Rio+20 World Summit of Legislators Approves Legislators’ Protocol

18 June 2012: On the sidelines of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), parliamentarians approved a “Legislators' Protocol” containing a set of “Rio Scrutiny Principles” aimed at helping legislators hold governments accountable to promises made at Rio+20 and other development conferences.

Approximately 200 delegates from 74 countries and the EU approved the Legislators' Protocol during the two-day Rio+20 World Summit of Legislators, which took place from 15-16 June 2012. The Protocol was signed by the Heads of the national delegations participating at the meeting. It sets out a number of commitments for parliaments designed to strengthen delivery of the original Rio agenda; achieve progress within the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD); and implement commitments to emerge from Rio+20. The Protocol addresses three critical omissions of the original Rio Summit, namely scrutiny, legislation and the valuation of natural capital. Parliaments will now begin to ratify the Protocol and legislators will convene every two years in Rio to monitor delivery.

According to a UNISDR release, the Protocol includes a commitment to mainstream disaster risk reduction (DRR) into policy making, highlighting the need to conceptually link climate change to DRR in order to accelerate progress toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Margareta Wahlström, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction and Head of the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), stressed the need for laws mandating systematic disaster loss accounting in order to understand the scope and nature of losses from disasters. [World Summit of Legislators Website] [Globe International Press Release] [Protocol Text] [UNISDR Press Release]