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UNITAR has organized or participated in 20 events prior to and during the Rio+20 Conference.  Here is a summary of our participation:

23 June 2012

After UN CSD: Are we on Track for a 21st Century Social Contract?  A High-Level Panel Reflecting on the Outcomes of the Rio +20 Conference
VIVO Rio | 23 June 2012 | 10:00–12:00
Main Organizers: UNITAR, Ethos Institute

Achim Steiner, Carlos LopesDoes the world need a new Social Contract to address the sustainable development challenges of the 21st Century? This topic was at the heart of a debate of this high level panel convened by UNITAR and the Ethos Institute on 23 June, one day after the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio plus 20), with the support of Globo and Planeta and sponsorship of CPFL Energia, Itau and Natura. Read more


Related link:

http://www3.ethos.org.br/cedoc/o-mundo-precisa-de-um-novo-contrato-social/#.T_FWhJFaeZN (in Portuguese)


22 June 2012

What Happens on Monday?
T2 - RioCentro | 22 June 2012 | 13:00–17:00

Rio conference "what happens on Monday?"On the final day of the Rio+20 Summit, an interactive dialogue entitled “What Happens on Monday” took place to take stock of the outcomes of Rio and discuss opportunities for taking implementation forward. The event convened by Stakeholder Forum brought together more than 200 governmental and non-governmental stakeholders with goal to advance information sharing and networking. UNITAR contributed to the dialogue with an intervention on training and skills development for a green and climate resilient transition. Read more

We also invite you to read the article written by Achim Halpaap and Amrei Horstbrink, from UNITAR, on p.10 of the Outreach magazine dated 22 June 2012.

UNCSD Roundtable “Looking at the way forward in implementing the expected outcomes of the Conference”

22 June 2012 | 10:00–13:00

UNITAR Executive Director, Mr. Carlos Lopes, joined one of the four UNCSD Official Round Tables on 22 June, together with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction Margareta Wahlstrom and representatives of other UN specialized agencies, to highlight the importance of learning and national skills development strategies as concrete measures to advance a green transition and to promote the implementation of sustainable development.

He announced on this occasion that UNITAR would team up with ILO, UNESCO and other international partners in organizing in 2013 an ‘International Knowledge Sharing Forum on Training and Skills Development for Green and Climate Resilient Jobs’. The event will bring together international and national organizations offering relevant training services with representatives from partner countries, to take stock of existing activities and share knowledge on how training approaches and resources can best meet country needs. Coordination of the event will be undertaken through UN CC:Learn and the Inter-agency Working Group on Greening TVET and Skills Development, as well as other interested stakeholders.


For specific details about the participants and the sequence of speeches at the UNCSD Round Table, please refer to p. 10 of the following document provided by UNCSD:

Other related links:





Contribution to High Level Partnership Forum by the UNITAR/ILO/OECD GHS Partnership: "Partnerships Contributing to the Future We Want"
Riocentro | 22 June 2012 | 10:00–13:00
Main Organizer: UN DESA / Partners: ILO, OECD

GHS partnership event at Rio+20One of the selected partnerships featured in the High Level Partnership Forum was the UNITAR/ILO/OECD-supported “WSSD Global Partnership for Capacity Building to Implement the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals” (GHS). Read more



Proposals for a Green, Inclusive and Responsible Economy
Rio de Janeiro | 22 June 2012
Main Organizer: Ethos Institute

Mr. Carlos Lopes, UNITAR Executive Director, was invited to deliver remarks on the occasion of an event organized by the Ethos Institute on 22 June in Rio de Janeiro. The event titled “Proposals for a Green, Inclusive and Responsible Economy” focused on the role of business in promoting a green transition. The Ethos Institute, a Brazilian CSR-driver comprising around 1’300 member companies, has been carrying out substantial work aligned with one of the two main themes of the UNCSD – Green economy in the context of poverty eradication  - more specifically by encouraging businesses to be more socially responsible.

In the context of the 22 June event, the Ethos Institute intended to go a step further, beyond voluntary commitments by the business sector, with a view to building the vision of a new development model, requiring new processes within the economy that should become green, responsible, and inclusive. As part of this vision, the Ethos Institute organized this Panel to discuss how companies can not only improve their business practices, but also influence public policies by demanding higher standards from governments and transforming the economy.


My Green Dream Exhibition
Riocentro |13 – 22 June 2012
Main Organizer: UNITAR CIFAL Network

The Green Dream around the World campaign was created to give voice to dreams of thousands of individuals as a contribution to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20. The Exhibition displayed videos of 20 seconds to 1 minute dreams recorded by participants with smart phones and personal cameras and further uploaded on Green Dreams CIFAL's YouTube channel.  The Exhibition has captured attention of about 10,000 delegates over 7 days.


21 June 2012

Speed-Brokering for Partnerships
Riocentro, Pavilion T, Room T3 | 21 June 2012 | 15:00 - 18:00
Main Organizers: REEEP, UN DESA

Speed Brokering for Partnerships event at Rio+20The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA) and the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) hosted a speed brokering session to exchange best practices and promote partnerships in sustainable development. The session focused on three thematic clusters: energy, sustainable cities, and water. Participants from Government, civil society, academia, business and the UN system engaged in 12 “speed dating” style one-on-one meetings of seven minutes each. UNITAR was represented by the Environment Unit and the CIFAL Scotland. (Photo: REEP)

Related link:



Panel Discussion on “How the UN Can Better Integrate Environment Within the Development Framework”
Rio Conventions Pavilion | 21 June 2012 | 15:15–17:45
Main Organizer: CBD Secretariat

The Secretariats of the three conventions born out of the 1992 Earth Summit celebrated their 20th anniversary on 21 June in Rio de Janeiro with a special event that included a guest talk by Dr. Chan, head of WHO, on the inter-linkages between human and ecosystems health and an interactive panel with non-governmental stakeholders and high-level representatives of UN agencies on “How the UN system can better integrate environment with the development framework”.

UNITAR Executive Director, Mr. Carlos Lopes, noted on the occasion of the debate the importance of overcoming the continuing compartmentalization in modern research and educational systems that, coupled with the sectoral fragmentation of public institutions and policies accounts, to a large extent, for the continued separation between the economic, social and environment pillars in the vision and implementation of sustainable development. He pointed out that research is crucial in setting the global policy agenda that would fully embrace one of the key dimensions of development – environmental, whereas learning conceived in a holistic way can play a key role in creating the needed sets of skills. He also explained that knowledge plays a key role in human responses to development challenges and social change, and that the UN’s leadership and its partnership with key stakeholders are instrumental in promoting better integrated, environmentally sensitive, development policies.


Parallel Event on the Eye on Earth Special Initiative “Access for All” (A4A)
Athletes’ Park, UNEP Pavilion | 21 June 2012 | 11:00-12:00
Main Organizer: UNEP / Partners: UNITAR and other A4A Partners

At the Rio+20 Rio+20 event on Access to Informationside-event on the Eye on Earth Special Initiative ‘Access for All’ (A4A) panelists and participants discussed challenges and opportunities for improving public access to timely and accurate data and information. Read more 




UN Multi-stakeholder Strategies for Scaling-up and Mainstreaming Sustainable Development
Riocentro, Room T-6 | 21 June 2012 | 9:00–10:30
Main Organizer: UNICEF / Partners: as mentioned below

multi-stakeholder conference at Rio+20The Rio+20 side-event “UN Multi-stakeholder Strategies for Scaling-up and Mainstreaming Learning for Sustainable Development” called for new concerted efforts to implement, in partnership between various sectors, transformational learning strategies for a sustainable future. The event was organized by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with the UN University (UNU), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and UNITAR. More


20 June 2012

ScenaRio 2012: 30,000 Young Voices for a Sustainable Future
RioCentro, Room T-8 |20 June 2012 | 9:00-10:30
Main Organizers: Nomadéis, Fondapol, Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, Veolia Environnement, UNITAR

HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, Carlos Lopes, The ScenaRio 2012 initiative included a global survey by Nomadeis Consulting and Fondapol on youth and sustainable development. 30,000 young people were surveyed in 30 countries on their choices, aspirations, fears, perceptions and values in regards to sustainable development. Together with the organizers, partners and participants of the ScenaRio survey, H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, and UNITAR Executive Director Carlos Lopes celebrated the upcoming unveiling of results on the occasion of a special cocktail reception. Read more


19 June 2012

The Future We Want, Green Dreams & ScenaRio 2012: A Global Vision for Tomorrow
Pier Mauá, CNI Exhibition Space | 19 June 2012 | 14:00–18:00
Partners: National Confederation of Industry (CNI) , ScenaRio2012, Future We Want Campaign (UNDESA), Federation of Industries of Parana State (FIEP), UNITAR - CIFAL Curitiba

The three initiatives presented their results on 19 June in a seminar organized in the framework of the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation’s (FINEP) and the National Confederation of Industry’s (CNI) exhibition on “Innovation for Sustainable Development” at Mauá Piers.  The event had the presence of the Scottish Minister for Environment and Climate Change and a high-level representative of the Brazilian Ministry for Environment.


Choosing Our Future: Open and Participatory Sustainable
Development Governance

Fundação Getulio Vargas, Praia de Botafogo | 19 June 2012 | 08:30–18:00
Main Organizer: WRI / Partners: UNITAR, UNEP and others

Choosing our future event at Rio+20In order to identify possible action for strengthening capacities of stakeholders and Governments for effective public participation, UNITAR and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) organized an interactive working session on “Capacity Development to Strengthen Participatory Environmental Governance”. Read more



“Acre Day” in Rio with Governor Viana, Minister Clini and UNITAR Executive Director
The Botanical Garden in Rio de Janeiro | 19 June 2012

Acre day at Rio+20"Acre Day", held on 19 June 2012 at the Botanical Garden in Rio de Janeiro, was a special celebration of the launch of the state policy for the Acre and Madeira Rivers basin. Minister of Environment of Italy, Corrado Clini, and UNITAR Executive Director Carlos Lopes were invited as guests of honour to join the ceremony led by the Governor of the Acre State Tião Viana.  More than 150 people  attended the launch.  Read more


Sustainable Cities Workshop
Fasano Hotel | 18 - 19 June 2012 | 13:00 – 17:00
Main Organizer: UNITAR / Partner: IBM

UNITAR and IBM introduce Inclusive and innovative approaches to Sustainable Cities in a workshop. This parallel event consisted of an intense four hour simulation exercise, during which participants, from foreign ministries and urban planning councils, UN, academia and civil society, were divided into groups and chose to be a city habitant who faced various difficult financial, educational and environmental circumstances.  Through the exercise, the participants learned that inclusive and innovative approaches combining governmental policy, social support and business opportunity, the city inhabitant could improve not only his or her life, but also the lives of those in his or her community.  Read more


18 June 2012

The Society Case for Sustainability: Cities - Private Sector Dialogue on Social Responsibility
Windsor Barra Hotel, Rio de Janeiro | 18 June 2012 | 09:00 - 10:30
Main Organizer: UNITAR
Panel within the Corporate and Social Responsibility Forum (UN Global Compact)

Corporate Social Responsibility workshop at Rio+20UNITAR initiated the “Cities – Private Sector Dialogue Series on Social Responsibility” at the Corporate Sustainability Forum in the context of the Rio+20 Conference.  Organized with the support from Veolia Environment, the event presented the experience and views from local governments and private foundations on how social responsibility provides an opportunity for strengthening cooperation and partnerships conducive to social and economic development. The event highlighted cities’ growing interest to initiate and engage further into dialogue with the private sector of all sizes in view of elaborating frameworks that would provide enabling environments for social responsibility.  Read more


16 June 2012

National Learning and Skills Strategies to Advance a Green and Climate ResilientTransition
Riocentro, Room P3-A | 16 June 2012 | 15:30 – 17:00
Main Organizer: UNITAR / Partners: Secretariat of High Level Panel on Global Sustainability, UN CC:Learn Partners

Achim Halpaap in Rio+20Among the key recommendations of the 2012 report of Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Global Sustainability (GSP) is the importance to scale up education and skills development to advance a transition to sustainable development and a green society. Organized by UNITAR and UN CC:Learn in partnership with the GSP Secretariat, the side event entitled “Learning and Skills Strategies to Advance a Green and Climate Resilient Transition”, took place on 16 June 2012 in the margins of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or “Rio+20”). The event brought together more than 70 representatives from Governments, civil society and international organizations and was sponsored through the UN CC:Learn project funded by the Government of Switzerland.  Read more


BiodiverCITY: How to Take Biodiversity into Account in Urban Management?
Athletes' Park, Tenda CNO, Sala CNO4 | 16 June 2012 | 14:00 – 17:30
Main Organizers: Brazilian Ministry of Environment,Universidade Tecnológica Federal do Paraná (UTFPR) / Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), Federation of Industries of Parana State (FIEP)/ SESI (Servicio Social da Indústria), UNU-IAS (UN University), UNITAR - CIFAL Curitiba

UNITAR - CIFAL Curitiba delivered an afternoon workshop entitled “BiodiverCITY: How to take Biodiversity into account in urban management?” to local government officials on how to consider Biodiversity in urban management.  Representatives from 13 Brazilian cities have actively participated in the interactive sessions and methodology created in partnership with UTFPR.  We plan to replicate the training to other cities in partnership with the Brazilian Ministry for Environment.

Environmental Governance and Social Inclusion
US Center, Athletes’ Park, Rio de Janeiro |16 June 2012 | 14:00-15:30
Main Organizer: US EPA


14 June 2012

The GHS and the Global Partnership: a Success Story from Rio to Rio: Achievements, Lessons Learned and Future Directions
EU Pavilion, Rio de Janeiro | 14 June 2012 | 13:00-15:00
Main Organizer: UNITAR / Partners: ILO, OECD

GHS event at Rio+20Over 40 participants gathered in the EU Pavilion for an event on “The GHS and the Global Partnership, a Success Story from Rio to Rio: Achievements, Lessons Learned and Future Directions.” The UNITAR/ILO/OECD Global Partnership for Capacity Building to Implement the GHS was launched 10 years ago at the WSSD in Johannesburg, following the call at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to develop an internationally comprehensible chemical classification and labeling system: the GHS. With the first version of the GHS adopted in December 2002 by the UN Sub-Committee of Experts on the GHS and now 10 years of successful collaboration regarding capacity building for implementation, the GHS can truly be considered one of the success stories “from Rio to Rio’’.  Read more


13 June 2012

Business and the New Economy: what changes with Rio +20? - the Ethos conference 2012
Hotel Transamerica, São Paulo | 13 June 2012
Main Organizers: Ethos Institute

Carlos Lopes, Achim SteinerExecutive Directors of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and UNITAR, Achim Steiner and Carlos Lopes, joined Brazilian Minister Gilberto Carvalho, the father of ecodevelopment Professor Ignacy Sachs, and the leadership of the Ethos Institute Jorge Abrahão and Paulo Itacarambi on the occasion of the panel discussion of the international conference of this global CSR driver comprising 1300 Brazilian companies. The Ethos Conference 2012, held on 11-13 June at the Hotel Transamerica in São Paulo, focused on the following theme “Business and the New Economy: what changes with Rio +20?”. Read more


14 May - 22 June 2012

UNITAR/UNEP E-Learning Course: Introduction to a Green Economy  – Concepts and Applications
online | 14 May – 22 June 2012
Main Organizer: UNITAR / Partner: UNEP

The first edition of the UNITAR/UNEP e-learning course on the green economy concluded on 22 June 2012, coinciding with the final day of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). A total of 80 participants from more than 40 different countries, representing non-governmental organizations, Government, UN agencies, academia and the private sector participated in this six week course, with more than 50% of the participants being female.

Entitled ‘Introduction to a Green Economy: Concepts and Applications’, the course aimed at enhancing participants' understanding of the different facets of the green economy as well as of national and sector-specific challenges and opportunities to advance low-carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive development. Throughout the course, participants learned from a variety of instructional methods including a peer-reviewed case study, practice exercises and assessment tests, as well as a wiki exercise on skills challenges to advance a green economy. The course also provided interactive discussion forums supported by international experts for participants to network, exchange ideas and deliberate issues related to the green economy.


Preparatory events prior to Rio+20

UNITAR Newsletters on Rio+20


Carlos Lopes: Rio+20 "a call for common purpose"

Achim Halpaap: "A Path for Sustainable Development"

Achim Halpaap: Earth Summit in 2012