24th December 2009: The UN General Assembly has passed a resolution with unanimous approval to hold a conference on sustainable development in 2012 at the ‘highest level possible’. The resolution builds on the previous resolution tabled by the Chair of G77 to the 63rd session of the General Assembly in 2008, and has been enhanced significantly through consultation, debates and submissions since the idea for a Rio+2O Summit in 2012 was first proposed by President Lula da Silva of Brazil in 2007.

The most significant part of the resolution reads as follows:

20. Decides to organize, in 2012, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development at the highest possible level, including Heads of State and Government or other representatives, and in this regard accepts with gratitude the generous offer of the Government of Brazil to host the Conference, and also decides that:

(a) The objective of the Conference will be to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assessing the 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; the focus of the Conference will include the following themes to be discussed and refined during the preparatory process: a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication and the institutional framework for sustainable development;

(b) The Conference will result in a focused political document;

(c) The Conference and its preparatory process should take into account the decision taken at the eleventh session of the Commission to carry out, at the conclusion of the multi-year programme of work, an overall appraisal of the implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation;

(d) The Conference, including its preparatory process, should ensure the balanced integration of economic development, social development and environmental protection, as these are interdependent and mutually reinforcing components of sustainable development;

(e) It is important that there be efficient and effective preparations at the local, national, regional and international levels by Governments and the United Nations system so as to ensure high-quality inputs without placing undue strain on Member States;

(f) It must be ensured that the Conference and related preparations do not adversely affect other ongoing activities;

For the full text, Report of Committee II to 64th Session of the UN General Assembly: Draft resolution III - Implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development please click here.