Welcome to Rio+20
Young people have been participating in the Rio+20 process as part of the Major Group of Children and Youth (MGCY). For us, Rio+20 is more than an environmental conference. Rio+20 is an opportunity to propose new paradigms for sustainable development and to engage all stakeholders in future development policies. We want to take this opportunity and remind everyone that Rio cannot be branded just as an "environmental conference".
Rio+20 will be about integrating the three pillars of sustainable development: environment protection, socio-political processes and economic development. Consequently, all the pillars and actors must be equally involved and invested in the outcome of the process.
Rio+20 is indeed about sustainable development, which includes not only the environmental conservation and protection component in development, but equally assesses national, regional and global economic and social progress. Additionally, Rio+20 must guarantee that human rights, gender equity, access to resource, and the wellbeing of future generations are protected in this new paradigm of development. Consequently, it is crucial that all participants, including those in the private sector, become more engage in the process.
The future we want
"The Future We Want" is a global initiative launched by the UN for the Rio+20 Conference to envision what we want our lives and communities to be like 20 years from now.
The MGCY supported a global survey with more than 650 young people to explore possible solutions to overcome current global challenges. Education for sustainable development, investing in sustainable agriculture and food production, and promoting renewable energy are seen as key activities that need to occur. There is a strong push for the greening of industries, infrastructure and technology in finding sustainable solutions, and water, sanitation and environmental protection are seen as critical issues that need to be addressed. The need for greater inclusion of civil society in sustainability processes is also recognised.
"The Future We Want" campaign will be brought to life at the Rio+20 Conference where ideas from across the world will be made visible to the global public, and the global decision makers. The MGCY would like to invite all young people to share their voices through this campaign and to share their vision for making a sustainable world. You can share your ideas here: http://www.futurewewant.org/
Our time is now
These are crucial times. Decisions made at Rio+20 will impact our future and that of future generations. In reality, investors, businesses, and other private sector actors have a large stake in sustainable development. Additionally, the decisions made at Rio+20 will also impact the way the function. We cannot afford further fragmentation in the social movement toward Rio+20. We as Major Groups, have a responsibility to deliver a unified front at Rio+20 to promote sustainable development policies and practices that will benefit our constituencies. This is the only way we can guarantee that Rio+20 will deliver the future that we want.