Federated States and Regional Governments Committed to a New Paradigm for Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication Federated States and Regional Governments Committed to a New Paradigm for Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication
Details of the Proposal

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Federated States and Regional Government represented in Rio de Janeiro on 19 June 2012 on the occasion of the World Summit of Federated States and Regions convened by the Government of the State of Rio de Janeiro, The Climate Group, the Network of Regional Governments for Sustainable Development nrg4SD and Regions United-FOGAR on the eve of the UN Conference Rio+20:


Proposals and abstracts


On the progress of multilateralism to date, the challenges and opportunities ahead


1. Recognize the importance of the Brundtland Commission of 1987, the UN Conference on Environment and Development of 1992 in Rio de Janeiro and the UN World Summit for Sustainable Development of 2002 in Johannesburg as a milestones in the transition towards sustainable development, as well as the significance of documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Our Common Future Report, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, the Agenda 21, the Earth Charter, the Rio Conventions on Climate Change, Biological Diversity and Drought and Desertification, the Millennium Development Goals, the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation and the broader development commitments and goals adopted by United Nations conferences and summits.


2. Acknowledge that since 1992, the international community has achieved some important successes. Yet, the objectives we have commonly set 20 years ago still have to be fully achieved. The current economic development model is not sustainable in the long-run neither in terms of poverty eradication objectives nor of respect for the carrying capacity of our Planet. Even though sustainable development is a widely-used and defended idea, we still lack effective mainstreaming of this notion in all public policies


3. Highlight that since the Rio Summit in 1992, subnational governments - such as Federated States, Regions, Provinces, or Counties - all over the world have been involved in sustainable development processes and have demonstrated that their contribution and leadership is essential to help achieve the ultimate objectives of sustainable development on the ground. Local Agenda 21 initiatives; subnational sustainable development policies and legislation; public-private-partnerships, and decentralised cooperation projects carried out by subnational governments have significantly been strengthened over the past years. This is further evidence to demonstrate that the achievement of internationally agreed goals requires complementary action by governmental stakeholders such as Federated States, Regions, Cities and other Local Authorities.


4. Recognize the key importance of international networks of subnational governments, which have significant experience in creating partnerships for action and can therefore contribute to the implementation of global multilateral agreements. They also fulfill a role in supporting subnational governments in taking leadership and promoting concrete sustainable development initiatives, as well as knowledge exchange.


5. Agree that the cost of inaction regarding the shift to a new development paradigm and its related risks are high and may lead to irreversible damage:

  • With more than 3 billion people living below the poverty line, poverty eradication must remain the top priority;
  • In the perspective of a population growth of 2 billion by 2050, the current trends of inefficient and unsustainable use of natural resources in the hands of a few, as well as the globally spread patterns of unsustainable consumption and production need to be addressed;
  • The negative impact on biodiversity and ecosystems of our current development models need to be reversed, and
  • The unavoidable reality of the climate challenge requires holistic mitigation and adaptation actions anchored in sustainable low carbon development strategies for all territories.


On the urgency to harness this momentum for change


6. Draw urgent attention to the fact that, in the current context of interconnected challenges humankind is facing, status quo is no longer an option. The UN Conference of Rio +20 carries enough momentum and hope across world citizens for it to be the most important window of opportunity for a paradigm change. The time to provide our planet and its peoples with a comprehensive set of sustainable development policies and goals and governance institutions is as limited as ever.


7. Urge UN member states to use this momentum of convergence between world leaders, policy makers from all levels of government, civil society organisations, the private sector and academia that constitutes the UN Rio +20 Conference in order to permanently integrate the social, environmental and economic dimensions of sustainable development, as well as to agree on an institutional framework adapted to the needs of the 21st Century. This should be done with a strong complementary focus on education and cultural aspects, gender issues, protection of common goods and future generations, and respect for global biodiversity and traditional livelihoods and knowledge.


8. Call on UN member states to agree on the establishment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are complementary to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and coherent with the MDGs review process and that, amongst other emerging challenges, address sustainable territories with a city-region approach.


9. Are convinced that green economy enables transition towards prosperity, poverty eradication and sustainable development. To this end, a set of common ambitious goals, principles and standard metrics should be adopted with the clear understanding that there is no “one size fits all” development model.


10. Believe that the concept of green economy does not substitute the definition of sustainable development, but is a tool for achieving sustainable development; with poverty eradication, social inclusion, equity, well-being, gender equality, the efficient use and preservation of natural resources, the protection of common goods and biodiversity and the development of sustainable low carbon strategies as central pieces.