By Nathan M. Walters, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Politicians in Brazil and Rio will be busy with meetings in June during the Rio+20 Earth Summit. Key political figures including; President Dilma Rousseff, Izabella Teixeira (Brazilian Environmental Minister), Rio Governor Sérgio Cabral and Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes have been invited to speak at the conference.
The crowded schedule of events, spans the month of June and culminates in three days (June 19th-22nd) of High-Level Meetings.
Some particularly notable meetings to be attended by Brazilian leaders, include the Socio-Environmental Protection Floor Meeting (June 20th), with speakers Tereza Campello (Brazilian Minister of Social Development) and Izabella Teixeira (Brazilian Minister of Environment).
Also the Infrastructure as a Pillar of a New Pattern of Development Meeting (June 20th), will include Miriam Belchior (Brazilian Minister of Planning, Budget and Management).
The Vision 2050: A New Agenda for Business in Brazil Meeting (June 22nd), organized by Business Council for Sustainable Development – Brazil is expected to be attended by President Rousseff and various other Brazilian ministers.
Fernando Henrique Cardoso (the ex-President of Brazil) will speak on the topic “Politics and Sustainability in Brazil” at the Environmental Public Agencies Meeting on June 22nd.
The UN praised Brazil for its leadership in coordinating and promoting the event, with spokesperson Pragati Pascale told The Rio Times; “The Brazilian government at all levels has been doing everything it can to help make Rio+20 a success. We appreciate what the country and the city of Rio are doing to ensure that everything goes smoothly.”
The UN also praised Brazil for involving the public in Rio+20 – in part by organizing the ten Global Sustainability Dialogues that will bring together thousands of people to discuss key issues that will be put to world leaders.
Another key event for involving the private sector into the dialogue is the Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum (June 15th– 18th), which, according to a UN press release, will be the “largest private sector adjunct to a global inter-governmental conference ever.”
Also the Sustainable Development Dialogues (June 16th-19th); and the High-Level Group Meeting (June 21st) that will include leaders from the private sector, including Charles “Chad” O. Holliday, Jr., Chairman of Bank of America.
It is difficult to point to a single meeting on which the outcome of the summit will be decided. Instead, each event scheduled during the summit is intended to push the different themes of Rio+20 further, with the intended outcome of a sum that is greater than its parts.
For expatriate in Rio, Alfonso Stefanini, an environmental consultant, the event can only be considered a success if the meetings render real results, “We all know about the environmental, social and economical issues facing the world today, so the summit can not be about discussing such problems, but about pointing to practical solutions.”
In addition to the High-Level Meetings, Forums and Dialogues, more than 500 on-site side events organized by governments, major groups, organizations from the UN system and other international organizations will take place in RioCentro during Prepcom III (June 13-15th), the Sustainable Development Dialogue Days (June 16-19th) and the Summit (June 20-22nd).