By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – UN press sources announced that Rio+20 concluded with more than US$500 billion mobilized with over 700 “commitments” made. World leaders finalized the outcome document agreement on Friday, which is intended to advance action on sustainable development.
Although many critics questioned the clarity of the results, the UN reports that the combination of agreements, actions, commitments, challenges, initiatives and announcements made at Rio+20 addresses a range of global issues that includes access to clean energy, food security, water and sustainable transportation.
“Rio+20 has given us a solid platform to build on,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. “Rio+20 has affirmed fundamental principles, renewed essential commitments, and given us new direction.”
World leaders approved the 53-page outcome document for Rio+20, entitled “The Future We Want,” Friday evening.
In the months leading up to Rio+20, negotiations on the outcome document included several week-long sessions and many long nights, but under the leadership of the Brazilian Government, a compromise was reached and agreement made by the 193 Member States of the United Nations.
“The outcome document provides a firm foundation for social, economic and environmental well-being,” Mr. Ban said. “It is now our responsibility to build on it. Now the work begins.”
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, concluding the Conference, told participants that the outcome document is a great step forward. “I am convinced that this Conference will have the effect of bringing about sweeping change.
But beyond the negotiated document, the voluntary commitments play a key role in measuring the success of Rio+20, with an estimated US$513 billion mobilized from the thirteen largest commitments alone. The over 700 voluntary commitments were made by civil society groups, businesses, governments, universities as listed on the official Rio+20 website.
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