Today marks 100 days to the opening of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development to take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Commonly referred to as Rio + 20, the meeting will take place in Brazil on 20-22 June 2012 to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), in Rio de Janeiro, and the 10th anniversary of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg. It is envisaged as a Conference at the highest possible level, including Heads of State and Government or other representatives.
The Conference will focus on two themes: a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication and the institutional framework for sustainable development. The result will be a focused political document that will guide member states on their sustainable development trajectories over the next decades.
Consequently, UN-Habitat as part of the wider United Nations family is at full throttle preparing for the epic conference. As part of the preparations, the agency submitted formal inputs to the draft outcome text of the Conference, The Future We Want.
UN-Habitat's inputs reinforce the role of National Urban Policies in guiding sustainable development, the role of cities in the transition to a green economy and the role of local governments in delivering results. Importantly, the Rio+20 Secretariat has identified cities as one of the seven most critical issues for sustainable development. In parallel, UN-Habitat also contributed a dedicated urban goal and targets to the draft Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In the lead up to Rio+20 over the past year, UN-Habitat has participated in key Intersessional Meetings and Preparatory Committees. It has also advocated for the urban agenda in the EC-ESE Cluster on Social Development and the Environmental Management Group (EMG) Issue Management Group (IMG) on the Green Economy.
Additionally, UN-Habitat is engaging with the Group of Friends on Sustainable Cities, led by a group of Member States and co-chaired by Singapore and Sweden.
During Rio+20 UN-Habitat will be heavily engaged in the final Preparatory Committee (13-15 June), Dialogue for Sustainable Development (16-19 June, part of which will be dedicated to urban development) and the high-level Conference (20-22 June). The agency will be convening two major high-level events: a meeting of Local Authorities Associations and a side event on National Urban Policies.
UN-Habitat will also be launching a new series of 'quick guides' entitled Urban Patterns for a Green Economy, which highlight inspiring examples of sustainable city configuration from around the world. In parallel, UN-Habitat will participate in ICLEI's World Congress, nrg4SD's World Summit of Regions, the Global Compact Corporate Sustainability Forum and other events organized by UN Water and International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR).