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Monday, 11 July 2011

Experts demand concrete results at the Rio+20 summit

20 years after the UN conference on environment and development in Rio de Janeiro, the United Nations want to see the results achieved thus far in 2012. A year ahead of the “Rio+20” conference on sustainable development (UNCSD), 13 high-ranking experts from seven countries have sent a statement to their governments, asking them to prepare concrete decisions for the summit. The summit must not only contain empty promises, the scientists demand. The Rio+20 conclusions should facilitate the transition to a global green economy as well as starting the necessary institutional reforms to achieve this, the scientists state in a document with the title "Now is the Time! Why Rio+20 must succeed". It was co-drafted by Steffen Bauer and Prof. Dirk Messner of the German Development Institute (DIE). Often, says DIE, former summit meetings have produced but empty words and compromises. The slow pace of the UN climate negotiations, the impotence of the United Nations Environment Programme and the recent failure of the UN commission for sustainable development which could not even agree on a comment closing statement, shows how urgent it is to have a fundamental institutional re-orientation of the United Nations in the area of environment and sustainable development. If Rio+20 fails, it puts the legitimacy of the United Nations in the area of sustainable development in question, DIE warns. It is even more important to use the remaining time to present a substantial reform proposal to the head of governments at the beginning of the summit that has the power to obtain a majority.

Source: German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)