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On 20-22 June 2012, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) took place in Rio de Janeiro, capturing global attention and participation. Some 12,000 government and civil society representatives attended the conference, including heads of State and ministers from more than 190 countries. At the conclusion of Rio+20, the outcome document “The Future We Want” was approved and more than 700 pledges of financial support (totaling US$513 billion) were made.

Led by Executive Secretary Rima Khalaf, ESCWA took an active part in Rio+20 and the third Preparatory Committee Meeting (13-15 June), during which the outcome document of the Conference was debated. “The Future We Want” reflects the will of the international community to maintain multilateral collaboration on sustainable development. Throughout the Conference, ESCWA closely monitored the deliberations and coordinated with Arab delegates, to ensure that they drew maximum benefit from the event. In addition, ESCWA organized side events at Rio+20 with regional and international partners, including the other regional commissions of the United Nations. The work of the regional commissions has shown the unique value of a regional perspective in articulating a demand driven, holistic and multidisciplinary agenda for sustainable development.

During the Conference, ESCWA participated in four major side events, namely: “Green Growth and Sustainable Development: Regional Perspectives”; “United Nations System: Together for the Future We Want”; “Food Security and Safety for Development in a Changing Arab World”; and “Advancing Sustainable Development in Post-Conflict and In- Transition Countries: The cases of Lebanon and Liberia”.


The high-level panel on “Green Growth and Sustainable Development: Regional Perspectives” focused on the role of the regional commissions in shaping the green economy debate. The panel was moderated by the Executive Secretary of ESCWA, and keynote speakers included Prime Minister of Lebanon Najib Mikati; President of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono; Deputy Prime Minister of Moldova Mihai Moldovanu; and Minister for the Environment, Energy and Telecommunications of Costa Rica René Castro. The Executive Secretary spoke about the green economy and green jobs as a tool to counteract rising youth unemploym

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