Rio+20, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, will take place in Rio de Janeiro Brazil next month. “It’s another historic opportunity to define pathways to a safer, more equitable, cleaner, greener and more prosperous world for all. Twenty years after the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, where countries adopted a blueprint to rethink economic growth, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection, the United Nations is again bringing together governments, international institutions and major groups to agree on a range of smart measures that can reduce poverty while promoting decent jobs, clean energy and a more sustainable and fair use of resources.” (English and Portuguese)

What is Sustainable Development? “Sustainable” comes from the Latin tenere to hold and sus up and thus means capable of being continued.  Sustainable Development is development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

What’s happening at this UN Conference?  Thousands of participants from governments, private sector, NGOs and other stakeholders will gather in Rio de Janeiro in June. Official discussions will focus on two main themes: How to build a green economy to achieve sustainable development and lift people out of poverty, including support for developing countries that will allow them to find a green path for development; and how to improve international coordination for sustainable development. Alongside UN sessions there will be numerous side events, exhibitions, presentations, discussions, and fairs.

Who’s going to Rio from our Notre Dame world? Our SNDatUN delegation includes Brazilian Sisters Sandra Araújo dos Santos, Maria de Jesus (Rosinha) Borges Costa, Zenilda Maurício do Nascimento, and Maria Vagner Souza Silva, and International Justice & Peace Coordinator Sister Maura Browne.  Joining them will be Brazilian Coesfeld Sisters of Notre Dame Araci Ludwig, Loiva Urban, and Maria Lourdes Urban, and NGO representative to the UN Sister Mary Jo Toll.


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