Asia-Pacific governments and civil society meet to prepare for 2012 Rio +20 Summit

More than 250 Government and civil society delegates from over 40 Asia-Pacific countries meet today in Seoul to adopt a regional statement to be tabled at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) – also known as “Rio +20” – to be held next year.

The Asian and Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting (RPM) for the UNCSD is hosted by the Government of the Republic of Korea and organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Delegates will prepare an “Asian and Pacific Statement on Sustainable Development” that will capture regional perspectives and priorities and identify specific initiatives to further the implementation of the UNCSD. The Seoul meeting will discuss the two themes of the Rio +20 Summit: a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; and the institutional framework for sustainable development.

Two other key events involving civil society and business are being held in conjunction with the RPM. A workshop on capacity building on Rio+20 and effective engagement with the UNCSD was organised on 16 October by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) in collaboration with ESCAP. The Major Groups and Stakeholders Asia-Pacific Meeting: ‘The Road to Rio 2012: Charting Our Path’ was organised on 17 and 18 October by UNEP in collaboration with ADB and ESCAP.

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development will take place in Brazil on 4-6 June 2012 to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro.

Meetings are being held in each region of the world to prepare for the UNCSD. The Asian and Pacific preparatory event has attracted significant attention due to the region’s significant investments in promoting “green growth”, its growing prominence in the world economy, and the changing development challenges it faces, including slowing progress on poverty reduction and the need to strengthen resilience of countries to volatile and increasing food and fuel prices.

For more information on the global process visit http://www.uncsd2012.org and on the regional process: http://www.unescap.org/esd/environment/rio20/home.html