ICLEI and Rio+20by Don Knapp
Below is a brief introduction to the objectives and themes of the Rio+20 conference and ICLEI's involvement in this process.
What is Rio+20?
In December 2009, the UN General Assembly decided to hold the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) - also referred to as 'Rio+20'.
The Conference, which will be held from the 20-22 June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has three objectives:
- securing renewed political commitment to sustainable development,
- assessing the progress and implementation gaps in meeting already agreed commitments,
- addressing new and emerging challenges.
UN Member States have agreed on the following two themes for the Conference:
- green economy within the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication,
- institutional framework for sustainable development.
How is ICLEI involved?
The year 2012 marks the 20th anniversary of the Earth Summit, which inspired thousands of local governments and communities worldwide to put in place local strategies and actions for sustainable development.
Now it’s time to take stock of the lessons learn at the local level and propose new ways forward for local governments in their quest for green, livable cities. Debate is also needed on the governance framework to be implemented on the national and international levels, in order for local governments to successfully contribute to global sustainability.
To achieve the goals outlined above, ICLEI is strongly involved in the Rio+20 preparatory processes:
- acting as Local Authority Major Group co-organizing partner,
- leading the Local Sustainability 2012 global study,
- bringing the local leaders together before and at the conference with the World Congress 2012 and Rio+20 Global Town Hall.
For more information on Rio+20 and local governments, consult the ICLEI Rio+20 Briefing Sheet, available in the Publications section.
Ministerial Round Tables
Another way ICLEI is involved is one very important element of Rio+20: the high-level round tables on “Looking at the way forward in implementing the expected outcomes of the Conference”. Major Group delegates will be able to participate at these Round Tables. It currently looks like each Major Group will have 3 participants in total for the 4 Round Tables which will take place. The 9 Major Groups will have to work out amongst themselves which group attends which Round Tables. For a short briefing by the UN on the roundtables, please click here.
The co-organizing partners of the Local Authority Major Group in consultation with the constituency have set the following criteria for selecting our speakers for the Round Tables:
2. Political mandate: Senior representatives of a municipality, local or regional government,such as Mayor or Governor, ideally also actively involved in global matters for example bybeing on the elected governing bodies of ICLEI, UCLG, nrg4SD or other relevant organizations
3. Expertise in relevant subject matters, such as in global sustainability issues, UN processes orpolicy development or implementation
4. Oratory and language skills in at least one of the official 6 UN languages.
In addition, gender and geographical balance will be taken into account as much as possible.