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Rio+20 Realpolitik and Its Implications for "The Future We Want"

SWP Comment 2012/C 25, 15.08.2012, 8 Seiten Forschungsgebiete

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 20-22, 2012. While the outcome document of the conference responded to most of the demands of the developing and emerging nations gathered in the Group of 77 (G-77), the European Union and many non-governmental organizations criticized the reform proposals for not going far enough and being too vague. In a surprising act of pragmatic Realpolitik, host country Brazil had proposed the compromise text shortly before the beginning of the conference, and then managed to push it through almost unaltered-and thus succeeded in reaching an agreement in Rio, despite the difficult pre-negotiations. The outcome document, "The Future We Want," however, reflects only a lowest common denominator of the community of states on international sustainability policy. Germany and the European Union should now strive to reach beyond these meager results in the upcoming post-Rio processes.