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  • Published on: 7 Oct 2011
  • Source: UN-DPI

UN and Catalan Government ask civil society to contribute ideas to and participate in Rio+20 to help determine global future
Barcelona, 5 October 2011?The Government of Catalonia of the Kingdom of Spain and the United Nations brought together members of Catalan civil society to exchange ideas and encourage participation by Catalans in the lead up to next year?s UN Conference on Sustainable Development, often called Rio+20.

The meeting was part of the Catalan preparatory process for Rio+20, and provided the basis for the official contributions of the Government of Catalonia to Rio+20. Around the world, the UN has planned a series of consultations, events and meetings to promote and encourage active a wide range of stakeholders to contribute to and participate in Rio+20.

Nikhil Chandavarkar, Chief of the UN?s Division for Sustainable Development?s branch that deals with outreach to multiple stakeholders, called on Catalan civil society to get involved and make a difference.

?A strong civil society presence in the prelude to and at the Conference is essential to make Rio a turning point towards a better world for everyone,? Chandavarkar said. ?Rio+20 is expected to put us on a path towards a sustainable future --- the future we want -- a fairer, more prosperous world in harmony with nature.?

By actively participating in the Rio+20 preparatory process and engaging civil society, the Government of Catalonia hoped to export the Catalan region?s experience in sustainability and promote a multi-stakeholder participation process in the lead up to Rio+20. When Rio+20 concludes next year, the Government plans to incorporate Rio+20?s outcomes into Catalan policy approaches.

?There are by now seven billion of us on Earth. World population is expected to exceed nine billion by mid-century,? Chandavarkar said. ?Rio+20 needs to build consensus on the types of policy frameworks and on implementing concrete actions to ensure that our Earth will be able to provide a decent standard of living for all over the decades to come.?

Meeting participants learned about the role of regional and local governments in regards to a green economy with an introduction to the UN Environmental Programme?s report, Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication. The meeting also covered how civil society stakeholders can participate in Rio+20 preparations, as well as the Catalan Government?s process with stakeholders and the UN to share ideas for Rio+20. Finally, an expert panel from Catalan civil society offered views in relation to the challenges and opportunities of Rio+20.

?I do believe that with your help and that of all other stakeholders, member states will make Rio+20 the turning point in our development history needed to ensure the future of our planet and our children,? Chandavarkar said.
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