Rio +20

The Rio +20 conference 2012

At the Rio+20 Conference, world leaders, along with thousands of participants from governments, the private sector, NGOs and other groups, will come together to shape how we can reduce poverty, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection on an ever more crowded planet to get to the future we want.

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.

The Rio+20 Conference 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.

Themes of the Conference

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

Seven priority areas

The preparations for Rio+20 have highlighted seven areas which need priority attention; these include decent jobs, energy, sustainable cities, food security and sustainable agriculture, water, oceans and disaster readiness.

Photo Johnny Leo Johansen(c)  Norway paper factory

Rio+20 is a key milestone in a series of major United Nations conferences, in which the 1992 Earth Summit / United Nations Conference on Environment and Development was the centerpiece, putting sustainable development as a top priority on the agenda of the United Nations and the international community.


The conference has three objectives.

  1. Securing renewed political commitment to sustainable development.
  2. Assessing the progress and implementation gaps in meeting already agreed commitments.
  3. Addressing new and emerging challenges.

Conference themes

The conference has two themes agreed upon by the member states.

  1. Green economy within the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication.
  2. Institutional framework for sustainable development.

1st Preparatory Committee

Held from 16–18 May 2010 , immediately after the conclusion of the eighteenth session and the first meeting of the nineteenth session of the Commission.

1st Intersessional

Held from 10–11 January 2011 at UN Headquarters, New York, the Intersessional focused on discussion of the objectives of the conference, and its two principle themes. The Intersessional – not a negotiation session – featured panel discussions, from academia, non-governmental organizations as well as Delegates and UN system representatives.

2nd Preparatory Committee

Held from 7–8 March 2011, at United Nations Headquarters in New York, immediately following the Intergovernmental Policy Meeting for the 19th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development.

2nd Intersessional

Held from 15–16 December 2011 at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

3rd Intersessional

Held from 5–7 March 2012 at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development

The 3rd Preparatory Committee began on 13 June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and ended on 15 June 2012, marking the start of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development. High-profile talks will be held from 20–22 June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The conference is expected to draw 50,000 participants, including delegates, environmental activists, business leaders, and indigenous groups. Additionally, about 130 heads of state from around the world will be present for the final three days of the summit.