“Go to vote.riodialogues.org. Tell us what you think. Those votes – the voices of the people – can make a difference in building a prosperous, equitable, stable and sustainable world for all.”
This what UN chief, Ban Ki-moon said on 6 June, just two weeks ahead of a major conference on sustainable development. In a message to launch the Rio +20 Dialogues: Vote for the Future We Wantonline platform. The UN Secretary-General called on people around the world to cast their votes in an online global poll on solutions to the planet’s most pressing social, economic and environmental challenges.
An Attempt to Create a Bridge between Civil Society and the Official Proceedings
“The dialogues are an attempt to create a bridge between civil society and the official proceedings of the upcoming UN Conference on Sustainable Development,” Ban said.
The global poll is part of a social networking initiative of the Government of Brazil, supported by the United Nations.
Earlier this year, people from more than 150 countries participated in a social networking forum, with discussions related to sustainable development, covering ten main themes: water and cities management, oceans, food and nutrition security, energy, forests, employment, poverty, economic crises, sustainable production and consumption.
Participants included activists, human rights advocates, community leaders, civil society members, economists and urban planners. The discussions led to some 100 policy proposals, which are the ones that the public can vote on at vote.riodialogues.org.
Some of the recommendations include putting a price on carbon emissions, setting up a global network of international marine protected areas, and adjusting Gross Domestic Product for environmental damage.
Available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish, the voting for the online global poll will close on 15 June.
22 May 2012 –
Next week, delegations from all over the world will gather again in New York for an additional five days of deliberations on the outcome document for Rio+20. The extra days were added earlier this month so that countries can bridge the differences that have kept them from making further progress in negotiations.
Al-Nasser praised the collective efforts of delegations that are working towards consensus, but warned that much more still needs to be done.
“On the issue of the Sustainable Development Goals, many country and stakeholders are looking to Rio for a concrete outcome, including priority areas,” Al-Nasser said, adding that the conference can make a significant contribution to the development agenda after 2015, without distracting attention from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the anti-poverty and social development targets that have an achievement deadline of 2015.
“The World Is Watching. The Media Are Focused. People Are Demanding Action”
In his remarks to the Assembly’s debate, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon drew attention to the need for progress in negotiations.
“The world is watching. The media are focused. People – young and old – are demanding action,” Ban said. “Yet the current pace of negotiations is sending all the wrong signals. We cannot let a microscopic examination of text blind us to the big picture, we do not have a moment to waste.”
He noted that UN Member States have the opportunity to forge agreements on many thematic issues, including: decent jobs, food security and sustainable agriculture, efficient and cleaner energy sources, access to safe drinking water and sanitation, conservation of the world’s oceans, strengthened institutions to support sustainable development, and progress in defining Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that build on the MDGs.