Representatives of some 193 U.N. member-nations have reached an agreement on the text of the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) scheduled to begin in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro later this week, it was announced on Tuesday.
"We now have a text which will be adopted at the Conference. We think the text contains a lot of action, and if this action is implemented, and if follow-up measures are taken, it will indeed make a tremendous difference in generating positive global change," a U.N. press release quoted Sha Zukang, Rio+20 Secretary-General, as saying.
Noting that the final version of the document is a "compromise text" that emerged after intensive and prolonged negotiations, Sha said: "Like all negotiations, there will be some countries that feel the text could be more ambitious. Or, others who feel their own proposals could be better reflected, while still others might prefer to have their own language."
The Rio+20 conference is aimed at devising ways for reducing poverty while promoting decent jobs, clean energy and more sustainable and fair use of resources. It follows the 1992 Earth Summit, also held in Rio, during which countries adopted Agenda 21 - a blueprint to rethink economic growth, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection.
On Friday, the Brazilian government, which holds the Presidency of Rio+20, was entrusted the responsibility of holding the negotiations on the final document. Ahead of announcing their agreement on the document on Tuesday, the delegates had worked on the consolidated text presented by the South American nation until late night on Monday.
The text will now be put forward for adoption by Heads of State at the conclusion of Rio+20 on Friday. More than 100 world leaders are expected to arrive in Rio from Wednesday to attend the summit, which is aimed at shaping new policies to promote prosperity, reduce poverty, advance social equity and environmental protection.
The agreed outcome document outlines action points such as the need to establish sustainable development goals and mobilize financing for sustainable development, as well as the promotion of sustainable consumption and production, among others.
It also stresses on the need to include women, non-governmental organizations, and indigenous groups in the sustainable development agenda, and calls on the private sector to engage in sustainable corporate business practices.
In addition to the outcome text, there have been over 400 voluntary commitments for sustainable development by member- states in the lead-up to the high-level meeting of Rio+20, which officially starts on Wednesday with an address by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Rio+20's high-level meeting runs from June 20-22. In addition to heads of state and governments, thousands of parliamentarians, mayors, U.N. officials, chief executive officers and civil society leaders are expected to attend the Conference.
by RTT Staff Writer
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