Rio+20 the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 20 to 22 June 2012. The two-day conference was held with an objective to renew 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. Heads of 172 States and Government marked their presence at the conference.
The themes for Rio+20 Conference were: (1) Green economy in the context of sustainable development poverty eradication
(2) Institutional framework for sustainable development.
The representatives discussed eight core issues in the course of summit, which comprises decent jobs, energy, sustainable cities, food security and sustainable agriculture, water, oceans and disaster readiness.
The various stake holders of Rio+20 conference, agreed on specific commitments. The committments made by the global stake holders in the summit include;
1. Planting 100 million trees by 2017
2. Greening 10000 square km of desert
3. Saving 1 Megawatt-hour of electricity per day
4. Empowering 5000 women entrepreneurs in green economy businesses in Africa
5. Establishing a Masters programme on sustainable development practice
6. Developing an Environmental Purchasing Policy
7. Waste Minimization & Management strategy
8. Recycling 800000 tons per year of PVC by 2020
Background of the Rio+20 Conference
The conference marked the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), in Rio de Janeiro (Since the conference marked 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), it was named Rio+20). The conference also marked 10th anniversary of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg and four decades of the 1972 Stockholm Conference or the UN Conference on Human Environment.
The global event on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) was organized in accordance with the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 64/236 (A/RES/64/236). The UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Sha Zukang was appointed the UN Secretary-General for the Rio+20 Conference.
The summit provided global leaders with a chance to develop a collective framework to meet their poverty eradication goals while not letting the environment get destructed. The summit, which came after the failure of number of conferences such as Kyoto Summit, Copenhagen Summit, widely focused on the need of sustainable development and green economy by addressing environmental degradation and building a bridge to the future.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Report on Global Food Security
The United Nations Environment Programme released its food security report Avoiding Future Famines: Strengthening the Ecological Basis of Food Security through Sustainable Food Systems during Rio+20 conference. The report noted that food security must be at the top of the priority list of country’s policy if the world has to provide food to its seven billion population - a number expected to cross nine billion mark by 2050.