainable development goals” and Cuba
“Institutional framework for sustainable development” and submit them for examination and consideration as contributions to the Conference.
5. Thank the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean for convening the Latin American and Caribbean Regional Meeting Preparatory to the United
Nations Conference on Sustainable Development and for its constant efforts and the support it extends to the countries of the region.
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