Rio+20, 20 - 22 June 2012
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

“Dialogues for Sustainable Development”

Riocentro June 16 - 19
–The Sustainable Development Dialogues is an initiative that the Government of Brazil originated and carried out with the support of the United Nations. For the first time in International global UN Conferences, the inclusion of a participatory and inclusive process for representatives of civil society was conducted with the view of bringing to the Heads of State and governments a number of Recommendations, to be presented at the Round Tables during the High Level segment of the UNCSD Rio+20 Conference.

The Dialogues gathered 100 panelists in 10 panels focused on key themes on the international agenda for the sustainable development.  Those themes were: (1) unemployment, decent work and migrations; (2) sustainable development as an answer to the economic and financial crises; (3) sustainable development for fighting poverty; (4) the economics of sustainable development, including sustainable patterns of production and consumption; (5) forests; (6) food and nutrition security; (7) sustainable energy for all; (8) water; (9) sustainable cities and innovation; and (10) oceans. The debates took place at the plenary room of Pavilion 5 of Riocentro.

The Dialogues were opened by the Brazilian Minister of External Relations, Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, and the Executive Coordinator for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Ms. Elizabeth Thompson, also former Minister for Energy and Environment of Barbados, and closed by the Secretary General for the Brazilian Presidency, Minister Gilberto Carvalho, and the Executive Coordinator for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Mr. Brice Lalonde, also former Minister for Environment of France.

The debates had an average audience of over 1,300 people. All the debates were broadcast live on the UN website. The Dialogues’ complete program and the list of participants are attached to this message.
The Dialogues were the apex of an innovative and inclusive process of consultation that began in April and gathered tens of thousands of participants in open discussions over the Internet that were facilitated by about 30 academic representatives of universities and research centers from all over the world. Public also proposed and voted for concrete recommendations on sustainable development. Over 63,000 people from 193 countries cast nearly 1.4 million votes.

A total of 100 recommendations were discussed by the panelists and 30 of them were selected: one by an open vote on the Internet, one by the audience in Rio and one by the panelists. Some panelists proposed amendments to the recommendations that resulted from the online discussions as an additional contribution to the debate. For instance, in the Dialogue on unemployment, decent work and migrations, panelists suggested the need to incorporate workforce skills training, and on the water panel, panelists stressed that “right to water” should be understood as including the right to proper sanitation. The climate impact on development and tipping points on the use of natural resources were debated. Transfer of technology, peoples centered innovation was also brought forward, as well as the need to take into account the special needs of developing countries.

The audience other than voting and asking questions made substantive contribution to the discussions. In the Dialogue on sustainable cities and innovation, the point was strongly made that the use of waste as an energy source (the top recommendation from the internet vote) should be understood as referring to organic waste only, as it could otherwise have a negative impact on the livelihood of scores of families in developing countries.

Many participants indicated that they considered the Dialogues an innovative initiative and an efficient way to include concerns and proposals of representatives of civil society into the outcome of the Rio+20 Conference. It is expected that the Heads of State and governments, and other members of the Round Tables will take note of the set of 30 recommendations and consider how to follow-up on the Dialogues experiment.

Sustainable Development Dialogues
Rio de Janeiro, 16-19 June 2012

Unemployment, decent work and migrations

  1. Put education in the core of the Sustainable Development Goals agenda.
  2. Commit to a Decent Work for All goal by 2030, including the right to bargain collectively, unemployment reduction, elimination of precarious work, gender equality at the workplace and promotion of green and decent jobs, taking into account the special needs of women and youth; as well as to a Social Protection for All goal by 2030, guaranteeing social protection, at least at the level of national floors, including minimum wages and guarantees for access to health care, and income support for unemployed, aged, disabled, children and pregnant women.
  3. Compel national governments to respect the human rights of all migrant workers and their families including those in Temporary Foreign Worker programs and those climate refugees who will be displaced by environmental impacts.

Sustainable Development as an answer to the economic and financial crises

  1. Promote tax reforms that encourage environmental protection and benefit the poor.
  2. Create a tax on international financial transactions with a view to contributing to a Green Fund in charge of promoting decent jobs and clean technologies.
  3. The world will adopt shared sustainable development goals (SDGs) that will be embraced by business, civil society and the public sector. These goals will include innovative metrics, public disclosure, public awareness, education at all levels, and problem solving from local to global level to map the pathways to achieve the goals.

The five critical areas that we have discussed: 1) empowering every place in the world to ensure that every individual meets their basic needs of health, safe water, sanitation, and dignity of decent lives; 2) sustainable development energy system; 3) sustainable food supply locally and globally; 4) sustainable urban environments, including initiatives on water systems, sewage and other smart infrastructure; and 5) sustainable industry that is committed and required to clean up after itself. These sustainable development goals will be met through a shared set of principles and methods that will apply for all, including taxes where we all see a very strong possibility to steer in the right direction, financial reform, including innovative financing for green development and a shift to sustainable technologies in general.

Sustainable Development for Fighting Poverty

  1. Promote global education to eradicate poverty and to achieve sustainable development.
  2. Ensure universal health coverage to achieve sustainable development.
  3. Promote equitable access to information, participation, representation and justice in local, national and global level decision-making on sustainable development and promote grassroots innovation.

The economics of sustainable development, including sustainable patterns of production and consumption

  1. Phase out harmful subsidies and develop green tax schemes.
  2. Include environmental damages in the Gross National Product (GNP) and complement it with measures of social development.
  3. Promote sustainable public procurement worldwide as a catalyst for sustainable patterns, taking into account the need for a holistic approach to sustainable development and principles for a sustainable and fair economy.


  1. Restore 150 million hectares of deforested and degraded lands by 2020.
  2. Promote science, technology, innovation and traditional knowledge in order to face forests main challenge: how to turn them productive without destroying them.
  3. Zero Net Deforestation by 2020, respecting the rights and knowledge of peoples living in and from the forests and responding to their sustainable development needs.

Food and Security

  1. Promote food systems that are sustainable and contribute to improvement of health.
  2. Develop policies to encourage sustainable production of food supplies directed to both producers and consumers.
  3. Eliminate misery and poverty-related malnutrition. Empower women farmers, small holder farmers, young farmers and indigenous people. Ensure their access to land, water and seed as well as their full involvement in public decision making regarding food production and food and nutrition security.

Sustainable Energy for All

  1. Take concrete steps to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies.
  2. Establish ambitious targets for moving towards renewable energy.
  3. Scale up investments and political will to ensure universal, equitable and affordable access to sustainable energy services to all by the next decade through clear strategies and actions.


  1. Secure water supply by protecting biodiversity, ecosystems and water sources.
  2. Implement the right to water.
  3. Adopt more ambitious global policies asserting the importance of integrated water, sanitation, energy and land use planning, development, conservation and management at all scales, taking into account specific gender and cultural needs and with the full and effective participation of civil society.

Sustainable Cities and Innovation

  1. Promote the use of waste as a renewable energy source in urban environments.
  2. Plan in advance for sustainability and quality of life in cities.
  3. Each head of state should identify a sustainable city to develop a network for knowledge sharing and innovation.

Governments should channel resources to develop people-centered sustainable cities with timed and measurable goals, in such way that empowers local communities, promotes equality and accountability.


  1. Avoid ocean pollution by plastics through education and community collaboration.
  2. Launch a global agreement to save high seas marine biodiversity.
  3. Take immediate action to develop a global network of international marine protected areas, while fostering ecosystem based fisheries management, with special consideration for small-scale fishing interests.

“Dialogues for Sustainable Development”
Program and Participants

1 - Unemployment, decent work and migrations – June 16, 11:00 am – 1:30 pm

Moderator: Mr. Jonathan Watts (United Kingdom) - The Guardian
. Ms. Carmen Helena Ferreira Foro (Brazil) – Secretary of Rural Women Workers of CONTAG.
. Mr. Daniel Iliescu (Brazil) – President, National Students Union
. Ms. Deborah Wince-Smith (USA) - President, The Council on Competitiveness
. Ms. Ivana Savich (Serbia) – Coordinator, CSD Youth Caucus
. Dr. James K. Galbraith (USA) - Professor, Texas University
. Dr. Lu Hulin (China) - Professor, Beijing University
. Ms. Nana-Fosu Randall (Ghana) – Founder and President, Voices of African Mothers (VAM)
. Ms. Sharan Burrow (Australia) - Secretary-General, International Trade Union Confederation
. Mr. Maurice Strong (Canada) – Secretary-General of the Conferences in Stockholm (1972) and in Rio de Janeiro (1992)
. Mr. Peter Bakker (Netherlands) – President, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)


2 Sustainable Development as an answer to the  economic and financial crises – June 16, 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Moderator: Mr. Luis Nassif (Brazil) – TV Brasil /Agência Dinheiro Vivo
. Mr. Caio Koch-Weser (Germany) - Vice-President, Deutsche Bank Group
. Dr. Enrique V. Iglesias (Uruguay) – Secretary-General Ibero-Americana (SEGIB). Former President, Interamerican Development Bank (1988-2005)
. Mr. Fabio Barbosa (Brazil) – CEO, Abril S.A.
. Dr. Jeffrey Sachs (USA) -Director, Earth Institute, Columbia University
. Dr. Herman Mulder (Netherlands) - President, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
. Ms. Kate Raworth (United Kingdom) - Researcher, Oxfam
. Dr. Marcela Benítez (Argentina) – Founder and Director, RESPONDE Association
. Mr. Wang Shi (China) – Founder and President, China Vanke Co. Ltd
. Dr. Yilmaz Akyuz (Tukey) – Chief Economist, South Centre
. Dr. Laurence Tubiana (France) – Director, Institute of Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), Sciences Po


3 Sustainable Development for fighting poverty – June 16, 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Moderator: Sr. Fred de Sam Lazaro (USA) - PBS
. Dr. Boaventura de Sousa Santos (Portugal) - Professor, University of Coimbra
. Dr. Judith Sutz (Uruguay) - Professor, Universidad de la Republica
. Ms. Lourdes Huanca Atencio (Peru) - President, National Federation of Women Rural Workers, Artisans, Indigenousand Wage Workers of Peru (Femucarinap)
. Dr. Manish Bapna (USA) - President World Resources Institute (WRI)
. Dr. Márcia Lopes (Brazil) - Professor, Ex-Minister Ministry of Social Development and Hunger Alleviation
. Sr. Marcos Terena (Brazil) - President, Intertribal Committee.
. Dr. Pavan Sukhdev (India) – Founder and President, Gist Advisory Private Ltd.
. Ms. Severn Cullis-Suzuki (Canada) – Board Member, David Suzuki Foundation
. Mr. Victor Trucco (Argentina) – Honorary President, Argentine Association of No-Till Producers (AAPRESID)
. Dr. Yang Tuan (China) - Director, Center for Study of Social Policies, Chinese Academy for Social Sciences


4 - The economics of Sustainable Development, including sustainable patterns of production and consumption June 17, 11:00 am – 1:30 pm

Moderator: Sr. Joseph Leahy (United Kingdom) – Financial Times
. Dr. Elisabeth Laville (France) - Director, UTOPIES
. Dr. Enase Okonedo (Nigeria) - Deacon, Lagos Business School
. Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland (Norway) – Former Prime Minister of Norway
. Mr. Helio Mattar (Brazil) - President, Instituto Akatu. Co-Founder of Instituto Ethos
. Dr. Ignacy Sachs (France) - Professor, Centre de Recherche sur le Brésil Contemporain (CRDC), École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS)
. Mr. Juan Carlos Castilla-Rubio (Peru) - CEO, Planetary Skin Institute
. Dr. Kelly Rigg (USA) – CEO, Global Campaign for Climate Action
. Dr. Mathis Wackernagel (Switzerland) - Co-Founder, Executive Director, Global Footprint Network
. Dr. Thomas Heller (USA) – CEO, Climate Policy Initiative
. Ambassador Rubens Ricupero (Brazil) – Former Secretary-General, UNCTAD 


5 – Forests – June 17, 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Moderator: Sr. James Chau (China) - CCTV
. Mr. Anders Hildeman (Sweden) - Global Forestry Manager, IKEA of Sweden AB
. Sr. André Giacini de Freitas (Brazil) - CEO, Forest Stewardship Council (Forest Management Board)
. Dr. Bertha Becker (Brazil) - Professor, UFRJ
. Mr. Christian Del Valle (United Kingdom) - Founder, Althelia Climate Fund
. Mr. Estebancio Castro Diaz (Panama) – Executive Secretary, Alliance of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of Tropical Forests
. Mr. Guilherme Leal (Brazil) – Founder, CEO, Natura Cosméticos
. Dr. Julia Marton-Lefevre (France) - CEO, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
. Dr. Klaus Töpfer (Germany) - Founder, CEO, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), Former CEO of the United Nations Environment (1998-2006)
. Dr. Lu Zhi (China) - Director, Center for Nature and Society, Beijing University
. Dr. Yolanda Kakabadse (Ecuador) - President, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)


6 – Food and nutrition security – June 17, 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm 

Moderator: Paulo Prada (USA) - Reuters
. Mr. Carlo Petrini (Italy) – Founder, President, Slow Food
. Ms. Esther Penunia (Philippines) – Secretary-General, Asian Farmers Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA)
. Ms. Hortensia Hidalgo (Chile) - Indigenous Women Network of Latin America and the Caribbean for Biodiversity (RMIB)
. Ms. Josette Sheeran (USA) - Vice-President, World Economic Forum
. Dr. Luísa Dias Diogo (Mozambique) – Former Prime Minister of Mozambique
. Mr. Marco Marzano de Marinis (Italy) - CEO, World Farmers Organization
. Dr. Martin Khor (Malaysia) - CEO, South Centre
. Dr. Mary Robinson (Ireland) - Director, International Institute for the Environment and Development (IIED)
. Dr. Renato S. Maluf (Brazil) - Coordinator, Council on Food and Nutrition Security, (UFRRJ)
. Dr. Vandana Shiva (India) - Director, Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology 


7 – Sustainable energy for all – June 18, 11:00 am – 1:30 pm

Moderator: Mr. James Astill (United Kingdom) – The Economist
. Mr. Brian Dames (South Africa) - CEO, Eskom
. Ms. Changhua Wu (USA) - Director, Greater China - The Climate Group
. Ms. Christine Lins (Austria) - CEO, REN21
. Mr. José Antonio Vargas Lleras (Colombia) – Vice-President for Latin America and Caribbean (LAC), World Energy Council (WEC) / President, CODENSA S.A.
. Dr. Kornelis Blok (Netherlands) - Founder, Ecofys Group
. Dr. Luiz Pinguelli Rosa (Brazil) - Diretor, COPPE-UFRJ; Executive Secretary, Brazilian Forum on Climate Change
. Ms. Sandrine Dixson-Declève (Belgium) - Director, EU Office, University of Cambridge, Program for Sustainability and Leadership; Vice-Chair, European biofuels technology platform
. Ms. Sheila Oparaocha (Zambia) – Executive Secretary, International Network on Gender and Sustainable Energy
. Dr. Thomas Nagy (Denmark) – Executive Vice-President, Novozymes
. Mr. Vasco Dias (Brazil) - President, Raízen Energia

8 – Water – June 18 de junho, 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Moderator: Ms. Lucia Newman (Chile) – Al Jazeera
. Mr. Albert Butare (Rwanda) - CEO, Africa Energy Services Group
. Dr. Ania Grobicki (South Africa) – Executive Secretary, Global Water Partnership (GWP)
. Dr. Benedito Braga (Brazil) - President, International Water Resources Association (IWRA). Vice-President, World Water Council (WWC)
. Mr. David Boys (Canada) – Utilities Officer, Public Services International
. Mr. Dyborn Chibonga (Malawi) - CEO, National Smallholder Farmer´s Association of Malawi (NASFAM)
. Mr. Jeff Seabright (USA) - Vice-President, Environment and Water Resources - Coca-Cola Co.
. Dr. Loïc Fauchon (France) - President, World Water Council Board of Governors
. Dr. Muhammed Yunus (Bangladesh) - Founder, Grameen Bank
. Ms. Myrna Cunningham Kaim (Nicaragua) - Director, Permanent Forum of the United Nations of Indigenous People (2011-2013)
. Dr. Santha Sheela Nair (India) – Former Secretary, Department of Fresh Water, Ministry of Rural Development, India 


9 – Sustainable Cities and Innovation – June 18, 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Moderator: Mr. Andre Trigueiro (Brazil) – TV Globo
. Dr. Alejandro Aravena (Chile) - Architect, CEO, Elemental
. Dr. Barry Bergdoll (USA) – Chief Curator, Architecture and Design, MoMA
. Mr. David Cadman (Canada) - President, Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI)
. Dr. Enrique Ortiz (Mexico) - Former President, Habitat International Coalition (HIC)
. Mr. Jaime Lerner (Brazil) - President, Jaime Lerner Institute. Former Mayor of Curitiba and Former Governor of Paraná
. Dr. Janice Perlman (USA) - President, Mega Cities Project
. Mr. Khalifa Sall (Senegal) – Mayor of Dakar and Vice-President of UCLG for Africa
. Mr. Oded Grajew (Brazil) - President Emeritus, Instituto Ethos
. Ms. Nawal Al-Hosany (United Arab Emirates) – Director of Sustainability, Masdar
. Dr. Shigeru Ban (Japan) - Architect, Shigeru Ban Architects


10 – Oceans – June 19, 11:00 am – 1:30 pm

 Moderator: Sr. Philippe Cousteau (USA) - CNN
. Mr. Arthur Bogason (Iceland) - President, Icelandic National Association of Small Boat Owners
. Ms. Asha de Vos (Sri Lanka) – Marine Biologist, Western Australia University
. Dr. Richard Delaney (USA) – Head, Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies
. Dr. Jean-Michel Cousteau (France) - President, Ocean Futures Society
. Ms. Margareth Nakato (Uganda) - World Fishermen Forum
. Dr. Robin Mahon (Barbados) - Professor, University of West Indies
. Dr. Segen Farid Estefen (Brazil) - Professor, COPPE, UFRJ
. Mr. Shaj Thayil (India) - Vice-President, Technical Services and Ship Management, APL
. Dr. Sylvia Earle (USA) - Founder, Mission Blue Foundation
. Dr. Ussif Rashid Sumaila (Canada) - Director, Fisheries Centre and Fisheries Economics Research Unit, British Columbia University