The European Economic and Social Committee and the Stakeholder Forum is organizing discussions on TOWARDS A WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 2012, to be held on 1 and 2 October 2009 in the premises of the European Economic and Social Committee.
Since the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002, the subject of sustainable development has moved up on the political agenda. However, action is still not matching the many challenges such as climate change, poverty alleviation and biodiversity loss. Inequality is growing in the world, and the current global economic crisis makes it all the harder to advance the sustainability agenda effectively and to secure genuine global co-operation and partnership on the key issues.
In the light of the new and immense challenges faced by the sustainable development agenda, there are calls from many countries and stakeholders for a new World Summit in 2012. The initiative, started by President Luiz Inicio da Silva of Brazil in September 2007, is now supported by a large variety of countries and stakeholders. Several events outside Europe have already been organised to call for a Rio+20 conference and to identify key themes for the event. In November 2009, the General Assembly of the United Nations will decide on the organisation of such a conference.
This event is the first major conference to be held in Europe on this subject. It will look at the potential and scope for a global review of the sustainable development agenda leading up to a new World Summit in 2012. Speakers will discuss how such a summit should be designed in order for it to be a success. The conference will touch on different subjects, e.g. stocktaking 20 years after Rio, the green economy, sustainability governance, climate change, environmental security and the role of stakeholders. Speakers include key actors from the Rio and Johannesburg summits, representatives from UNEP, the European institutions and European organised civil society.