Rio+20: UN Conference on Sustainable Development

Updated December 2011

The major UN event of 2012 is Rio+20 – the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. The objective of the conference is to reach agreement between the world’s leaders on how to achieve coherence between social and economic development and environmental considerations in the best possible way.

The major UN event of 2012 is Rio+20 – the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. The objective of the conference is to reach agreement between the world’s leaders on how to achieve coherence between social and economic development and environmental considerations in the best possible way.

Great progress has been made since the historic Rio conference in Brazil in 1992. However, the question of how to promote sustainable development is still a crucial one. Over the last 20 years, the world has become richer and several millions of people have been lifted out of poverty. At the same time, these developments have had negative impacts in terms of environmental degradation and climate change. The gap between rich and poor has also increased. A total of 1.4 billion people are still living in extreme poverty.

Norwegian Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim commented, “Norway hopes that Rio+20 will be a success and will produce concrete results. We urgently need to reach a global agreement that safeguards poor countries’ right to economic growth and welfare alongside protection of the natural environment.”

There are two main themes on the programme for Rio+20, which will be held 22–24 June 2012:

The first is: Green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. This examines how we can fight poverty and promote economic development at the same time as protecting the environment.

The second is: Institutional framework for sustainable development. Key points for discussion here are the proposed reform of the UN’s environmental and sustainability organisations, including the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD).

For more information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, please contact: rio2012@mfa.no.