Third Round of ‘Informal-Informal’ Negotiations on the zero draft document
UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20)
29 May - 2 June 2012 | UN Headquarters, New York
Earth Negotiations Bulletin
Vol. 27 No. 40 Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) Tuesday, 5 June 2012
SUMMARY OF THE THIRD ROUND OF UNCSD INFORMAL INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS: 29 MAY - 2 JUNE 2012
The third round of “informal informal” consultations on the draft outcome document for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20) took place from 29 May to 2 June 2012 at UN Headquarters in New York. Delegates resumed consideration of the draft outcome document for Rio+20, which was originally developed by the Co-Chairs and Bureau of the UNCSD Preparatory Committee (PrepCom).
Titled “The Future We Want” and 19 pages in length, the original document was released on 10 January 2012. This version of the draft incorporated input received by the UNCSD Secretariat from member states and other stakeholders, as well as comments offered during the Second Intersessional Meeting of the UNCSD PrepCom in December 2011. Following its release, the zero draft was discussed at meetings held at UN Headquarters in January and March, when delegates proposed numerous amendments, and it expanded to over 200 pages in length.
From 23 April to 4 May, delegates met for what was originally slated to be the last round of “informal informal” negotiations before the PrepCom’s third and final meeting in Rio de Janeiro, just prior to UNCSD itself. However, delegates only managed to agree ad referendum on 21 of 420 paragraphs, with several issues, including green economy and the institutional framework for sustainable development (IFSD), eluding consensus. Thus, the Bureau decided to hold this additional informal negotiating session.
During this weeklong session, delegates discussed an 80-page revised draft text produced by the Co-Chairs in two working groups and over 20 issue-specific contact or “splinter” groups. In the end, 70 paragraphs were agreed ad referendum, with 259 containing bracketed text. With less than three weeks to go before Rio+20, key areas of divergence remain, including: several issues within the framework for action, such as climate change, oceans and food and agriculture; the process for the establishment of sustainable development goals (SDGs); means of implementation, most notably finance and technology transfer; IFSD; and green economy.