The President of the General Assembly, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, yesterday called on countries to focus on implementing the outcome document from the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, last month.
“We have defined the future we want,” Al-Nasser said, making a reference to the title of the Conference’s outcome document, in his remarks to a meeting of the General Assembly held to adopt a resolution endorsing the document. “Now what is important is implementation.”
Rio+20 was attended by some 100 Heads of State and government, along with more than 40,000 representatives from non-governmental organizations, the private sector and civil society, all seeking to help shape new policies to promote global prosperity, reduce poverty and advance social equity and environmental protection.
At the end of the gathering, participants agreed an outcome document which called for a wide range of actions, such as beginning the process to establish sustainable development goals; detailing how the green economy can be used as a tool to achieve sustainable development; strengthening the UN Environment Programme (UNEP); promoting corporate sustainability reporting measures; taking steps to go beyond gross domestic product to assess the well-being of a country; developing a strategy for sustainable development financing; and, adopting a framework for tackling sustainable consumption and production.
The document also focused on improving gender equity; recognized the importance of voluntary commitments on sustainable development; and stressed the need to engage civil society and incorporate science into policy; among other points.
Rio+20 followed on from the Earth Summit in 1992, also held in Rio de Janeiro, during which countries adopted Agenda 21 – a blueprint to rethink economic growth, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection.
“Rio in 1992 and Johannesburg in 2002 put sustainable development on the map, but Rio+20 has defined a new vision of development for the future, which will be equitable and inclusive and will take into account the limits of our planet,” Al-Nasser said.
“A number of processes have been launched in Rio, but in order for them to be successful, we need development cooperation,” he added. “International development cooperation must continue to play a key role in promoting solutions for our global challenges.”