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UNA-USA Council of Organizations Takes A Look Back and A Look Ahead Following Rio+20

July 25, 2012
Patrick Madden, Executive Director of the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA), released the following statement today following a panel discussion by UNA-USA's Council of Organizations on outcomes from the UN Conference on Sustainable Development :

"The United Nations is the one entity that had the breadth and the capacity to convene the countries of the world, as well as their business and civil society components to find ways of creating a sustainable future for all people. The value and importance of what happened during the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) last month in Rio de Janeiro cannot be measured. Today, UNA-USA's Council of Organizations extended the Rio+20 conversation by convening a diverse group of organizations to learn about the progress made at the Conference and next steps for the global community.

"An expert panel of UN and NGO officials at today's discussion showed how the world can: learn from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to set new objectives in the area of sustainability in the future; partner across sectors to achieve these objectives; work together as part of an international community to further a different energy future; and build consensus around what it means to be a "Green Economy."

"Jeff Huffines, UN Representative, World Alliance for Citizen Participation and Rio+20 NGO Major Group Organizing Partner, felt that the next steps following the Conference could be game-changers – that lessons learned from the MDGs can help change how we define a Green Economy. In fact, Rio+20 was the first time that the idea of a Green Economy was accepted at a UN conference.

"Much of that breakthrough can be attributed to multinational and cross-sector collaboration that was present among the more than 50,000 people who participated in official and side events at Rio+20. At events like this, business leaders gathered among civil society, youth, and government officials to find ways that everyone can be engaged and help make a more sustainable future a reality.

"Huffines and Director of the Division for Sustainable Development at the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs Nikhil Seth spoke to the air of inspiration that existed in Rio as countries and stakeholders from the private, government, and nonprofit sectors partnered to inspire each other to solve global problems.

"As was the case in Rio, with a representative mix of diverse and dedicated individuals working to solve the world's problems, today's event brought together business, government, and the NGO communities to continue to ensure the Rio meeting outcomes continue be fruitful for the citizens of the world. Along with Huffines and Seth, U.S. Ambassador Elizabeth Cousens, who represents the U.S. on the UN Economic and Social Council; Dr. Josephine Ojiambo, Ambassador/Deputy Permanent Representative at the Kenya Permanent Mission to the UN; and Shamina de Gonzaga, Director, of the World Council of Peoples for the United Nations, as well as the Co-Founder of What Moves You? provided comments and insights."



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