RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – On the one-year anniversary of the Rio+20 summit, a U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development, an international center of excellence in sustainable development policy and practice, has been launched in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The new center for sustainable development has been designed to facilitate research and knowledge exchange, and will also act as host to international debates on sustainable development.
In 2012, 20 years after the 1992 Earth Summit, Rio de Janeiro hosted a conference in which world leaders, along with private businesses, NGOs, groups and individuals, came together to discuss poverty reducing measures that were compatible with environmental protection and the promotion of social equality.
To celebrate this landmark summit, the Brazilian government, along with the UNDP, has established the center to unite governments (both at the local and national levels), U.N. agencies, NGOs, universities, think tanks, and the private sector. Working in tandem, they will be able to use the space to discuss and explore new ideas for creating a sustainable world.
The center, which will be known as Rio+, will continue the discussions from the Rio Dialogue for Sustainable Development, which was released before the conference last year. Already the dialogue has engaged more than 12,000 individuals in discussions around global sustainability. UNDP Associate Administrator, Rebeca Grynspan, said, “The opening of this important New World Center is a turning point for the global development community and represents a resolute drive to address the challenges and opportunities of our contemporary world.”
Located at Rio de Janeiro’s Federal University, the center will aid political debate on issues such as poverty eradication, human rights and social justice. It will continue the legacy of the Rio+20 conference, which pledged $513 billion towards a sustainable future. The center will receive support from 25 Brazilian and international institutions, which is indicative of the inclusive and participatory aspect of its creation. In addition to the Brazilian government and UNDP, the center depends on additional support from institutions including the U.N. Environment Program, UN-HABITAT, and the International Labour Organization.
The U.N. predicts that by 2050, the global population will have increased from 7 to 9 billion, and in order to cope with this unprecedented growth, strategies grounded in sustainable development are crucial. The launch of the new center, therefore, comes at a critical time and will aid individuals, communities and organizations from all over the world to work together towards a more sustainable future.
– Chloe Isacke