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Monday, 17 October 2011

Council of Ministers adopts general EU position for Rio+20

The Council adopted conclusions establishing the EU general position at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (15388/11), to be held from 4 to 6 June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro.

Ministers held an exchange of views on the two themes of the conference:

–     a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication;
–     the institutional framework for sustainable development

and they also set out their expectations for this meeting. There was consensus on the fact that the transition towards a green economy has great potential to promote long-term sustainable growth, create jobs and thus eradicate poverty. Several ministers also pointed out that to contribute effectively to poverty eradication, green economy policies and measures need to take into account the needs of the poor.

Ministers expect therefore that the main operational outcomes of the Rio+20 should include a "green economy roadmap" with specific goals and actions at international level, as well as a package of reforms leading to a strengthened international environmental governance. A number of member states stressed that the EU should be ambitious and continue to take the lead in this process.

Ministers acknowledged generally that the weakness of the current institutional framework for sustainable development hinders the effective implementation of the objectives agreed at previous international conferences. In this context, several ministers stressed the need for upgrading the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) into a UN specialized agency for the environment, so as to streamline UN operations in this field.

A number of member states and the Commission also recalled the role that resource efficiency can play to involve more closely the private sector in the common efforts and several member states underlined the importance of participation of the civil society in the process leading to Rio+20 and in the implementation of its outcomes.

Source: Council of Ministers