Dispatch

27 January 2012

Preparing for Rio+20

Providing Input into the Outcome Document for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development

UNITED NATIONS, New York – UNFPA and others, including the G77 and the European Union, called for more emphasis on population dynamics, gender equity and reproductive health in the first round (zero draft) of negotiations on the outcome document that is expected to be adopted at Rio+ 20 (formally the UN Conference on Sustainable Development).

In a prepared statement about the draft, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pointed to the fundamental importance of considering population as an element of sustainability: “The global population has reached 7 billion people. In just five years, we will add another half billion people – all needing food, jobs, security and opportunity. Environmental, economic and social indicators tell us that our current model of progress is unsustainable.”

The Secretary-General emphasized the need to develop “risk reduction plans that address the growing challenges of climate change, environmental degradation, urbanization and population growth”, and to bear in mind that “there is one essential cross-cutting element: empowering women and young people”.

Throughout the process of generating an outcome document that can be adopted by world leaders convening at Rio, UNFPA’s goal is to ensure that references to family planning and sexual and reproductive health, population dynamics, young people and gender are included in the document, according to Michael Herrmann, an economics and population advisor at UNFPA.

The current version of the compilation document includes -- both as general comments and concrete language in proposed paragraphs -- several references to issues brought up by UNFPA and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

UNFPA will continue to be involved as the process continues, Mr. Herrmann said.