International experts call upon their governments: Now is the time. Rio+20 must succeed

Press Release of 4 July 2011

One year before Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), 13 high-ranking international experts from seven countries call upon their governments in a joint statement to prepare concrete summit results. World leaders should rise to the occasion and agree upon an ambitious green economy strategy that gives equal emphasis to sustainable development and poverty eradication. At the same time, the United Nations require stronger authority and better instruments if they are to tap their full potential in advancing sustainable development. The joint statement “Now is the Time! Why Rio+20 must succeed“ was co-authored by DIE-experts Steffen Bauer and Dirk Messner.

Too often similar summits in the past resulted in ineffective compromises. The slow negotiation pace in the UN climate change negotiations, the powerlessness of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) or the recent failure of the UN Commission On Sustainable Development (CSD) to reach a summit agreement demonstrate the need to improve the UN’s performance on sustainable development.

Now is the Time! The joint statement is an explicit call to seize the historic opportunity of the Rio+20 conference next year. Governments are called to prioritize Rio+20 to brace their societies for a transition to a green economy in the context of their respective country’s particular situation, and to finally enable the UN to act as a global advocate for sustainable development. Either by establishing an organizational “umbrella” for the UN’s environmental and sustainable development policy, or by creating a UN specialized agency that builds on UNEP. The signee believe that the joint statement is not only a valuable contribution to the discussions around the Rio+20 conference, but also an urgent call for governments to take responsibility to act during this crucial opportunity.

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The German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) is one of the leading Think Tanks for development policy world-wide. It is based in the UN City of Bonn. DIE builds bridges between theory and practice and works within international research networks. The key to DIE’s success is its institutional independence, which is guaranteed by the Institute’s founding statute. Since its founding in 1964, DIE has based its work on the interplay between Research, Consulting and Training. These three areas complement each other and are the factors responsible for the Institute’s distinctive profile.
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The German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) is headed by Imme Scholz (Acting Director). DIE is member of the Johannes-Rau-Forschungsgemeinschaft.