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What is Rio+20?

Rio+20 is the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), following 20 years after the original 1992 'Earth Summit' in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Rio+20 will also be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from June 20-22, 2012.

What will happen at Rio+20?

The objectives of the conference are:

    Securing renewed political commitment for sustainable development
    Assessing progress and implementation gaps in summit outcomes on sustainable development
    Addressing new and emerging challenges
The themes of the conference are:
    A green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication;
    Institutional framework for sustainable development.

What are the Major Groups?

At the first Earth Summit in 1992 (the UN Conference on Environment and Development, or UNCED), it was recognized that sustainable development could not be achieved by governments alone. It would require the active participation of all sectors of society and all types of people – consumers, workers, business persons, farmers, students, teachers, researchers, activists, indigenous communities, and other communities of interest. The "Major Groups", which were identified in Agenda 21 are: women, children and youth, indigenous peoples, non-governmental organizations, local authorities, workers and trade unions, business and industry, the scientific and technological community, and farmers. These groups have participated in meetings of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), and in related sustainable development processes such as the World Summit on Sustainable Development.

What is the Major Group of Children and Youth?

The Major Group for Children and Youth seeks to coordinate global preparations toward Rio+20 and strengthen the voice of its constituents at the intergovernmental level. You can find out more here:
Young people interested in participating at Rio+20 should link up with the organizing partners for Children and Youth as soon as possible in order to receive important information and updates pertaining to the Conference and its preparatory process. You should also see the website for more information: Rio+Twenties, one of the organizing partners for the Children and Youth sector, has prepared a Participation Guide for young people designed to make the Rio+20 process understandable and provide the tools to effectively involve young people. The guide offers specific information for youth, identifies ways to make a real difference and shares a lot of best practices, tips and tricks and existing examples on youth activism.

How can young people participate at Rio+20? What about people under 18 years old?

The UN defines 'youth' as persons between the ages of 15 and 24 years, without prejudice to other definitions used by Member States. 'Children' are considered to be persons under the age of 14. All young people can participate through the Major Group of Children and Youth.

For the purposes of UN conferences and meetings, only individuals over the age of 16 may hold a UN grounds pass. Participants may seek accreditation to Rio+20 (if needed) until 20 February 2012 and pre-register for the Conference online here until 20 May 2012. Participants under 16 years of age may participate in UN conferences and meetings, though only with a designated chaperone. Both participant and chaperone must be pre-registered through an accredited organization.

My organization is working with children and youth. How can it join the MGCY?

Joining the MGCY is very easy: you need to join the online "Youth Space" by signing up to this mailing list. For more information of what it implies to join the MGCY and on the general functioning of the MGCY please download the MGCY Processes and Procedures Document. You can also find out more about the Major Group of Children and Youth here:

Can I, as an individual, join the MGCY?

Yes–if you are below the age of 30. To get individual membership you need to join the online "Youth Space" by signing up to this mailing list. You can also find out more here:

How can my organization participate in the Preparatory Meetings leading up to Rio+20?

The following Rio+20 formal preparatory events have been scheduled:

    3rd Intersessional Meeting of UNCSD (26 – 27 March 2012)
    3rd Meeting of the UNCSD Preparatory Committee (13 -15 June 2012)
The Rio+20 Secretariat will pre-register Major Groups and other stakeholders through the CSO Net online events registration system starting 1 March. Please check the official Rio+20 website for details. Please note that registration for the 3rd Meeting of the UNCSD Preparatory Committee (to be held in Rio de Janeiro from 13 to 15 June 2012) is automatic upon registration for Rio+20, and is open online here until 20 May 2012. The following Rio+20 informal preparatory events have been scheduled:
    Initial discussions on the zero draft of the UNCSD outcome document (January 25-27 2012)
    First round of 'informal-informal' negotiations on the zero draft of the UNCSD outcome document (19-23 March 2012)
Modalities for participation Major Groups and other stakeholders in these preparatory meetings will be decided by the UNCSD Bureau. Please check the official Rio+20 website for updates and details.

How do individuals register to participate?

Individuals cannot register to attend the UN Conference on Sustainable Development. Unless you are affiliated with an accredited NGO (non-governmental organization) or IGO (inter-governmental organization), or media organisation or you are part of a national government delegation, UN rules do not allow an individual to participate in official meetings in one's own personal capacity.
However, as a youth activist you can also play an important role outside the gates of the actual official Conference or even at home. Being accredited to the UN is not a prerequisite for being active! To find out what you can do to participate without being present in Rio, download the Rio+twenties participation guide for Rio+20

How can I volunteer to help with Rio+20 itself?

The government of Brazil and the UN are both organising this event. So far, they have not announced any calls for volunteers. We recommend contacting them directly. See the official website:

How can I volunteer with the Major Group of Children and Youth?

Volunteering with the MGCY is a great way to make friends, learn new skills, and help other young people to change the world and make it a better place! If this sounds like you, then check out the roles below and get in touch with us! So if you want to get involved as a translator or a country outreach coordinator, please fill in the following form: If you need additional details, please contact Barkha at

I live in Brazil, how do I volunteer or meet the young people there? Is there a Portuguese mailing list?

If you are in Brazil, we recommend writing to the Portuguese mailing list to briefly introduce yourself and to also say how you want to get involved. Lista de e-mails para jovens e crianças brasileiros interessados em se envolver nos processos da Rio+20. Informações em Português:

How to get accreditation to the United Nations for my organization?

NGOs and other Major groups' organisations that are NOT yet accredited to the United Nations and wish to participate in the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development Conference (Rio+20) are offered a one time opportunity to become accredited to Rio+20. To do so, you will need to first create a profile and wait 2 business days for a response (minimum):
After this has been done, you will need to register here:
The Secretariat will evaluate your request and make a recommendation to the General Assembly for its decision on the accreditation of your organisation. The deadline for new accreditation is 20 February 2012. Once your registration is approved, your organization can preregister representatives until the general deadline of 20 May 2012.

My organization is accredited. What does this mean?

If you are planning to attend the Rio+20 Conference and its related preparatory meetings, you must be pre-registered online by 20 May 2012through an accredited organization in order to check in at the Conference and receive a ground pass. Only holders of an official Conference grounds pass will be able to participate in any official proceedings and side events on the premises.

I have accreditation… now I need to book flights and accommodation. Can the MGCY help?

Unfortunately, the MGCY doesn't have the capacity or resources to assist you in this area. Please search online and also check out for more information.

Is there any funding available to support my organization's participation in the Rio+20 preparatory process?

Funding for Major Groups participants is extremely limited. In the event that funding becomes available, participants are selected with due consideration for representation from developing countries, particularly least developed countries, and in full consultation with the official Major Groups organising partners. In all other cases, your organization is responsible for arranging your accommodations and travel, including within metropolitan Rio de Janeiro.
You could of course start raising money by yourself. Approach philanthropic, charity organisations, companies, universities as well as individuals who can provide you with the whole amount or some part of the money that you need. Ask your friends, family, and colleagues to help you in finding the right people to talk to, and there are numerous ideas online. In-kind contributions should not to be forgotten either, e.g. ask a travel agency to provide you with a ticket to Rio.

My organization will not be present in Rio, but we would still like to contribute to the process. What can we do?

There are a number of ways by which you can inform the Rio+20 process, including submitting case studies, registering partnerships, and participating in the national preparatory processes. Requests for these types of participation are typically posted on the official Rio+20 website, and are regularly shared with the Major Groups organizing partners for distribution within their networks. If you are not already in close contact with the organizing partners for your Major Groups sector, you are advised to connect with them as soon as possible in order to receive the latest information and updates. You should also regularly check the website:

How do I share news about what my organisation, friends or I am doing?

We would strongly encourage you to post news of your activities and related publications in support of Rio+20 on the official Rio+20 website. Information on existing initiatives and activities organized by the global civil society movement can also be found on the webpages of the Stakeholder Forum and on the Rio+20 Portal for the Peoples Summit...

My organisation is not accredited… what should we do?

If your organization is not accredited and you wish to send representatives to the Rio+20 Conference and its related preparatory meetings, you would be advised to contact an accredited organization within your network and explore the possibility of including your representatives in their delegation. The Major Groups organizing partners may also choose to include representatives of unaccredited organizations in their organization delegations, at their own discretion.
Alternatively, you may request to be included in your national delegation by contacting the relevant ministry in your government. Some UN Member States welcome the inclusion of Major Groups delegates as part of their national delegations to major conferences and summits as a means of facilitating registration and access to official proceedings.

What are the important dates for the process in Brazil?

    1. Rio+20 Conference: 20-22 June
    2. Thematic days: 16-19 June
    3. PrepCom: 13-15 June
    4. Youth Blast – International Conference of Youth: 10-12 June
    5. Conference of Youth (Portuguese): 8-10 June
Registration starts: June 3

I am in Rio for the UN Conference of Sustainable Development but I don't know where to go?

The Venue is confirmed to be at Rio Centro. Registration and passes for major groups will be issued at the Arena across the street from Rio Centro. Registration and passes for member states, media and people with disabilities will be in Pavillon 1 Major groups space will be between pavillon 1 and 2 (in a new structure being built)

    includes office space for coordinator, each major group, a lounge and computer area an exhibition area
    there are 8 meeting rooms of he following size:
    2X 216, 1X84, 1X126, 1X150, 1X440, 2X50 (side events will be held here too)
The conference will be in Pavillon 5. The plenary room can hold approx 1500 people. The PreCom will be held in Pavillon 3
See for a layout (the buildings have not been prep yet).

What is the important information I need to know if I am attending Rio+20?

If you are attending Rio+20 in Rio de Janeiro, there is a lot of logistical information you will need to know. To help, the Rio+20 Bureau has developed a guide detailing all the preliminary information. In the upcoming months it is likely this information will be updated, so please be sure to keep checking the website for important updates. View the Preliminary Information Document.

Who will be at the conference plenary?

This hasn't been fixed yet but the proposal is:

    Member states: delegations
    Major groups: 160 people
    400-500 agencies and IGO
    9 MG reps will be participating in the 4 consecutive Roundtables (to be held in Pavillon 5 upstairs)

How sustainable will the Rio+20 conference be?

The conference will be paper smart and be as sustainable as possible (food and other wise).

Will there be internet access at the Rio+20 conference? Can I watch online?

The entire area will be wireless. The meetings will be web and streamcast.

How do I find a hotel / hostel?

The MGCY cannot help you with this. However, we are compiling a list of safe areas and hostels in Rio. Everyone should make their own reservation as soon as possible and are recommended to research online. The Brazilian government will facilitate opening and renting of rooms in private houses as well.

Will there be side events? And where will the events be held?

There will be side events:

    within Rio Centro facilitates by the Secretariat
    in Flamingo park and other areas facilitated by the Brazilian government
    procedure to apply should be up soon

What will the 4 thematic days be like?

These are organized and lead by Brazilian government and they have not completed their process yet.These will be held at the Arena across from Rio Centro

I still have questions…who should I contact?

Check out:

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