U.S Position on Sustainable Development at Rio

(with assistance from Amanda Byrum, UNC JD 2013)

Each country represented at Rio+20 was asked to create and submit a document outlining its priorities for the conference. In addition, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders have submitted suggestions for the event’s final agenda to be adopted by participating countries as the conclusion of the conference. As I stated yesterday, that document is now in flux and controversial.

The United States submitted its priorities document, and the administration outlined the U.S.’s three priorities in a November 1, 2011, press release by the U.S. Department of State. The first of the US priorities is to improve the urban environment, promoting clean energy services and infrastructure, and improving sustainability in cities. The second priority is to improve food security through new efforts in agriculture and aquaculture and natural resources management. The final U.S. objective for Rio+20 is to improve global environmental work by improving information sharing technologies and cooperation between governments and communities.

One of the side events at the conference is “U.S. Priorities for Rio+20.” The theme of the event will be the ways in which the U.S. has sought to implement sustainability, including the President’s Global Development Policy, a model of sustainable development and governance. The event will feature speakers from government agencies, private business, and NGOs and other organizations. Some of the focus areas will include energy, education, agriculture, and natural resources. The event will emphasize technological innovation and global engagement, and strategies for increasing the involvement of women and youth in sustainable development.

The US priorities are consistent with the domestic Obama initiatives concerning increasing economic development and environmental protection through the diffusion of new cleaner energy technologies.

As the main negotiations start, security is being stepped up for visiting heads of state and delegations. Secretary Clinton should arrive in the next 24 hours.