Declaration and celebration: That sums up the closing ceremony for the 64th Department of Public Information NGO Conference in Bonn. After three days of intense negotiations, NGOs and volunteer organizations agreed on a draft declaration as a roadmap to Rio+20.
They called on stakeholders to become involved in Rio+20 and set their own commitments within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals. They called on governments to:
come to Rio + 20 represented by Heads of State or Government, with concrete commitments to take individual and collective actions towards sustainable development and address the gaps and emerging issues,
based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities;
But more than just attending the conference with their own Sustainable Development Goals, they also called on governments to
produce a politically-binding outcome document that recommits governments to achieve sustainabledevelopment;
It won’t be easy. Even the NGOs and Volunteers had difficulty agreeing on the wording of the draft proposal, which outlines how countries should transition to green economic models to ensure civil sustainability, develop an institutional a framework for sustainable development, and included a draft of their own sustainable development goals.
But despite some backroom bickering, the closing ceremony was celebratory. Delegates, participants and volunteers listened to Deutsche Welle’s international choir, who came dressed in costumes representing their countries of origin, harmonize to songs from around the globe.
And our final film – well, it knocked their socks off.
We all agreed it was a weekend well spent and are looking forward to the next UN conference.
Goodbye Bonn – hello Rio+20!
–Kateri Jochum, AV Trainer and Webmaster