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About Rio+20
Rio+20 Brochure Why is Rio+20 convened? How it is organized? Who are the main actors? How can all citizens of the planet take part in shaping its preparations and outcome? Find out in our brochure.

UN Photo/John Isaac

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) is being organized in pursuance of General Assembly Resolution 64/236 (A/RES/64/236). The Conference will take place in Brazil on 20-22 June 2012 to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), in Rio de Janeiro, and the 10th anniversary of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg. It is envisaged as a Conference at the highest possible level, including Heads of State and Government or other representatives. The Conference will result in a focused political document.

Objective of the Conference

The objective of the Conference is to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assess the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development, and address new and emerging challenges

Themes of the Conference

The Conference will focus on two themes: (a) a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; and (b) the institutional framework for sustainable development.

Preparatory Process

Resolutions 64/236 and 65/152 have decided to hold three preparatory meetings, one in May 2010 the second one in March 2011 and the third one immediately prior to the Conference itself. Additionally, it has also been decided that three intersessional meetings will take place: one in January 2010, the second one in the second half of 2010 and the third one not later than eight weeks prior to the Conference. The purpose of these preparatory meetings is to discuss substantive and procedural issues in preparation for the Conference. An inclusive preparatory process has started to take place involving various stakeholders at different levels. This process is geared towards achieving an outcome that will make notable contributions in advancing the goal of sustainable development.


Member States elected at the First Preparatory Committee meeting in May 2010 a 10-member Bureau (2 representatives from each region) and Brazil as ex-officio member to steer the preparatory process and decide on the roadmap and organization of work of the preparatory process.


The UN Secretary General in May 2010 nominated the Under-Secretary-General of Economic and Social Affairs as the Secretary-General of the Conference. To support the Bureau and the Conference Secretary-General in steering the preparatory process, a secretariat has been established within the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. The Conference Secretary-General in his functions is supported by two Executive Coordinators and a team of special advisors. The Secretariat’s work is organized under five clusters. More information

UN System Coordination

To secure coordinated support from the United Nations system to the preparatory process, capacities of several existing coordination mechanism are being tapped. These include: (i) the Executive Committee of Economic and Social Affairs (ECESA), (ii) the United Nations Development Group (UNDG), and (iii) the Environmental Management Group (EMG). “Troika meetings” in which Chairs of above referred mechanisms participate are held on as and when required basis. Some UN entities have also seconded staff to the UNCSD Secretariat. More information


In order to support the preparatory process and facilitate discussions at the preparatory meetings, Member States have requested preparation of Secretary-General’s reports on objective and themes of the Conference (clickable to the reports) as well as a synthesis report on best practices and lessons learned on the objective and themes of the Conference. Apart from these documents a number of other documents and studies are being produced by various stakeholders in preparation for UNCSD and they are available on the Documents section.

Category/ies:Events, Regional Events.
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