Thursday, 21 June 2012

Final stage of Rio+20 negotiations: Between failure and balance

by Lidija Grozdanić 

Weak vocabulary marks the final stage of the Rio+20 negotiations. Expressions like “acknowledge”, “agree upon strengthening” and “reaffirm” reverberated across the corridors of Riocentro Convention Center on 19 June. Representatives of the 193 participating countries agreed on the latest version of the document, finally approving it at the plenary session. According to
 Nikhil Chandavarkar, the head of communications for Rio +20, the outcome document is a well balanced text, but one that still fails to address several pressing issues.

The principles put forward during the 1992 Earth Summit, and the means of implementation of these principles which include technology transfer, financing and capacity-building for developing countries were reaffirmed, leaving the big issues essentially unresolved.

The much anticipated concretization of Sustainable Development Goals has resulted in informal agreements, establishing them as a concept to be integrated in a post 2015 agenda.

The matter of upgrading of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) into a United Nations Environment Organization (UNEO) fell short of the initial ambitions, with an overall agreement on elevating its status and augmenting future funding.

Though unlikely to happen, as the countries have already expressed their positions, the heads of states and governments who arrived today in Rio for the official part of the conference reserve the right to change the final document.

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