by Ana Nano, Intern
On April 18, at the breakfast of the Rotary Club of New York, Ms. Tania Raguz, the First Secretary of the Mission of Croatia to the UN, and Vice- Chair for the preparation of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, spoke about the expectations for the event and issues to be resolved concerning the theme. The conference (known as Rio +20) will be held in Rio de Janeiro, June 20-22, 2012.
The Conference will focus on two themes: (a) a green economy in the context of sustainable development poverty eradication; and (b) the institutional framework for sustainable development.
The preparations for Rio+20 have highlighted seven areas which need priority attention; these include decent jobs, energy, sustainable cities, food security and sustainable agriculture, water, oceans and disaster readiness.
Among the points Ms.Raguz emphasized were : results achieved since the UN Conference on Environment and Development, also in Rio twenty years ago, the importance of the Green Economy for everybody, and how developed and developing countries differ in their views.
She said it is hoped that Governments will adopt clear and focused practical measures for implementing sustainable development, based on the many examples of success seen over the last 20 years.
An environmentally aware society can support actions for the “Green Economy”, which will result in improved well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks. “Green Economy” is direct valuation of natural capital and ecological services as having economic value, and a full cost accounting regime for tracing and accounting as liabilities the entity that does the harm or neglects an asset.
She urged the active participation of all sectors of society and all types of people. These are officially called “Major Groups” — Business and Industry, Children and Youth, Farmers, Indigenous Peoples, Local Authorities, NGOs, Scientific and Technological Community, Women, Workers and Trade Unions. The importance of major groups is huge since the participation of them can bring great results and the integration of the society for dealing with environment problems and to help guarantee that the goal of sustainable development can be achieved.
As the speaker highlighted, the Conference has as its objectives to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assess the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of previous major summits, and address new and emerging challenges.