United Nations Opens ‘Idea Box’ for Rio+20 Conference, Invites Civil Society to Contribute Ideas for Spurring Action on Sustainability

To broaden participation in next year’s United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), the United Nations has invited representatives from nine key constituencies, known as major groups, to submit ideas on how the world can move towards sustainable development — a process aimed at promoting economic prosperity and improving the quality of life for everyone, while protecting the environment for present and future generations.

The major groups include Women; Children and Youth; Indigenous Peoples; Non-Governmental Organizations; Local Authorities; Workers and Trade Unions; Business and Industry; the Scientific and Technical Community; and Farmers.  Suggestions will be considered for a compilation document that will serve as the basis for negotiations at the Rio+20 Conference.  The submission deadline is 1 November 2011.

The United Nations Conference will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 4 to 6 June 2012.  In Rio, the United Nations 193 Member States, along with major groups, including business and civil society representatives, will evaluate progress made and setbacks encountered in achieving sustainable development, and define ways to create a more sustainable future for all.

“We know that the three pillars of sustainable development — social, economic and environmental — are closely interdependent,” says Rio+20 Secretary-General Sha Zukang.  “We cannot continue to wreak havoc on the environment and the earth’s ecosystems.  It will only become harder to sustain progress.  Some have called Rio+20 the Conference for the Future.  Rio+20 belongs to all of us.  I urge everyone to contribute your best and most innovative ideas.  Let us, together, make Rio+20 the start of a new future.”

The process of submitting ideas for the Conference is open to Governments, United Nations organizations, and representatives of major groups.  Major groups are invited to submit inputs through their organizing partners.  Representatives from organizations or coalitions that do not fit neatly in any of the major groups can send in their inputs through the Rio+20 website at http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?menu=83.

Following the 1 November deadline for suggestions, a compilation text will be prepared that will be the basis for a zero draft for the negotiations.  Countries and other stakeholders will begin discussing the compilation document at the second inter-sessional meeting on 15-16 December 2011 in New York.

Governments, civil society, businesses and other major groups have also been invited by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to share examples of green economy success stories, particularly related to renewable energy, resource management, green transport, sustainable agriculture and green buildings.  Information can be found at UNEP’s website:  http://www.unep.org/greeneconomy/SuccessStories/ShareyourSuccessStory/tabid/56136/Default.aspx.

For more information, please contact Dan Shepard of the United Nations Department of Public Information at tel.:  +1 212 963 9495, e-mail:  [email protected]; or Wynne Boelt at tel.:  +1 212 963 8264, e-mail:  [email protected].

Original press release can be found at un.org

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