What’s holding up Rio+20 outcome document talks?

    A leaked copy of the draft Rio+20 outcome document provides the most detailed glimpse yet at priority issues to be highlighted at the conference, as well as key sticking points holding back talks to finalize the document.

    The latest round of negotiations on the document, which is to be endorsed by more than 130 government heads and representatives, ended with countries agreeing on just 20 percent of the text. This slow progress has fueled doubts about the success of the conference, with the World Wildlife Foundation even predicting a complete collapse as a possible scenario.

    The copy of the draft document, which was leaked to the Guardian, shows which parts of the text has already been agreed on — mostly on reaffirming past commitments such as the Millennium Development Goals and recognizing the need for just, equitable and inclusive development and growth.

    Among other topics already agreed on are the need for effective and transparent institutions and cooperation among different actors and stakeholders, promotion of women’s rights and wider participation, and recognition of challenges faced by African countries, least-developed countries, small island developing states and landlocked developing countries.

    But the bulk of the document, including sections on key issues such as green economy and the proposed set of sustainable development goals, are still up for debate. On the concept of green economy, for instance, the draft shows disagreement between developed countries and the so-called Group of 77 developing countries over what it should cover.

    Countries are also still divided on how to measure progress post-2015, climate change financing and strengthening the U.N. Environment Program.

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    About the author

    • Ivy Mungcal

      As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.

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