By: Maggie .M. Mwape
7 December 2011: The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) Secretariat and Brazilian Government organized a "Briefing on Rio+20 Preparations" on the sidelines of the Durban Climate Change Conference.
|Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General|
Moderator Nikhil Seth, DESA, opened the session and welcomed participants, including the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, to the meeting. Sha Zukang, UNCSD Secretary General, noted that submissions to the compilation draft had addressed a variety of issues, including: combating poverty; advancing food security and sustainable agriculture; improving energy access; developing sustainable cities; managing oceans; improving resilience and disaster preparedness; protecting forests, mountains; improving land management; and sanitation. André Corrêa do Lago, Brazil, said the Rio+20 Conference offers a once in a generation opportunity to address long-term issues.
Dorah Nteo, Chief Director of Coordination and Information Management, Department of Environmental Affairs, South Africa, related challenges from hosting the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), in Johannesburg, such as: agreement on nature and structure of outcome; methods for consultation with member countries; implementation of envisaged outcomes; and importance of pre-summit diplomacy. José Solla, Deputy National Secretary of the Brazilian Organizing Committee, Brazil, discussed issues related to logistical planning for Rio+20, and said Brazil is committed to hosting a green event with accessibility and connectivity.
The UN Conference on Sustainable Development represents an important opportunity for the international community to advance sustainable and inclusive economic development. The green economy offers a path to sustainable development and poverty eradication with the potential for new jobs, business opportunities and community development all proceeding in a sustainable and environmentally sound manner.
I wish to see the Zambian Government, UN, United Nations Environmental Program , Civil society Organisations, International Donors , private sectors and faith based institutions involve the young people in the preparatory activities towards Rio+20 and sponsore a number of them to be part of the Delegation to the United Nations Rio+20 Conference 2012 in Brazil. The conference which has two themes: Green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; The institutional framework for sustainable development will provide a timely process by which the international community, can address our common objectives and common goals for a green economy.