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20–22 Jun 12

Conference Rio+20

UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD)

Rio de Janeiro

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) is being organized in pursuance of General Assembly Resolution 64/236 (A/RES/64/236). The Conference will take place in Brazil on 20-22 June 2012 to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), in Rio de Janeiro, and the 10th anniversary of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg. It is envisaged as a Conference at the highest possible level, including Heads of State and Government or other representatives. The Conference will result in a focused political document.

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.

Preparatory Process

Resolutions 64/236 and 65/152 have decided to hold three preparatory meetings, one in May 2010 the second one in March 2011 and the third one immediately prior to the Conference itself. Additionally, it has also been decided that three intersessional meetings will take place: one in January 2010, the second one in the second half of 2010 and the third one not later than eight weeks prior to the Conference. The purpose of these preparatory meetings is to discuss substantive and procedural issues in preparation for the Conference.

An inclusive preparatory process has started to take place involving various stakeholders at different levels. This process is geared towards achieving an outcome that will make notable contributions in advancing the goal of sustainable development.

Related Resources


Confronting scarcity: Managing water, energy and land for inclusive and sustainable growth

Presentation on the ERD 2011/12 by Dirk Willem te Velde and Imme Scholz, given at the UNCSD (Rio+20) on 19 June 2012

Press Release

Sustainable Development Goals: From “silo thinking” towards an integrated approach

Yesterday, the European Commission and the Government of the United Kingdom organised a side-event at the Rio+20 Conference to present the European Report on Development (ERD) 2011/2012 and discuss its findings in the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals. Following the launch of the report in Brussels in May, a number of other events have been organised throughout Europe to present and debate its findings on national level, involving civil society, governments and media. The series of events led to the Rio+20 Conference.

In Preparation of Rio+20

Sustainable access to food, energy and water

The main challenge of building a sustainable world is to ensure the right of each and every one of the world’s people to resources and basic services. Furthermore, we have the inescapable obligation to do so in a responsible manner for both us and the rest of species while ensuring the rights of future generations and without exceeding the carrying capacity of the Earth’s natural resources. The scale of this challenge is still tremendous.

Key Messages

Water: The Bloodstream of the Green Economy

Key messages to the 2012 Rio+20 Summit from the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI)


International Rivers’ Contribution for the Rio+20 Compilation Document

International Rivers welcomes the opportunity of Rio+20 to provide input into this critical process and offers the following comment and recommendations on the conference’s Green Economy theme.

Policy Paper

Deliverables by UN-Water

for the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development

Related Events

16–18 Nov 11


Solutions for the Green Economy

15 May 12


How can we secure access to adequate food, clean and safe drinking water and sustainable energy for all – within the planetary boundaries?

11–13 Jun 12

Side Event at Rio+20

Second Trade Union Assembly on Labour and Environment, Rio de Janeiro

12 Jun 12

Side Event at the ICSU Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation

This session aims to consider how a new paradigm of adaptive management can be developed to address water security issues in a context of growing multiple needs and water scarcity.

13–15 Jun 12

The General Assembly specified that a three-day PrepCom should convene in May 2010, a two-day PrepCom should convene in March 2011, and a three-day PrepCom should convene immediately before the UNCSD (PrepCom III).

14 Jun 12

Side Event at Rio+20

The event aims to present fully gender and development issues which are vigorously embedded within the framework of fundamental human rights and gender justice in the Asia-Pacific region and in many parts of the world. It hopes to elevate further the discussions on the theme of green economy and gender equality, justice and human rights with special focus on water, energy, and food nexus , to a broader and more significant audience , during the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20 , in Rio de Janiero Brazil, June 2012.

16 Jun 12

Side Event at Rio+20

By highlighting the linkages among climate change risks and opportunities, sustainable development and adaptation, this session will explore how companies can integrate and build effective resilience measures into their business strategies, operations and throughout the value chain.

16–17 Jun 12

International Conference

Rio de Janeiro

18 Jun 12

Side Event at Rio+20

This side event aims to contribute to the “The Future We Want” outcome document by highlighting the need to better manage mountain natural resources as global public goods supplying water for life, food for health, and clean energy for livelihoods.

18 Jun 12

Side Event at Rio+20

This event will profile some of the world’s most innovative “natural capital partnerships” implementing integrated approaches toward the transition to green growth and green economies today. It will promote a south-south knowledge exchange and commitments from Mexico, the Coastal Eastern Africa region and Asia’s Greater Mekong Subregion.

18–23 Jun 12

Rio de Janeiro

19 Jun 12

Side Event at Rio+20

Insights from the European Report on Development

19 Jun 12

At Rio+20

The Water Day will concentrate on UN-Water contribution to the Rio+20 Conference, building on the UN-Water Statement and on the UN-Water deliverables for Rio+20, and will engage in high-level panel discussions on the relevance of water in the Rio+20 outcomes.

20 Jun 12

Side Event at Rio+20

The Side-Event aims at identifying trade-offs between the sectoral objectives and discussing how a better consideration of the interlinkages between energy, water and food security can contribute to the achievement of the energy objectives.

21 Jun 12

Side Event at Rio+20

A central aspect of the Green Economy is water, energy and food security in particular for the bottom billion. In order to achieve this, it is of vital importance to consider the interlinkages and the interactions between the sectors. Incoherent approaches and “silo-thinking” will most likely worsen the situation further.

21 Jun 12

Side Event at Rio+20

A high level debate on the climate security agenda in the Amazon and worldwide

Related News

Nexus at Rio+20

A voice from the ground, Edward Byers, PhD student from Newcastle/UK, gives his view of the NEXUS event at the German Pavilion in Rio.

NEXUS Interview

An interview with Albert Butare, Co-Chair of the Bonn2011 Nexus Conference and NEXUS ambassador

In Preparation of Rio+20

The Rio Dialogues have set up a website to vote which challenges are most urgent and which solution approaches are most promising.


The Rio+20 Summit is less than a month away. Policymakers and civil society representatives have been advocating for the inclusion of the nexus approach in “The Future We Want”, the outcome document of the negotiations — by Olimar Maisonet-Guzmán

Related Media Coverage

24 May 12

Responding to Climate Change (RTCC)

Agriculture and a focus on land and soil should be central to both this year’s UNFCCC climate talks and the Earth Summit in June.

22 May 12

New Security Beat Blog

Global demand for energy will increase 30 percent by 2030, according to estimates, but in regions that are experiencing rapid economic growth, the increased demand for energy will lead to increased demand for water. The conflicting nature of achieving both water and energy security is exacerbated by a lack of institutional policy frameworks that integrate both concepts. However, the upcoming UN Rio+20 Sustainable Development Conference could provide an opportunity to change that.

15 May 12

Rural 21

Prior to the much anticipated Rio + 20 Conference of sustainable development; about 300 participants were invited to the River Basin Management conference in Thailand. Agreed upon among other key areas of discussion, was that water uses must meet the food, energy and water needs of the population and that a nexus approach is needed.

11 Mar 12

IPS news

The upcoming Rio+20 conference has to be the moment in human history when the nations of the world come together to find ways to ensure the very survival of humanity, many science and environmental experts believe.

Further Reading

26 Oct 11

In Bonn, the United Nations are working towards sustainable development worldwide with more than 950 employees in 18 secretariats.

23 May 12

World Bank Group identifies six key issues and key messages for Rio+20

29 Feb 12

The Conference Synopsis is now available

NEXUS in the Media

30 May 12


The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have become a contentious proposal among Member States that are currently negotiating the outcome document for Rio+20. Member States and the international community are looking for the successors of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which will expire in 2015. The current framework helped the international community to rally behind a common understanding of poverty eradication, and it provided targets and indicators to guide policy decisions. However, the MDGs overemphasised economic poverty and gave limited attention to the structural causes of poverty or to sustainable development.

12 Jun 12

IPS news

he headline in a New York newspaper last March captured the essence of a future potential threat to political stability the world over: “U.S. Report Sees Tensions Over Water.” The study, a collective vision of the U.S. intelligence community, warned that during the next 10 years, many countries important to the United States will “almost certainly experience water problems - shortages, poor water quality or floods - that will contribute to the risk of instability and state failure, and increase regional tensions.”

21 Oct 15


Engineers, urban planners, and policymakers share perspectives on megacities and key issues of food, energy, and water.

23 Apr 12

Gulf Times

The importance of generating adequate drinking water in the region’s states to meet the growing demand without causing any harm to the future generations’ water needs was yesterday highlighted by Qatar Minister of Energy and Industry HE Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada.

30 Jul 15

The Conversation

The UN’s Open Working Group has been crafting a comprehensive package of goals and targets that can drive global efforts towards a sustainable and poverty-free world by 2030.


  • IFPRI International Food Policy Research Institute
  • WEF World Economic Forum
  • WWF World Wide Fund for Nature

Bonn2011 Nexus Conference – in the context of Bonn Perspectives

  • Bonn Perspectives

initiated by

  • BONN
  • BMZ

funded by

  • European Regional Development Fund EFRE
  • NRW Ministerin fr Bundesangelegenheiten, Europa und Medien des Landes Nordrhein-Westphalen