The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development to be held in Rio de Janeiro on 20-22 June is expected to represent a new stage in the political process that began back of 1972.
Ever since the UN Stockholm Conference on Human Environment, political leaders have been discussing how to reconcile human development needs with environmental protection.
The UN Conference on Environment and Development, held in Rio in 1992, declared “Human beings are the centre of concerns for sustainable development. They are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature”
. Its programme of action, “Agenda 21” identified sustainable development as a strategy based on the integration of the economic, social and environmental pillars.
Twenty years later, world leaders and tens of thousands of representatives of the private sector and civil society will gather again in Rio to rethink how to reduce poverty and achieve greater social equity and environmental protection. The Conference shall take stock of the progress made, renew political commitments and address new emerging challenges.
Caritas organisations will actively participate in this world gathering and advocate for justice, equity, ecological sustainability and joint responsibility.
They will engage in policy discussions on new challenges and solutions for sustainable development, cooperating ecumenically with Churches and faith-based organizations, mobilising the public and the press.
Their main concerns and expectations refer to:
- Food security and the fight against hunger;
- Renewed commitments for post-2015 sustainable development goals;
- Safeguarding rural and urban environment, preserving natural resources;
- A “green economy” based on ethical principles;
- Participatory democracy and responsible consumption.