The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development is returning to Rio de Janeiro in 2012, with institutional framework for sustainable development and green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication as the main themes. As part of the preparations for Rio+20, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) called for submissions by 1 November 2011 through a web portal they established.
An analysis of the submissions carried out by The Access Initiative (TAI) showed that there were over 140 submissions (including submissions by several states, intergovernmental organizations and civil society organizations) calling for better implementation of Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration and greater transparency, participation, and accountability in matters affecting sustainable development. Clearly, there is a growing sense of urgency and a chorus of national governments, intergovernmental bodies and civil society groups calling for the strengthening of Principle 10 worldwide.
These calls for a convention or legally binding framework on Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration provide the context for this paper. In it we seek to (a) provide reasons why a convention offers a good option for making future progress in implementing Principle 10, (b) suggest what the contents of such a convention might be and (c) conclude with what Rio+20 can do to further such a convention. For those who would like more information on Principle 10 and the details of the various calls for a convention, we have provided an annex.