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Rio+20: Agreement on sustainable development represents “victory for new multilateralism,” Brazilian Foreign Minister says
RIO DE JANEIRO (19 June 2012) – Characterizing the Rio+20 negotiating process as “transparent and inclusive,” Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota declared today that the adoption of the draft outcome document for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development immediately following the afternoon plenary session represents a “victory for the new multilateralism.”
“We were facing a considerable challenge and the general satisfaction among delegations gives me great confidence that we’ve reached a significant outcome,” Minister Patriota said. “This was not an easy puzzle to solve. We now have a solid basis that enables us to work on a vision for the medium- and long-term.”
“Every country was able to take part in the dialogue and contribute to the results we reached today,” said Ministerof Environment Izabella Teixeira, commenting on the transparency of the process. “A considerable portion of the Brazilian vision is represented in the document that was just approved by negotiators,” Minister Teixeira added, making direct references to the reaffirmation of the Rio Principles; the adoption of a transparent process to establish Sustainable Development Goals; and a ten-year framework for sustainable production and consumption, among other issues.
Ambassador Luiz Alberto Figueiredo, Under Secretary at the Foreign Ministry, expanded on the main outcomes of the document, detailing issues that motivated contentions until the last minute of negotiations: “There was a considerable battle over the issue of Common But Differentiated Responsibilites, which was only resolved in the early hours of this morning. Many developed countries were finding difficulties in reaffirming the importance of CBDR,” he explained.
According to Ambassador Figueiredo, the international financial crisis currently affecting traditional donor countries also impacted negotiations, especially discussions on the means to enable the implementation of actions to promote sustainable development. “The financial crisis has certainly influenced Rio+20, as it resulted in a retraction in important areas related to solidarity and international cooperation. The level of ambition in finance was affected by the ongoing crises,” he said.
Despite the many obstacles faced in the negotiations, Ambassador Figueiredo stressed the importance of the agreement on the principles that will guide global sustainable development in the coming decades.
“This document renews our commitment to sustainable development and makes it clear that the erradication of poverty is the greatest global challenge we face in the world today,” he said. "There is also a very clear message that we need to integrate, on all decision levels, economic, social and environmental issues while recognizing their interrelation."
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