UNCSD PrepCom Begins Discussion of Green Economy and Sustainable Development Governance

17 May 2010: The first Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) for the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20) began its deliberations on the green economy and the institutional framework for sustainable development on 17 May 2010, at UN Headquarters in New York, US.

The three-day event commenced with the adoption of the PrepCom's provisional agenda and programme of work. Two Contact Groups were created: the first to review the preparatory process; and the second to review the draft rules of procedure for the Conference. The Committee elected the following Bureau members:  Maged Abdelaziz, Egypt; Charles Thembani Ntwaagee, Botswana; Asad Majeed Khan, Pakistan; Park In-kook, Republic of Korea; Jirí Hlavácek, Czech Republic; Tania Valerie Raguž, Croatia; Anna Bianchi, Argentina; John Ashe, Antigua and Barbuda; Paolo Soprano, Italy; and John Matuszak, US. Ashe and Park will also serve as Committee co-Chairs.

Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and Secretary-General of the UNCSD, said the 2012 Conference is one of the most important events on the UN agenda. He noted that, at a global scale, climate change, land degradation, biodiversity loss and water shortages are some of the cross-border challenges threatening prospects for long-term growth and sustainable livelihoods.

Given that the PrepCom is only scheduled to meet for eight days in the coming two years, Sha suggested that delegates specify mechanisms through which it could use inputs from other intergovernmental and nongovernmental processes, such as: the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Summit; the review of the small island developing States (SIDS) Mauritius Strategy for Implementation (MSI+5); the meetings of the Conferences of the Parties (COPs) to the Rio Conventions; the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Governing Council and Global Ministerial Environmental Forum; the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) Governing Council; and the least-developed-countries (LDCs) conference. He also underlined that the UN would dedicate a “significant” amount of resources to the Conference, with staff from UN entities to be seconded to the Conference's dedicated secretariat. Sha also informed that inter-agency collaborative mechanisms had been set up, and the Environmental Management Group (EMG), headed by UNEP and the UN Development Programme (UNDP), would provide support both thematically and at country-level. [General Assembly Press Release] [UNCSD Website]