Statement by Commissioner Janez Potočnik on behalf of the EU and its Member States on the adoption of the outcome of the Rio Conference

17 July, 2012

"I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.


We would like to thank Brazil and the President of Brazil personally for her efforts in bringing this conference to a successful conclusion.


We support the adoption of this outcome document. As partners know, there are a number of areas where we would have hoped for a more ambitious outcome, for instance with regard to the definition of concrete timelines for the realization of goals in the priority areas covered by the document.


At the same time, we welcome the fact that this outcome document acknowledges the important role of the green economy in achieving sustainable development and poverty eradication. This is an important step in the right direction. We also welcome the document’s recognition of the need for broader measures of progress to complement GDP, and the importance of corporate sustainability reporting. We must now turn these words into action. We will remain fully engaged in further work on defining and operationalizing the Sustainable Development Goals.


We welcome the agreement to reinforce IFSD, and in particular international environmental governance by strengthening and upgrading UNEP. It will now have universal membership and must become our common home to set the global environmental agenda. With this in mind, we will continue to work, together with our partners, for the creation of a fully-fledged United Nations Environment Organization, to work on an equal footing with other UN organizations.


We are convinced that democracy, human rights, rule of law, good governance, and gender equality and empowerment of women are indispensable for achieving sustainable development. We also recognize the fundamental role of civil society and other stakeholders in the realization of sustainable development and we will work to increase their participation in decision making processes.


Mr. President, the shared challenge for us all now is to implement this outcome document, and ensure that Rio+20 leads to real action for sustainable development, the green economy and poverty eradication."


Press release


Source: EU Environment Policy Brief, Issue 61, June 2012