Stakeholders Take the Mic at UN Sustainable Development Conference

Yesterday morning, in an unusual break with the planned agenda, the co-chair of the assembly planning the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20, randomly chose to give the floor to representatives of each of the stakeholder groups most affected by development and the environment.  One by one, spokespeople from Business and Industry; Children and Youth; Farmers; Indigenous Peoples; Local Authorities; Non-Governmental Organizations; Scientific and Technological Community; Women; and Workers and Trade Unions got to say what they want Rio+20 to deliver.  

The Women’s Major Group, which Earth Day Network coordinates with Energia International, WECF, WEDO, IUCN, WOCAN and others, was represented by Eleanor Blomstrom of WEDO.  As Blomstrom stated, “Many of the growing challenges to address at Rio 2012 severely impact women.  Climate change will exacerbate all other challenges, especially ecosystem degradation and water and food insecurity.  Addressing these challenges requires gender analysis to design, target and monitor effective policies and programs that benefit all communities.”

The Women’s Major Group called for the following items from Rio+20:

A road map on the green and social economy, with measurable and verifiable targets, indicators and timeline;

An agreement for a coordinated system for strengthened international governance of sustainable development that recognizes the essential role of women;

Consideration of instating a high commissioner on environment and sustainable development;

A global agreement on principle 10 which calls for civil society engagement; and

Gender balance on sustainable development advisory boards and committees.

At Rio 2012, the world must lay out the plans for economic, social and political transformation, in which women play an integral part.  At Earth Day Network, we look forward to working with civil society and our partner organizations to raise the profile of this conference to the global citizenry.