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New Stakeholder Forum report finds progress on commitments made at Rio+20, and highlights role of stakeholders in holding governments to account

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New Stakeholder Forum report finds progress on commitments made at Rio+20, and highlights role of stakeholders in holding governments to account

London, United Kingdom - 7 October, 2013

 

There has been significant progress made on many of the globally-negotiated and voluntary commitments made at Rio+20, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, in June 2012, according to new study by Stakeholder Forum and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

“Fulfilling the Rio+20 Promises: Reviewing Progress since the UN Conference on Sustainable Development” is a first-of-its-kind assessment by civil society organisations on progress made towards key commitments made at Rio+20. The report recognises the importance of both globally-negotiated agreements and voluntary commitments made by countries, corporations, communities and civil society groups, and highlights the need for greater accountability to ensure that governments and other commitment-makers deliver on their promises.

Stakeholder Forum focused on 14 of the most significant and tangible commitments made in the Rio+20 outcome document, ‘The Future We Want’, and assessed their implementation, taking into account both the progress made since the Summit and the levels of accountability. Stakeholder Forum found that significant progress has been made on a number of important commitments; including the initiation of a process to develop Sustainable Development Goals, the establishment of a new High-Level Political Forum for sustainable development at the UN, and the launch of a process to develop an effective and ambitious financing strategy for sustainable development.

Farooq Ullah, Executive Director of Stakeholder Forum, said:

“It is encouraging to see meaningful progress emerge from the negotiated outcomes of Rio+20. This report is a key accountability mechanism. The conference was the starting-point of key new processes for sustainable development, not an ending-point. The real impact of the many commitments made at Rio+20 is yet to be felt; time will be the truest judge of Rio+20’s success. Stakeholders have a key role to play in encouraging action and ambition, providing expert input and holding governments to account.”

Stakeholder Forum’s partner on the report – NRDC, an environmental action group headquartered in New York – found that progress has also been made on key voluntary commitments made at the Summit. For example, Microsoft has achieved its commitment to become carbon neutral by 2013; Australia tripled its marine reserves to create the largest network of marine protected areas in the world; and eight multilateral banks are moving forward with their promise to invest an additional $175 billion in sustainable transportation for developing countries. More than 700 voluntary commitments were made at Rio+20, which have now grown to more than 1,400 in number and valued at more than $600 billion.  

NRDC President Frances Beinecke made the following statement:

“We have seen progress since Rio+20 on some of the specific promises made there to take action. To build on that momentum, the United Nations needs to create ways to better support, encourage and track these vital commitments.”
Nikhil Seth, director of UN Division for Sustainable Development and head of Rio+20 Secretariat wrote in a foreword to the report:
“I feel that good progress has been made on key issues. Properly conceived, the Sustainable Development Goals offer a transformative moment. They will be vital in breaking down thematic silos and creating a truly integrative vision which looks at development from the prism of human deprivations and our fragile planet.”

An issue brief and a copy of the full report can be downloaded at http://bit.ly/15Yjdmx

A statement from NRDC on the report can be found at http://www.nrdc.org/media/2013/131002.asp

For further details, contact:
Amy Cutter
Project Officer
Stakeholder Forum
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+44 207 930 8752