The Conference on the Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro held by the United Nations from 20 to 22 June 2012 was accomplished with a common vision of the future. The outcome document, entitled “The future we want” reaffirmed commitment to accelerate the efforts in achieving internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. The commitments involve working together and supporting sustained economic growth, social development and environmental protection as well as freedom, peace, security, respect for all human rights, adequate standard of living, justice and democratic societies.
The outcome document states that since 1992 there have been areas of insufficient progress and setbacks in the integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development those followed by multiple financial, economic, food, energy crises and natural disasters. Thus, the continued strengthening of international cooperation, particularly in the areas of finance, debt, trade and technology transfer, innovation, entrepreneurship, capacity-building, transparency and accountability were affirmed by participated countries. Moreover, urgent and ambitious actions those engage stakeholders in sustainable decision making were highly encouraged.
The concept of green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication is based on the sustainable patterns of production and consumption those enable to manage natural resources with low negative environmental impacts, increase resource efficiency and reduce waste. The common vision of “The future we want” also recognizes that incorporated green economy policies into national sustainable development plans, strategies and priorities are fundamental for countries those seek the transition towards sustainable development. Additionally, it was acknowledged that opportunities to support green economy and job creation may be facilitated through public and private investments in science and technological innovations, regeneration and conservation of natural resources and ecosystems.
According to the vision, governments were advised to develop, manage and regulate industries with principles of sustainable development. Moreover, countries reaffirmed the commitments to reduce subsidies for environmentally harmful production and wasteful consumption and were invited to consider restructuring taxation system with the aim of minimizing trade distortions and the possible adverse environmental impacts.
Consequently, during the conference on sustainable development the agreement to establish an inclusive and transparent intergovernmental process was reached which involves all relevant stakeholders, including governments, international, regional and subregional organizations, the private sector and civil society to take effective measures for achieving sustainable development goals. The countries recognized the importance of goals those are based on Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation with full respect of all the Rio Principles and agreed to develop sustainable development goals taking into account different national circumstances, capacities, priorities, international law and commitments made during previous summits in the economic, social and environmental fields.
Following the above commitment The Open Working Group was established on 22nd of January 2013 by decision 67/555 (see A/67/L.48/rev.1) of the General Assembly. The Member States have decided to use an innovative, constituency-based system of representation that is new to limited membership bodies of the General Assembly. This means that most of the seats in the OWG are shared by several countries.
The call for high-level policy making group was launched again to foster sustainable development. Despite the fact that each country has primary responsibility for its own economic and social development, there is a hope that intellectual discussions may break the diplomatic silence and sustainable development goals will be supported by different stakeholders with effective measures.