Felix Dodds’ speech to the General Assembly on the Road to Rio + 20 and Beyond
The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) is scheduled to take place in Rio de Janeiro from 20 to 22 June 2012. The GA resolution 64/236 calling for the Conference stipulates that its objective is to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development and in achieving that it should focus on two themes: green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, and the institutional framework for sustainable development (IFSD). Subsequently in the preparatory process for Rio+20, a proposal has emerged for agreeing to sustainable development goals (SDGs) as an outcome of the Conference.
The SDG proposal is one that has garnered wide interest and growing support from Member States, but there are a number of outstanding issues that need to be debated and clarified in the run-up to the Conference in order to facilitate the negotiations. With respect to IFSD, there are a number of proposals under consideration for strengthening that framework, including ones pertaining specifically to the environmental pillar and UNEP and ones encompassing the Commission on Sustainable Development, ECOSOC and the GA.
The thematic debate is intended to shed further light on these two areas of discussion in the preparatory process. The morning will focus specifically on the SDGs, and consider what principles should govern the elaboration of SDGs, assuming a mandate is given in Rio, and how to organize the process after Rio to come up with a coherent and ambitious set of SDGs before 2015, a set that is fully aligned with and complementary to the MDGs in the context of the post-2015 UN Development Agenda.