Geneva (ILO News) – The International Labour Organization (ILO) is involved in the preparations for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), also known as Rio+20, which will take place from 20-22 June 2012 in Brazil .
Rio+20 will bring together world leaders and thousands of participants from all the regions and aims to: secure a renewed political commitment for sustainable development; assess the progress to date and remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of large-scale summits on sustainable development; and address new and emerging challenges.
The ILO has been participating in the Rio+20 preparatory processes, focussing in particular on:
- Green jobs creation;
- The development of an institutional and political ‘Just Transition’ Framework;
- The extension of social protection systems and the promotion of social inclusion in green economy policies;
- The inclusion of workers’ and employers’ organizations and labour market institutions in governance and implementation mechanisms;
- Reinforced joint efforts for an economically efficient, socially just and environmentally sound transition to a green economy.
In 2010 the ILO provided a detailed submission to the Rio+20 Secretariat, participated in preparatory conferences, contributed to the intersessional meeting, assisted the UN Regional Commissions for Latin America, Africa, Arab States, Asia and the Pacific and Europe with their preparations, organized regular briefings for delegations and maintained close contact with the host, the Government of Brazil.
The ILO has also contributed to UNEP’s Green Economy report by highlighting the employment dimension and, more generally, linkages between a green economy and Decent Work. Furthermore, as a part of the Green Jobs Initiative with UNEP, IOE and ITUC, the ILO will publish a new report on Green Jobs for a Green Economy.
The ILO, through its Green Jobs Programme, has identified two objectives for Rio+20:
- Address the employment and social dimensions of environmental policies and ensure decent work for present and future generations;
- Mainstream environmental concerns into the world of work and change consumption and production patterns in the long term.
“It is not necessary to choose between an intact environment on the one hand and employment and economic growth on the other hand. A transition to a green economy can lead to net gains in employment across the whole economy compared to the unsustainable conventional growth path”, said Mr Peter Poschen, Director of the ILO Job Creation and Enterprise Development Department.
“A green economy is not socially fair, inclusive and sustainable by default. Coherence between economic, social and environmental policies is needed to maximize opportunities and buffer the social cost of the transition. A transition to a green economy needs to project a vision of a greener but also of a fairer economy and society” Mr Poschen stressed.
Twenty years after the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio where countries adopted Agenda 21 — a blueprint for the rethinking of economic growth, advancing social equity and ensuring environmental protection — the UN will bring together Governments, international institutions and other influential groups to discuss and adopt a range of measures that can reduce poverty and promote decent jobs, clean energy and a more sustainable and fair use of resources.
The Conference will focus on two themes: (a) A green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; and (b) The institutional framework for sustainable development.
More than 600 contributions have been received from Governments, civil society and international organizations, which will contribute to the outcomes of Rio+20.