For Media

Hotels for Press
Accommodation levels in Rio de Janeiro are anticipated to be at full occupancy during the conference. While it is not the responsibility of the United Nations to procure accommodation for the media, it should be noted that the Brazilian national organizing committee for Rio+20 has committed to blocking a minimum of 500 hotel rooms in Rio de Janeiro for media covering the conference. Costs must be covered by the media. For more details, visit: http://www.rio20.gov.br For information regarding room availability please contact: Terramar Travel Agency

Emails: reservas2@terramar.tur.br or reservas4@terramar.tur.br or reservas8@terramar.tur.br

Tel: (+55+21) 35120067 or (+55+11) 30142042 or (+55+19) 35145600

Media representatives must present their approval letter and copy rio20.hoteis@itamaraty.gov.br when requesting their accommodations.

Information

Spotlight on Rio+20: What?s Happened Since 1992?
The meeting billed as the follow-up to the 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development is coming to Rio de Janeiro this June. The 1992 meeting was hailed as one of the best attempts by the global community to change the course of human development to a model that would be equitable and sustainable. 178 countries, most represented by their heads of government, unanimously agreed to adopt Agenda 21, a blueprint for sustainable development for the world, heading into the 21st century. The June 2012 summit is labeled Rio+20, and is supposed to assess how far the world has traveled on the road mapped out 20 years ago and to re-calibrate the goals and the action plans as needed.

In order to prepare the agenda for the Rio+20 meeting, the UN had commissioned three reports on the progress of implementation of the Rio principles. These reports have just been published and make for very dismal reading. On the major goals set out in Rio in 1992, the progress has been very poor.

Disparate resource usage

The review finds, unsurprisingly, that the 20 percent of world population living in North America, the European Union and Japan, still consumes 80 percent of the world?s raw material and energy resources. North America consumes 90 kg of raw material per day and the European Union 45 kg per day, when the whole of the African continent only consumes 10 kg per day. The demand growth from the densely populated regions of China and India, not foreseen at the 1992 meeting, makes the situation for Africa even worse.

In the 20 years since Rio 1992, the advanced economies have, indeed, developed new processes and technologies to reduce raw material and energy usage in many sectors of manufactured products. These new processes and technologies have not been transferred to the emerging industries in China or India or the other emerging economies. The disparity is even wider in the small and medium scale industries in these emerging economies as they have even less exposure to global technology trends than the larger industries.

The biggest single area of failure in sustainable development remains the power generation industry. The world continues to depend on fossil fuels with over 53 percent of power generation coming from petroleum liquid fuels or natural gas and another 27 percent from coal. Hydro power accounts only for 2.3 percent and solar and wind, a minuscule 0.8 percent.

Poverty alleviation

The Rio 1992 summit rightly concluded that sustainable development can happen only if global poverty levels are dramatically reduced. At that meeting, the nations agreed that poverty alleviation was the responsibility of all countries, not just the poor countries. On poverty alleviation measures, the report card is particularly dismal.

The Overseas Development Assistance funds actually disbursed by the advanced economies fall well short of the commitments they made. The stated reasons are that the programs for which money is allocated run behind schedule and institutional corruption squanders the funds disbursed. While these reasons are valid to some extent, slowing aid disbursal is also due to the economic contraction in the advanced economies. Since this contraction appears set to continue, the 2012 summit may not find any solution to this problem.
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