“Make some noise.” This was the request of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as he urged young people to help push negotiations in preparation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Conference (Rio+20) taking place in just three weeks in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. To help encourage youth participation, a live Google Hangout with Mr Brice Lalonde, Executive Coordinator of Rio+20, is scheduled for Friday 1st June at 10:30am EST.
The Conference still doesn’t have an agreement on the final document (the draft outcome document, on which delegates and Heads of States could agree to during the Conference). An additional week of consultations has been added and is currently taking place at the UN headquarters with Member States. Expressing the need for renewed commitment, the Secretary-General said “The truth is I am disappointed with the negotiations. They are not moving fast enough. That is why I need you.”
The Google Hangout – the first live social media event on the conference – is organized by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA). During the event, representatives from youth groups will have an opportunity to ask questions and share concerns with Mr Brice Lalonde, Executive Coordinator of Rio+20.
“You, the young generation, are the actors of change. Rio+20 is about your future and this time we need people to stand, to challenge, to inspire, to dream, to see beyond what is currently accepted by the elders,” he said.
Get involved in Rio+20
This is a very critical time. The live event provides representatives of youth groups and the public from all over the world with a venue to ask questions about how they can take part, discuss their hopes for the conference and get involved in the debate.
Google Hangout allows multiple people to video chat from anywhere in the world and as part of the live event. Everyone will be given the chance to submit comments and questions on how they can participate even without being invited to the Conference, via:
- UN Google+ page
- Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development Facebook page
- Twitter, using hashtag #Youth4Rio.
Questions and comments from the public will be shared with Brice Lalonde by a representative of youth taking part in the Hangout. The live broadcast will also be available on UN DESA Youtube page.
Push governments to go beyond their national interests
“The true measure of success in Rio is how much action it inspires,” said Rio+20 Secretary-General Sha Zukang on 29 May. For the Conference organisers this action should also be an opportunity for young people to push their governments to go beyond national interest.
Speaking of the opportunity to talk directly with young people, Mr Lalonde said: “Politicians can’t or don’t have the time to take the long-term view that sustainable development demands – but that long-term view is essential to ordinary people and especially to young people.
Brice Lanlonde-Executive Coordinator of Rio+20: Brice Lalonde was appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations as Executive Coordinator for Rio+20 in December 2010. Prior to this, he served as French Ambassador for climate change negotiations of France, French Minister for the Environment, Chairman of the Round Table for Sustainable Development at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and Senior Adviser for the Environment to the French Government. In addition, he held the position of Director of the Paris office of the Institute for a European Environment Policy.