Discussion on Text of Rio+20 Draft Outcome

Preparing a world conference is a gigantically complicated task. It is not just to find a venue that is large enough to accommodate thousands of participants: government representatives, civil society, a team of international experts, the press and social media. In the UN work, I was involved several times in preparation of world conference. The latest was as Principal Advisor to the Secretary-General of the 1995 UN Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing. The experience was quite overwhelming but memorable for me. I find that the most creative and complex part of the preparatory process is the writing of a text of the Draft Outcome for representative of UN member states to negotiate and adopt for action when the conference ends. On January 25, the UN Headquarters holds an initial discussions in New York on the text of the Draft outcome for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 20-22 June of this year, titled “The Future We Want”. The input for the text of the Draft Outcome was from the outcome of regional conferences held last year in Santiago, Cairo, Seoul, Addis Ababa and Geneva. They include a call to governments to find a better way to measure the wealth of countries that adequately reflect the three pillars for a sustainable development (economic, social and environmental), and to include the concept of “Green Economy” as a tool for sustainable development. Participants from the regional conferences want the text to include the establishment of national sustainable development council. The two days of discussion will see how to add to the text of the Draft Outcome on whether to strengthen UNEP by changing it into a specialized agency or a World Environment Organization.The development of sustainable development goals will surely be included in the text. I think the Draft Outcome should highlight the fact that human beings are at the center of concern for sustainable development, and that women have an important role to play in this negotiation to reflect what they want for their future, especially, in the management and use of natural resources.

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