The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development


The next major event in the UN policy making calendar is the Rio+20 Summit, which will take place from 20 to 22 of June 2012, 20 years after the first Earth Summit.

The Conference on environment and development (UNCED) was held in Rio de Janeiro in June, 1992. It achieved wide consensus and was considered a major step forward in the understanding of environmental issues and their broader impact. Four main outcomes can be highlighted: 

  • The climate change negotiations framework (UNFCCC),
  • The negotiations on the convention on biodiversity framework (UNCBD),
  • The Agenda 21 to be adapted at national and local level,
  • Proposals under the new concept of sustainable development.

The full implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the Commitments to the Rio principles, were strongly reaffirmed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) held in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2002.


The concept of sustainable development

The concept of sustainable development emerged in the above mentioned conference has continuously evolved. Two organs of the UN were specifically mandated to work on the concept and its concrete implications: United Nations Environment Programme -UNEP- (for the governance side) and the Commission on Sustainable Development -UNCSD- (on thematic issues). However, many other UN agencies and intergovernmental organizations are also involved in the debate.


The preparation of the Summit

Sustainable Development is now broadly understood as a cross cutting issue in the development agenda. The process leading to the conference is complex with many different formal mechanisms put in place:

  1. The Commission on Sustainable Development created in December 1992.
  2. Preparatory meetings of the UNCSD are being held: preparatory Committee for the UNCSD and two intersessional meetings for the UNCSD.
  3. The 16 August 2010, a new panel has been established by the United Nations: the Global Sustainability High Level Working Group, led by the Presidents of Finland and South Africa to promote a global plan for sustainable development, as well as addressing climate change. The Panel has released its report on 30 January 2012 "Resilient people, resilient planet: a future worth choosing" (for more information please see: )  
Objective of the Conference 

The objective of the Conference is to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assess the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development, and address new and emerging challenges

Themes of the Conference

The Conference will focus on two themes: (a) a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; and (b) the institutional framework for sustainable development.


UCLG work toward Rio+20

A huge number official and parallel preparatory meetings have been planned throughout 2011-2012 . UCLG World Secretariat has identified the key meetings to influence the negotiation process towards Rio+20 (see Agenda).


To all membersplease inform us if you plan to attend international meetings related to Rio+20 Summit and don’t hesitate to share with us the messages you would like us to take into consideration.

For registration purpose to the United Nations Conference Rio+20 on 20-22 June, please find below a registration form to be fully completed and sent back to UCLG before 30 April 2012.

For more extensive information on the process, UCLG members can contact Mrs Poisson:


Please see document attached below : Manual Operativo provided by the Brasilian Government.

Voir traduction de courtoisie en français 

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (or Rio +20) will be held from 20 to 22 June at the Riocentro Convention Center, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The address of the Riocentro Convention Center is as follows:Avenida Salvador Allende 6555 
Rio de Janeiro 
The Convention Center is situated in BarradaTijuca, Rio de Janeiro, approximately 50 minutes by freeway from the center of Rio de Janeiro and a 40-minute drive from Rio de Janeiro International Airport.The Conference will be preceded by the third session of the Preparatory Committee meeting, to be held from 13 to 15 June 2012, also at the Riocentro Convention Center. The proposed programme of work for the Third Preparatory Committee meeting is available here.
Access and accreditation
Access to the conference site and conference rooms will be granted upon presentation of a valid United Nations conference pass issued by the United Nations. Participants holding a conference pass are subject to screening at the main entrance of the Riocentro Convention Center.

For more information, please see: Registration.

Visa requirements
A visa for entry into Brazil may be required. Participants concerned are strongly advised to seek information on requirements applicable in their case from Brazilian diplomatic or consular missions in their home countries. A list of the Brazilian diplomatic and consular missions can be obtained at: exterior.
Special shuttle services will be offered by the Government of Brazil to representatives of Member States, intergovernmental organizations, the UN system, major groups and media between airports and hotel areas, and hotel areas and Riocentro from 12 to 23 June 2012. A valid Conference access pass will be required to access this service. Prior to obtaining a Conference pass, the following proof of identity will be accepted.
  1. Representatives of the major groups: a valid ID together with a copy of the confirmation letter from the United Nations confirming registration in the Conference
The city of Rio de Janeiro is located just north of the Tropic of Capricorn, giving it a very humid tropical climate. In June, the local temperature usually lies between 18 and 25 degrees Celsius, but there may be peak temperatures above 30 degrees. The rainfall level in Rio de Janeiro, in June, is 53 mm.

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