What are the expectations for the outcome of Rio+20, and what are the concrete proposals in this regard, including views on a possible structure of the Outcome document?

The Rio+20 Conference in 2012 provides an opportunity to refine and fast-track global efforts towards sustainable development. Green economy is a dynamic concept which infuses every activity taken towards poverty eradication with sustainability, thereby greening the economy as we develop economically, socially and environmentally.

An approach to GESDPE has to be based on the following principles:

-It is directly related to the overriding priorities for developing countries such as poverty eradication, food security, universal access to modern energy services, public health, human resource development and employment generation. As such, Green economy should be seen as one of the means to achieve these fundamental and overriding priorities and not an end in itself.

-A common approach to GESDPE is to be based on the Rio principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) with special and differential treatment provisions for developing countries according to the respective capabilities of the states. Accordingly, its outcome document should be based on the Rio Principles which continue to be the bedrock of the international discourse on sustainable development, and there should be no rewriting or negotiation of the Rio Principles.

-GESDPE allows ample flexibility and policy space for national authorities to make their own choices out of a broad menu of options and define their paths towards sustainable development based on the country’s stage of development, national circumstances and priorities. This is essential for equitable sustainable development.

-States should have the sovereign right to exploit their own natural resources pursuant to their own environmental and developmental requirements and natural resource endowments.

-Poverty eradication should be the overarching objective and the benchmark of the GESDPE. Green economy should promote sustained economic growth for poverty eradication. GE should not adversely impact the livelihoods of vulnerable sections of society, like the small and marginal farmers and those employed in SMEs.

-As a pre-requisite to a global transition towards Green Economy, developed countries must reduce their unsustainable patterns of consumption and the resulting ecological footprints and release ecological space for developing countries to achieve equitable and sustainable growth;

-The outcome document should uphold and promote the spirit of multilateralism;

-Developed nations, in the name of progression towards GESDPE, shall not impose tariff and non-tariff barriers on exports of developing countries or aid conditionalities or any other form of green protectionism;

-Rio+20 should facilitate grants for research and development and deployment of green technologies appropriate to the labour and other factor endowments and needs of the developing countries. These technologies should be in public domain and be accessible to developing countries at affordable prices including through creation of a Sustainable Development Fund for provision of new, additional and scaled up sources of financing to the developing countries. GE should not exacerbate technological dependence of developing countries on developed countries.

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