Referred to as Rio+20, the conference comes 20 years after the historic Earth Summit of 1992, which set the framework for sustainable development; with its 3 dimensions: environmental, social and economic and with a strong role for women as confirmed in Rio Principle 20!What is Rio+20?
The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development is taking place in Rio from the 20-22 of June 2012, preceded by a preparatory meeting from the 13-15 June. Rio+20 marks the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), which was also held in Rio in 1992 (as well as the 40 years anniversary of the 1972 Stockholm Summit and the 10th anniversary of the 2002 Johannesburg Summit).
The Conference will host high level political and civil society representatives and is aimed at renewing commitments made at the past summits on sustainable development, and will have its focus on two main issues: A green economy in the context of poverty eradication and an institutional framework for sustainable development.
For more information on the Conference, please visit the UNCSD Website:www.uncsd2012.org
Rio+20 is an opportunity for women around the world to let our political leaders know what our priorities are.
Why is Rio+20 important for Women?
In the Rio Declaration (1992) it is recognized that “Women have a vital role in environmental management and development. Their full participation is therefore essential to achieve sustainable development.”
Although women throughout the world are key actors in maintaining the sustaining livelihoods and welfare of their families and communities, and in making a transition to a more equitable and sustainable world, twenty years after the first Rio conference, great social and economic inequities still remain. These inequities especially affect women and children, who make up the majority of those living in poverty.
Rio+20 is a major chance to ensure that our demands are recognized by governments and policymakers and that remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development can be assessed and acted upon.
Key demands for Rio+20
The key priorities from the Women’s Major Group include:
1. Human and women’s rights as a cornerstone of all agreements in Rio+20
2. Poverty eradication as the basis for sustainable development
3. Gender equality as a basis for all agreements in Rio+20
* Halt land grabs and assure food sovereignty
* Halt irreversible damage – nuclear/uranium/extraction/chemicals
* Redistribution of wealth and access to energy and resources for women
* Women’s sexual and reproductive rights and health
* Women’s economic rights – e.g. land tenure
* Gender criteria for new institutional structure for sustainable development
* Gender criteria for financial global instruments
Concrete recommendations for the Rio+20 policy documents which Governments are negotiating are:
- Gender parity in institutions responsible for sustainable development
- Gender aims, targets and indicators for Sustainable Development Goals
- Access to sustainable energy services, natural resources and funds for women
- Global Social Protection Floor which will particularly benefit women, who remain the majority of those living in poverty
- UN High Commissioner for Future Generations
- Independent technology assessment and monitoring organization to protect women and children from negative health and social-economic effects of high-risk technologies
For further information on women’s priorities for sustainable development for Rio+20, please visit the official Women’s Major Group site.