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The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development - or Rio+20 - took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on 20-22 June 2012. It resulted in a focused political outcome document which contains clear and practical measures for implementing sustainable development. In Rio, Member States decided to launch a process to develop a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will build upon the Millennium Development Goals and converge with the post 2015 development agenda

Date of text:
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City:
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

We, the heads of State and Government and high level representatives, having met at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 20-22 June 2012, with full participation of civil society, renew our commitment to sustainable development, and to ensure the promotion of economically, socially and environmentally sustainable future for our planet and for present and future generations.

We acknowledge that democracy, good governance and the rule of law, at the national and international levels, as well as an enabling environment are essential for sustainable development, including sustained and inclusive economic growth, social development, environmental protection and the eradication of poverty and hunger. We reaffirm that to achieve our sustainable development goals. We need institutions at all levels that are effective, transparent, accountable and democratic.

We reaffirm our commitment to strengthening international cooperation to address the persistent challenges related to sustainable development for all, in particular in developing countries. In this regard, we reaffirm the need to achieve economic stability and sustained economic growth, promotion of social equity, and protection of the environment, while enhancing gender equality and women’s empowerment, and equal opportunities for all, and the protection, survival and development of children to their full potential, including through education.

We resolve to take urgent action to achieve sustainable development. We therefore renew our commitment to sustainable development, assessing the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development and addressing new and emerging challenges. We express our determination to address the themes of the Conference, namely a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, and the institutional framework for sustainable development.

We recognize that people’s opportunities to influence their lives and future, participate in decision making and voice their concerns are fundamental for sustainable development. We underscore that sustainable development requires concrete and urgent action. It can only be achieved with a broad alliance of people, governments, civil society and private sector, all working together to secure the future we want for present and future generations.

Eradicating poverty is the greatest global challenge facing the world today and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. In this regard we are committed to free humanity from poverty and hunger as a matter of urgency.

We therefore acknowledge the need to further mainstream sustainable development at all levels integrating economic, social and environmental aspects and recognizing their interlinkages, so as to achieve sustainable development in all its dimensions.

We recognize that poverty eradication, changing unsustainable and promoting sustainable patterns of consumption and production, and protecting and managing the natural resource base of economic and social development are the overarching objectives of and essential requirements for sustainable development. We also reaffirm the need to achieve sustainable development by: promoting sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth, creating greater opportunities for all, reducing inequalities, raising basic standards of living; fostering equitable social development and inclusion; and promoting integrated and sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems that supports inter alia economic, social and human development while facilitating ecosystem conservation, regeneration and restoration and resilience in the face of new and emerging challenges.

We reaffirm our commitment to making every effort to accelerate the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.

We recognize that people are at the center of sustainable development and in this regard, we strive for a world which is just, equitable and inclusive, and we commit to work together to promote sustained and inclusive economic growth, social development, environmental protection and thereby to benefit all.

We reaffirm that we continue to be guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and with full respect for international law and its principles.

We also reaffirm the importance of freedom, peace and security, respect for all human rights, including the right to development and the right to an adequate standard of living, including the right to food, the rule of law, gender equality and women’s empowerment and the overall commitment to just and democratic societies for development.

We reaffirm the importance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as other international instruments relating to human rights and international law. We emphasize the responsibilities of all States, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations, to respect, protect and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction of any kind to race, colour, sex, language or religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, disability or other status.

matching interested countries with the partners best suited to provide requested support;

be consistent with international law;

toolboxes and/or best practices in applying policies on green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication at all levels;

respect each country’s national sovereignty over their natural resources taking into account its national circumstances, objectives, responsibilities, priorities and policy space with regard to the three dimensions of sustainable development;

models or good examples of policies of green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication;

be supported by an enabling environment and well-functioning institutions at all levels with a leading role for governments and with the participation of all relevant stakeholders, including civil society;

promote sustained and inclusive economic growth, foster innovation and provide opportunities, benefits and empowerment for all and respect of all human rights;

methodologies for evaluation of policies of green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication;

existing and emerging platforms that contribute in this regard.

take into account the needs of developing countries, particularly those in special situations;

strengthen international cooperation, including the provision of financial resources, capacity building and technology transfer to developing countries;

effectively avoid unwarranted conditionalities on ODA and finance;

not constitute a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination or a disguised restriction on international trade, avoid unilateral actions to deal with environmental challenges outside the jurisdiction of the importing country, and ensure that environmental measures addressing trans-boundary or global environmental problems, as far as possible, are based on an international consensus;

contribute to closing technology gaps between developed and developing countries and reduce the technological dependence of developing countries using all appropriate measures;

enhance the welfare of indigenous peoples and their communities, other local and traditional communities, and ethnic minorities, recognizing and supporting their identity, culture and interests and avoid endangering their cultural heritage, practices and traditional knowledge, preserving and respecting non-market approaches that contribute to the eradication of poverty;

enhance the welfare of women, children, youth, persons with disabilities, smallholder and subsistence farmers, fishers and those working in small and medium enterprises, and improve the livelihoods and empowerment of the poor and vulnerable groups in particular in developing countries;

mobilize the full potential and ensure equal contribution of both women and men;

promote productive activities in developing countries that contribute to the eradication of poverty;

address the concern about inequalities and promote social inclusion, including social protection floors;

promote sustainable consumption and production patterns; and

continue efforts to strive for inclusive, equitable development approaches to overcome poverty and inequality.

We affirm that there are different approaches, visions, models and tools available to each country, in accordance with its national circumstances and priorities, to achieve sustainable development in its three dimensions which is our overarching goal. In this regard, we consider green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication as one of the important tools available for achieving sustainable development and that it could provide options for policy making but should not be a rigid set of rules. We emphasize that it should contribute to eradicating poverty as well as sustained economic growth, enhancing social inclusion, improving human welfare and creating opportunities for employment and decent work for all, while maintaining the healthy functioning of the Earth’s ecosystems.

We affirm that policies for green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication should be guided by and in accordance with all the Rio principles, Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation and contribute towards achieving relevant internationally agreed development goals including the MDGs.

We affirm that green economy policies in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication should:

We view the implementation of green economy policies by countries that seek to apply them for the transition towards sustainable development as a common undertaking, and we recognize that each country can choose an appropriate approach in accordance with national sustainable development plans, strategies and priorities.

We acknowledge that green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication will enhance our ability to manage natural resources sustainably and with lower negative environmental impacts, increase resource efficiency and reduce waste.

We recognize that urgent action on unsustainable patterns of production and consumption where they occur remains fundamental in addressing environmental sustainability, and promoting conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystems, regeneration of natural resources, and the promotion of sustained, inclusive and equitable global growth.

We encourage each country to consider the implementation of green economy policies in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, in a manner that endeavours to drive sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth and job creation, particularly for women, youth and the poor. In this respect, we note the importance of ensuring that workers are equipped with the necessary skills, including through education and capacity building, and are provided with the necessary social and health protections. In this regard, we encourage all stakeholders, including business and industry to contribute, as appropriate. We invite governments to improve knowledge and statistical capacity on job trends, developments and constraints and integrate relevant data into national statistics, with the support of relevant UN agencies within their mandates.

We recognise the importance of the evaluation of the range of social, environmental and economic factors and encourage, where national circumstances and conditions allow, their integration into decision making. We acknowledge that it will be important to take into account the opportunities and challenges, as well as the costs and benefits of green economy policies in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, using the best available scientific data and analysis. We acknowledge that a mix of measures, including regulatory, voluntary and others applied at the national level and consistent with obligations under international agreements, could promote green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. We reaffirm that social policies are vital to promoting sustainable development.

We acknowledge that involvement of all stakeholders and their partnerships, networking and experience sharing at all levels could help countries to learn from one another in identifying appropriate sustainable development policies, including green economy policies. We note the positive experiences in some countries, including in developing countries, in adopting green economy policies in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication through an inclusive approach and welcome the voluntary exchange of experiences as well as capacity building in the different areas of sustainable development.

We recognize the power of communications technologies, including connection technologies and innovative applications to promote knowledge exchange, technical cooperation and capacity building for sustainable development. These technologies and applications can build capacity and enable the sharing of experiences and knowledge in the different areas of sustainable development in an open and transparent manner.

Recognizing the importance of linking financing, technology, capacity building and national needs for sustainable development policies, including green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, we invite the UN System, in cooperation with relevant donors and international organizations to coordinate and provide information upon request on:

We underscore the importance of governments taking a leadership role in developing policies and strategies through an inclusive and transparent process. We also take note of the efforts of those countries, including developing countries, that have already initiated processes to prepare national green economy strategies and policies in support of sustainable development.

We invite relevant stakeholders, including the UN Regional Commissions, UN organizations and bodies, other relevant intergovernmental and regional organizations, international financial institutions and major groups involved in sustainable development, according to their respective mandates, to support developing countries upon request to achieve sustainable development, including through, inter alia, green economy policies in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, in particular in least developed countries.

We also invite business and industry as appropriate and in accordance with national legislation to contribute to sustainable development and to develop sustainability strategies that integrate, inter alia, green economy policies.

We acknowledge the role of cooperatives and microenterprises in contributing to social inclusion and poverty reduction in particular in developing countries.

We encourage existing and new partnerships, including public-private partnerships, to mobilize public financing complemented by the private sector, taking into account the interests of local and indigenous communities when appropriate. In this regard, governments should support initiatives for sustainable development, including promoting the contribution of the private sector to support green economy policies in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication.

We recognize the critical role of technology as well as the importance of promoting innovation, in particular in developing countries. We invite governments, as appropriate, to create enabling frameworks that foster environmentally sound technology, research and development, and innovation, including in support of green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication.

We emphasize the importance of technology transfer to developing countries and recall the provisions on technology transfer, finance, access to information, and intellectual property rights as agreed in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, in particular its call to promote, facilitate and finance, as appropriate, access to and the development, transfer and diffusion of environmentally sound technologies and corresponding know-how, in particular to developing countries, on favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed. We also take note of the further evolution of discussions and agreements on these issues since the JPOI.

We recognize that the efforts of developing countries that choose to implement green economy policies in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication should be supported through technical and technological assistance.

We reaffirm that the means of implementation identified in Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, the Monterrey Consensus of the International Conference on Financing for Development and the Doha Declaration on Financing for Development are indispensable for achieving full and effective translation of sustainable development commitments into tangible sustainable development outcomes. We reiterate that each country has primary responsibility for its own economic and social development and that the role of national policies, domestic resources and development strategies cannot be overemphasized. We reaffirm that developing countries need additional resources for sustainable development. We recognize the need for significant mobilization of resources from a variety of sources and effective use of financing, in order to promote sustainable development. We acknowledge that good governance and the rule of law at the national and international levels are essential for sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth, sustainable development and the eradication of poverty and hunger.