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NGO Major Group Prepares Explanatory Roadmap to Rio+20

May 2011: The NGO Major Group has issued a document to guide stakeholders in contributing to the outcome of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20). The document, titled "The Rio 2012 Conference - The Explanatory Roadmap to Rio+20," interprets the decisions of the UNCSD Bureau to inform civil society and encourage their contributions to the structure and content of the UNCSD outcome document.

Written by Jan-Gustav Strandenaes, ANPED, the document also provides a suggested structure for the outcome document. In the first section, the author underscores the significance of the UN's invitation to all stakeholders to contribute to the Conference outcome, described as a "unique decision."  With submissions being invited until 1 November 2011, Major Groups are reminded that their contributions must reflect the themes of the Conference, namely a Green Economy and the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development.

The second section describes each major meeting comprising the "roadmap" to the UNCSD in June 2012.

The third section provides an interpretation of the Zero Draft of the outcome document. It explains that all contributions from stakeholders submitted by 1 November 2011 "will be collected, read and analysed and finally assembled together in a compilation document," from which the Zero Draft will be composed. The Zero Draft, in turn, will be the basis of negotiations starting in February 2012, eventually resulting in the Conference outcome document. As for the structure of the eventual outcome document, the author indicates that it will be determined, in part, by discussions of the UN General Assembly's (UNGA) Second Committee in November 2011.

The author notes that the structure of the document "will help frame the action programmes that need to be outlined and agreed to as the follow up to Rio+20" and thus civil society should take the opportunity to help frame the structure with its contributions by 1 November.

Section four summarizes the UNGA Resolution that mandated the UNCSD, and highlights aspects relevant to civil society.

Finally, the author provides a suggested structure of the outcome document.

The explanatory document is based primarily on decisions of the UNCSD Bureau, as reflected in their meeting minutes, as well as outcome documents from the first Intersessional and the second session of the Preparatory Committee. [Publication: The Rio 2012 Conference - The Explanatory Roadmap to Rio+20]