Much Ado about Nothing : The Rio+20 Conference

27-06-2012

Despite intense preparatory efforts for the Rio+20 sustainable development conference, the event has proved a disappointment. The meeting revealed the depth of the northsouth divide, left non-governmental actors feeling sidelined and failed to either deliver concrete results or re-invigorate the thematic global agenda. The final document, titled 'The future we want', has been criticised for merely reiterating past commitments while avoiding tangible targets. Participating states did not agree to strengthen the global sustainable development architecture, to upgrade the status of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), or to adopt a concrete benchmarking system of 'Sustainable Development Goals' (SDGs). The result is particularly disappointing for the EU, as the outcome reflects none of the Union's priorities - green-economy initiatives, for example, or global institutional reforms - established in preparation for the summit.

Despite intense preparatory efforts for the Rio+20 sustainable development conference, the event has proved a disappointment. The meeting revealed the depth of the northsouth divide, left non-governmental actors feeling sidelined and failed to either deliver concrete results or re-invigorate the thematic global agenda. The final document, titled 'The future we want', has been criticised for merely reiterating past commitments while avoiding tangible targets. Participating states did not agree to strengthen the global sustainable development architecture, to upgrade the status of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), or to adopt a concrete benchmarking system of 'Sustainable Development Goals' (SDGs). The result is particularly disappointing for the EU, as the outcome reflects none of the Union's priorities - green-economy initiatives, for example, or global institutional reforms - established in preparation for the summit.