News

Bureau Members Respond to Zero Draft

RIO+209 January 2012: The Bureau of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) Preparatory Committee held its 21st meeting on 9 January 2012, in New York, US. Participants focused on the contents of the preliminary version of the zero draft of the UNCSD outcome document.

Kim Sook, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the UN and Bureau Co-Chair, said the zero draft addresses the priorities of all member States and political groups. He noted that, while it aimed to remain “action-focused,” the submissions upon which it was based, in the compilation document, did not always permit this.

Several Bureau members offered comments on the draft, requesting stronger language or more attention for: the economic and social development pillars; foreign occupation; international action regarding green economy; access to sustainable energy for all; resource efficiency; integration and implementation; the Rio Principles; the political will of developed countries; reforming the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the added value of establishing a Sustainable Development Council (SDC); means of implementation, including the Green Climate Fund, and the role of the private sector; and gender issues and the role of youth and education. In addition, a proposal to make reference to special categories of countries, such as least developed (LDCs) and landlocked countries (LLDCs), was presented.

Kim suggested that such sensitive issues could be addressed during negotiations. He said a “polished” version of the draft, accounting for Bureau members' factual comments, would be circulated on 10 January.

The Bureau also addressed the proposal to change the schedule for the April/May informal-informal negotiations on the draft. A decision on this issue had been postponed at the previous Bureau meeting, on 22 December. The 9 January meeting decided to defer decision on the matter as well, and requested the Secretariat to look into the funds available in the Trust Fund to support developing countries' participation, and availability of conference and meeting facilities.

Also during the meeting, the Bureau agreed on the organization of work for the 25-27 January meeting, which is outlined in a 10 January letter from the C0-Chairs. [Minutes of 21st Bureau Meeting] [Zero Draft: The Future We Want] [Co-Chairs' Letter on Organization of Work]