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Rio+20: Sustainable Development

03-04-2012 09:33:00

Heads of states and governments, UN and other international organisations, experts and NGOs will gather for three days in June for the Rio+20 Conference in Rio de Janeiro. The Conference will set the stage for future sustainable development.

20 years after the first “Earth Summit”, UN’s first Environment and Development Conference, which was also held in Rio de Janeiro, the Rio+20 Conference on sustainable development takes place in Rio de Janeiro 20-22 June 2012. Rio+20marks a milestone in global action for climate and environment. The first Rio Conference placed sustainable development at the top of the global agenda of the UN and the international society. The Conference was followed by a number of international meetings and conferences with the aim of addressing global challenges on climate and sustainability. Rio+20 builds on this foundation with the objective of bringing the world together in order to advance global sustainability and development. 

Rio+20 objectives

The objective of the Rio+20 Conference is: (I) to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, (II) assess the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development and (III) address new and emerging challenges. The Conference will focus on two themes: (I) a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; and (II) the institutional framework for sustainable development.

EU and Rio+20

Denmark and fellow EU Member States take a common position in Rio+20 negotiations. The EU and its Member States consider Rio+20 a unique opportunity for our mutually interdependent world to secure renewed political commitment to sustainable development at all levels. EU has submitted a 31 page document to the UN Rio+20 Conference Bureau with proposals for a Rio+20 outcome document. Central is the idea of a green economy roadmap with specific goals, objectives and actions at international level. On a voluntary basis countries will act according to their green economy roadmap with assistance from the UN system and other actors such as the World Bank, bilateral donors and the private sector. The green economy roadmap will encompass areas such as sustainable energy, water, sustainable land management and ecosystems, oceans and resource efficiency, in particular waste, food, nutrition, sustainable agriculture, fisheries, forestry, sustainable cities and chemicals, as well as areas related to the sustainable management and restoration of natural resources. The roadmap will also include cross-cutting issues such as elimination of subsidies with negative impact on the environment, green tax reforms and capacity building.

EU works to improve international cooperation and a more effective international institutional framework for sustainable development including a stronger United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The Rio+20 Conference takes place during the Danish EU presidency. Denmark will play a key  role in ensuring ambitious results in Rio. The EU submission document with proposals for a Rio+20 outcome document can be found via the link below. A draft version of a Rio+20 outcome document compiled by the UN Rio+20 Conference Bureau and more information about the Rio+20 Conference is available at the official Rio+20 Conference website. European Council conclusions on Rio+20 were adopted on March 2nd 2012 and Council conclusions (Environment) on 9th March 2012. Both documents can be found via the links below. Information about Danish government priorities and work in relation to the Rio+20 Conference can be found on the website of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Anne Meldgaard, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Tel: +45 25 26 76 98, email: