Rio+20: Report 22nd June


Today is the final day of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Rio+20, and so it also marks the last day of our reports to you. This was an historical event 20 years after the initial gathering in Rio, 1992. The process has been lengthy, with the governments and major groups doing their best to reach an agreement on bringing the changes required to realise a sustainable planet for future generations. There has been a groundswell of feeling here, that for any real change to eventuate, each one has to bring the change in her or his own life as a starting point of any real and sustainable change in the world. The governments have done what they can, it seems. Although - with the best will in the world - they never came to an agreement. Rather, each one had to compromise in some way to ultimately author and declare the final 50 page Outcome Document put forward by the Brazilian Government (as host country). Nevertheless, recognising the humanity of each individual leader within the UN system, and her or his genuine attempts to bring forward sustainable change, we have included some of their final comments below.

"UN System: Together for the Future We Want" (Organisers: United Nations)

Ms Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of ECLAC, moderated the inter-active dialogue.

H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, underlined that Gender Equality is a top priority, that every child and every women will continue to be top priority for the UN.

Miss Helen Clark, Administrator UNDP and UNDG talked about a triple win, when all three pillars move and work together.

Mr. Achim Steiner, Executive Director UNEP underlined that the Conference focused on Green Economy, now there is need to monitor how countries apply it.

Mr. Juan Somavia, Director-General ILO stated that jobs will be created, but also lost. His concern was whether the Green Economy would be people centered. The social dialogue is the fundamental element that ILO brings to this.

Ms. Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director UN-Women, stressed that Scandinavia is in the forefront of sustainable development because they have placed women in front. Social protection floors are being created to develop models according to countries' needs.

Ms. Navi Pillay, High Commissioner for Human Rights explains that there should be more regard for human rights, particularly when addressing indigenous peoples about the use of traditional land for biofuel.

Mr. Sha Zukang, Secretary-General, UNCSD (Rio+20), provided concluding remarks regarding the outcome document of the conference, reiterating the importance of the UN working as one family.

Sister Jayanti met with Ms. Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director UN-Women, Ms. Navi Pillay, High Commissioner for Human Rights OHCHR and with Ms. Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of ECLACLuciana Ferraz met with Mr Graziano da Silva, Director-General of FAO.

Side Event at Athletes Park
"São Paulo Partnership Programme for empowerment" by Government of São Paulo in the Arena dos Atletas.

Speakers: Mônica Cavalcanti, Government of São Paulo; Valeriane Bernard, Brahma Kumaris; João Lobato, Institute Jatobá.

The Secretariat of Social Development within the government of Sao Paulo have a proposal to combat extreme poverty, and invited the Jatoba Institute (who have expertise regarding the environment), and the Brahma Kumaris, (who have expertise regarding the individual) to collaborate in this regard. John Lobato, Jatoba Institute, presented concrete plans to combat poverty in rural areas, and to develop a sustainable and productive inclusion of a green economy, with accompanying families. Valeriane, from the Brahma Kumaris, presented a different view of poverty; the inner poverty that anyone, regardless of social class and financial income may have. She presented different case studies from BKWSU, the Global hospital work, the yogic farming and her experience of working in prisons and considered ways of combating inner poverty.

All panelists presented their vision that sustainability must be based on a holistic thinking and perspective, because sustainability involves the relationship of the individual with others and with nature, requiring complex and concrete implementation.

Final Comments
Finally, from the Brahma Kumaris delegation, thank you for your interest and following the events and service in Rio. We will be writing a final report that will outline our initial aims going into Rio+20, tell the story of the conference from a UN perspective (and from ours), documenting all our activities, and conclude with outcomes and aims, both from the UN and within our organisation, the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University.

International Delegation with Sister Jayanti, along with the Brazilian Team at the House in Barra on the final moring before departure

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