Zero Draft now available!

24.01.2012

So the Rio+20 zero draft outcome document has been published by UNCSD (view here), marking an important milestone in the lead up to Rio+20, where for the first time in this process there is a draft text which will form the basis of the final outcome document in June. More than 6,000 pages of submissions to the zero draft consultation have been whittled down to just 19 pages. Some countries, including the USA and EU, are calling for an even shorter text to be agreed at Rio+20 – a tall order for even the most experienced editor!

We have been putting a great deal of effort into this process, including by making a submission through the consultation. In the zero draft we are pleased to see a strong emphasis on developing a series of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as put forward by the Governments of Colombia and Guatemala, that could succeed the Millennium Development Goals in 2015. We are also pleased to see there is reference throughout the text on the importance of major groups (e.g. consumers, workers, business persons, farmers, students, activists and indigenous communities) playing a meaningful role in any agreed outcomes from Rio+20, with further emphasis on improved participation of business and industry. This text does however lack a certain sense of urgency, which has been a major criticism by many civil society organisations – the time to act is now and this document must deliver at Rio, not 20 years in the future at Rio+40.

The zero draft will evolve between now and the start of Rio+20 and we are keeping up our involvement to do what we can to encourage a one planet living approach. It would be great for us to be able to tell the UN that you support our Proposal. This week (23rd - 27th January) I am in New York at the United Nations to discuss the content of the zero draft with UN Member States, so keep an eye on our blog and twitter feed for the latest news from the negotiations!

Reported by Freya Seath, BioRegional's International Policy Advisor.

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