Vienna/Rio de Janeiro, 20 June 2012 Press release

Waldner: "Rio+20 Final Declaration is a further step in the right direction"

Vienna/Rio de Janeiro, 20 June 2012 – At the UN Conference on Global Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro (Rio+20 Summit), the member states have agreed on a final declaration with the title “The Future We Want”. The declaration will be officially adopted on Friday, the last day of the conference. State Secretary Wolfgang Waldner is Austria’s representative at the conference.

The most important outcome of the conference is the initiation of a process to define global sustainable development goals that will apply not only to developing countries, but also to industrial nations. These goals are to be seen as a supplement to the Millennium Goals. “Austria will continue to support the international community of states in reaching agreements on the ambitious objectives in terms of energy, water, food security, sustainable land use, protection of the seas and forests”, Waldner said.

The final conference document will also trigger a reform of institutions aiming at improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the United Nations in the field of sustainable development. The aim is to strengthen the United Nations Environment Programme UNEP and to establish a high-level forum for sustainable development to better coordinate and monitor the implementation of the various measures.

“The member states commit themselves to contributing to socially balanced growth while protecting the climate and our environment at the same time. This will be achieved by establishing a common ‘green economy’ definition”, Waldner said. The final document also makes explicit reference to the “Sustainable Energy for All” initiative of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon defining energy as an important prerequisite for development and the fight against poverty.

“The final declaration is a compromise that has been achieved in lengthy and difficult negotiations. Austria together with the EU, advocated a more ambitious text during the preliminary negotiations phase. With this declaration the objective of the conference, which is to strengthen the political commitment of the international community of states for sustainable development, has only partially been achieved. Nevertheless it triggers important processes that will sustain the momentum”, State Secretary Waldner said summarising the outcome.

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