The Rio 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development must send out a clear signal to the world community, with specific proposals for the transition to an economic order based on qualitative economic growth that helps to eliminate poverty and social injustice whilst preserving natural resources for future generations.
The EESC is convinced that ensuring access to resources, food and energy should be amongst the priorities of the global sustainability agenda.
Policy measures and clear indicators must be established to measure progress on the road to greater sustainability.
Based on an intensive civil society dialogue the EESC contributed to establishing the EU's position on Rio+20. In February 2012, the major EESC conference Go sustainable, be responsible! European civil society on the road to Rio+20, sent out a list of messages to take on board at Rio+20 and called on our political leaders to step up their efforts to arrive to an ambitious outcome at the UN conference.
On 13 and 14 February 2014, over 150 civil society representatives gathered at the EESC to discuss their positions on a global Post-2015 framework for sustainable development. Participants from local, regional and national authorities, EU and UN level policy-makers, social partners, environment, development, human rights, agriculture and consumer organisations; industry, business and academia brought a wealth of perspectives into the debate.
This workshop is exactly in line with what we had declared we would be doing to bring Rio home: we keep up the momentum for further promoting sustainable development, we want European civil society to be involved and we want to contribute with concrete proposals.
Sustainable development is a long-term objective and needs continuous action, and in particular civil society involvement all over the world. Rio+20 was an important mobilising factor for civil society around the world, we need to keep up the momentum and to hold our governments accountable for what they have agreed to in Rio de Janeiro last June.
It has been one of the very positive experiences during my Presidency at the EESC to see how much we Europeans and you Brazilians agreed on key elements that were on the table of the negotiators at the Rio+20 Conference.
In February last year, Mrs Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, talking about EU-Brazil relations said that this is a relationship that is important, but she didn’t think that the EU had made it as important as it ought to be. We support the need to go deeper in our relations with Brazil. And here’s the evidence: we are again meeting today, keeping up the regular pace of our exchanges, willing to produce joint work that will be useful also to our political leaders.
So we will send the result of this Round Table to Mrs Ashton, and to the Brazilian authorities, as we always do, in order to provide a civil society contribution to her important work. And we are doing it right in time for the next EU-Brazil Summit that will take place in Brasília in two days from now.
The hearing this afternoon is focussed on the topics "inclusive green economy" and "sustainable development goals" because these were the two topics that the stakeholders stressed most when we had our Rio de-briefing session in early July. ..."
The EESC has been very actively involved in the run-up to Rio, enhancing civil society dialogue in preparation of the Conference and at the Conference.
We were committed to contributing to the EU's position and to mobilising EU civil society in order to push EU and world leaders towards an ambitious outcome.
We know now that the outcome text has not been as ambitious as we Europeans would have wished it to be. Now we have to work to make the agreement a success by advancing further on the processes that were launched and by implementing at least here in Europe the proposals that we have put forward in New York and in Rio de Janeiro.
The EESC has been very actively involved in the run-up to Rio, enhancing civil society dialogue in preparation of the Conference and at the Conference. We were committed to contributing to the EU's position and to mobilising EU civil society in order to push EU and world leaders towards an ambitious outcome. Now, coming back from Rio we wanted to bring Rio home, share the assessment of the EESC Rio delegation with all EESC members and start dialogue with wider European civil society and the European Commission on the Rio follow-up.