Norwegian Minister of International Development Heikki Holmås and Norwegian chief negotiator Harald Neple during negotiations in Rio. 
Photo: UD/Svein Bæra.Norwegian Minister of International Development Heikki Holmås and Norwegian chief negotiator Harald Neple during negotiations in Rio. Photo: UD/Svein Bæra

Agreement reached in Rio+20 negotiations

Last updated: 6/21/2012 // The delegations from the UN member states have agreed on a draft outcome document for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20.

They have also agreed to develop a set of sustainable development goals. These goals will give both rich and poor countries something to strive for.

“The new sustainable development goals should mobilise concerted effort in this area. I believe that they will be even more important than the Millennium Development Goals,” said Minister of International Development Heikki Holmås.

The process of developing the sustainable development goals will begin now, so that they can be integrated into the United Nations Development Agenda beyond 2015.  Mr Holmås has headed the Norwegian delegation during the final phase of the preparatory process.

“The draft outcome document emphasises the need for sustainable energy for all, and stresses the importance of renewable energy and of improving energy efficiency. In this area, Norway has made its mark through our Energy+ initiative and concrete projects that will provide more green energy for poor countries. We are also supporting UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative,” Mr Holmås said.

The text of the draft outcome document highlights the value of biological diversity and ecosystem services and the need for innovative sources of financing for development, as Norway has advocated. It does not, however, mention the establishment of a new UN organisation for the environment, which Norway has called for. Nevertheless, there is agreement that the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) should be strengthened.

“We are pleased that equitable economic growth is a recurrent theme throughout the outcome document. And it conveys a strong message on promoting gender equality. Having said this, I had hoped for stronger ambitions on the right of women to decide over their own bodies and how many children they would like to have,” Mr Holmås commented.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and other heads of state and government will arrive in Rio de Janeiro today to complete this work and adopt the outcome document.

Read the whole draft outcome document, The Future We Want, here (.pdf).


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