UNDP helps strengthen the Sri Lanka position at Rio+20

13 Jun 2012

In strengthening the Sri Lanka position ahead of the landmark United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) provided technical and financial assistance  for the formulation of three key documents, the Government of Sri Lanka’s National Situation Report, the Citizen’s Report and the Youth Position Paper. These documents were presented to the Minister of Environment, Hon. Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and the Rio+20 Country Focal Point, Secretary to the Ministry, Mr. Basnayake on Friday 8th of June 2012 at a function organized by the Ministry of Environment in preparation for Rio+20 in Colombo.

To be held from June 20-22, 2012 in Brazil, twenty years after the Earth Summit in Rio, the Conference will bring together world leaders, international institutions and civil society representatives from around the world in a bid to build concrete steps to reduce poverty, while advancing social equity and environmental protection. This Conference will be crucial to securing renewed political commitments for sustainable development across the world.

As the UN’s lead development agency, UNDP took steps to support the Government, the public and the country’s youth in preparation for Rio+20. As such, UNDP supported the Ministry of Environment through technical assistance to prepare the National Situation Report, which summarizes the development contributions of different sectors, challenges and way forward for Sri Lanka following the Rio+20 conference. In addition, through the Global Environment Facility’s Small Grants Programme (GEF/SGP), UNDP supported the Sri Lanka Nature Forum to formulate the Citizen’s Report, which presents the opinion and the development experiences of the public over the past 20 years. Furthermore, UNDP supported the Youth for a Greener Sri Lanka (YGSL) platform, which comprises of the National Youth Services Council and a number of youth entities, to develop the Youth Position Paper for Rio+20. The Youth Position Paper focuses on the role of youth in creating a sustainable future under the theme, ‘the future we want’.

Elaborating on these efforts, Ms. Razina Bilgrami, Deputy Country Director of UNDP Sri Lanka, who was present at the occasion, stated, “The upcoming Rio+20 Conference will present a historic opportunity to define pathways to a safer, more equitable, cleaner, greener and more prosperous world for all. At UNDP, we are committed to working with our partners to support the country as it moves towards a more sustainable future. Having supported in the preparation process and also helped strengthen the capacity of the Sri Lanka delegation to Rio+20, UNDP will continue to support the various stakeholder groups to implement Rio+20 outcomes following the Conference.”