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Rio+20, taking place this month in Rio de Janeiro, aims to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assess progress made and remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development, and address new and emerging challenges. In a unique decision, the UN has invited all stakeholders (governments, intergovernmental agencies, and civil society) to contribute to a working document as the basis for the outcome document of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Rio+20. In January 2012, the UN secretariat received 627 submissions from civil society, including that prepared by Dominicans for Justice and Peace (Order of Preachers) togather with Franciscans International and some other Faith based NGOs, and compiled these texts in a document entitled “The Future We Want”. This document was the basis for the negotiating process held in New York from February to June 2012 by all Member States.

Dominicans’s submission emphasized the importance of a holistic and ethical approach to sustainable development and raised concerns about the concept of Green Economy. Justice, equality, solidarity and the common good are fundamental principles which must underpin our choices and decisions about the future. The market-based approach of the mainstream economic system poses many threats to the enjoyment of human rights. This system increases the gap between the poor and the rich and causes conflict and suffering.

“The Future We Want” speaks to a common vision reaffirming the Rio Principles. The core focus of the document is Green Economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. Secretary-General of the UN Ban Ki-Moon recently asserted that “To secure our world for future generations — and these are indeed the stakes — we need the partnership and full engagement of global leaders, from rich nations and poor, small countries and large. Their overarching challenge: to galvanize global support for a transformative agenda for change — to set in motion a conceptual revolution in how we think about creating dynamic yet sustainable growth for the 21st century and beyond.”
World leaders, along with thousands of participants from governments, the private sector, NGOs and other groups, are coming together in Rio to initiate meaningful action to try to reduce poverty, advance social equity and guarantee environmental protection on an ever more crowded planet to ensure the future we want.

Source: Franciscans International

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