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UNCSD Bureau Discusses Outcome-drafting Process, Consultations on Nairobi-Helsinki Outcome

9 March 2011: The Bureau of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) held its 13th and 14th meetings directly before and after the second session of the Preparatory Committee for the Conference (PrepCom II).

At the 13thmeeting, on 7 March 2011, the Bureau finalized the draft text to be presented to PrepCom II on the preparation of the draft outcome document for the UNCSD. The text was adopted at the end of PrepCom II.

At the 14thmeeting, on 9 March 2011, the Bureau discussed: the results of PrepCom II; the next steps in the preparatory process; the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Governing Council's invitation to the PrepCom to initiate a full analysis of the financial, structural and legal implications and comparative advantages of the options identified in the Nairobi-Helsinki Outcome; and the short name and logo of the UNCSD.

On the results of PrepCom II, the Bureau noted that the mood had been “very positive,” with substantive and productive discussions and indications of strong political support for the Conference. They suggested that the objectives of the Conference would need to be addressed at greater length at the second intersessional meeting, in late 2011.

Some Bureau members highlighted the concern expressed during the adoption of the decision on the preparation of the draft UNCSD outcome regarding the text indicating that the preparation process would take place “within existing resources,” noting that this could take away resources from other processes or activities. They noted that both the Second and Fifth Committees of the 66th session of the General Assembly might revisit this point, and Bureau Members were advised to discuss this matter within their constituencies, to help avoid disruptions to the preparatory process.

On the UNEP Governing Council's invitation to the PrepCom to initiate a full analysis of the financial, structural and legal implications and comparative advantages of the options identified in the Nairobi-Helsinki Outcome, the Bureau noted that a direct request had not been made at PrepCom II, and decided on a “two-track approach.” The Bureau Members would seek the views of their respective constituencies, and the Bureau has requested the Conference Secretary-General, Sha Zukang, to bring the Governing Council's invitation to the attention of the expanded Executive Committee of the Economic and Social Affairs (EC-ESA Plus), to seek views on the feasibility and costs of conducting the analysis.

On the name and logo of the UNCSD, the representative of Brazil indicated that her country preferred calling the event “Rio+20” rather than “Rio 2012,” as the UN had recently proposed to do. The next Bureau meeting will take place on 18 April 2011. [Minutes of 13th UNCSD Bureau Meeting] [Minutes of 14th UNCSD Bureau Meeting]