Rio+20 adopts sustainable development blueprint

Agence France-Presse
'Sustainable Development Goals' will replace the UN's Millennium Development Goals starting 2015, says a document signed as a 3-day summit ends

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT. Rio+20 logo courtesy of the United Nations

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — World leaders on Friday, June 22, endorsed a statement on fighting poverty and environmental woes at the close of a 3-day summit.

The 53-page document, titled “The Future We Want,” aims at laying the groundwork for a green economy and calls for “Sustainable Development Goals” to replace the UN’s Millennium Development Goals from 2015.

It voices dismay that more than a billion people live in extreme poverty on a planet strained by ecological overload, and outlines a plan for a cure.

And it underscores a range of perils facing a world whose human population is set to surge from 7 billion today to 9.5 billion by 2050.

These include desertification, fisheries depletion, pollution and deforestation — and the danger that thousands of species will go the way of the dodo.

It describes global warming as “one of the greatest challenges of our time.”

“We are deeply concerned that all countries, particularly developing countries, are vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change,” the text says.

Replacing MDGs

It states that “Sustainable Development Goals” will replace the UN’s Millennium Development Goals from 2015, although defining the aim will be left for future talks — a process likely to be long and fiercely fought.

The strategy also promotes the green economy, a concept that breaks new ground in official UN terminology.

But despite the demands of developing countries for $30 billion in help, it stipulates no funding figures to achieve sustainability goals.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hailed the statement as a blueprint for making the world a brighter, safer place.

“This is a very good document, this is the vision on which we can build our dreams, our visions and it is important that the member states are united and work together,” Ban said on Thursday, June 21. — Agence France-Presse