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AFRICAN UNION: ASSEMBLY OF THE UNION Eighteenth Ordinary Session 29 – 30 January 2012 Addis Ababa, ETHIOPIA

REPORT OF H.E. MR. DENIS SASSOU NGUESSO, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF CONGO AND AFRICA’S COORDINATOR ON AFRICA’S PREPARATIONS FOR THE UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (RIO +20):
COMMON POSITION AND STRATEGIES VIS-À-VIS THE CHALLENGES POSED BY THE GLOBAL ECONOMY AND THE INTERNATIONAL GOVERNANCE OF THE ENVIRONMENT

Introduction
1. This report is prepared pursuant to Assembly Decision adopted in Malabo
(Assembly/AU/Dec.381 (XVII)) on Africa’s preparations for the United Nations
Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) scheduled to be held in Rio de
Janeiro, Brazil from 20 to 22 June 2012.
2. The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), as the technical
focal point, in collaboration with the African Union (AU), the African Development Bank
(AfDB), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations
Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), prepared and/or commissioned a
series of studies and thematic reports that respond to the objectives and themes of
Rio+20 to inform the consultations at the sub-regional and regional level, namely:
a) Africa Report on Progress towards Sustainable Development, prepared by
UNECA;
b) Africa Report on New and Emerging Challenges, commissioned by AfDB;
c) Africa Report on Green Economy in the context of Sustainable
Development and Poverty Eradication, prepared by UNEP;
d) Africa Report on Institutional and Strategic Frameworks for Sustainable
Development, commissioned by UNECA;
e) Report on International Environmental Governance, commissioned by
UNEP; and
f) Africa Report on Means of Implementation: Bridging the Gap, prepared by
UNECA.
3. In addition, the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU), the Economic Community of Central
African States (ECCAS), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS),
the East African Community (EAC), the Intergovernmental Authority on Development
(IGAD) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) collaborated with
the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African
Development Bank (AfDB) in preparing the sub-regions for reviewing reports on
progress towards sustainable development in North, Central, West, Eastern and
Assembly/AU/10(XVIII)
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Southern Africa. Between 27 September and 7 October 2011, UNECA and the Regional
Economic Communities (RECs) jointly organized five sub-regional consultative
meetings to validate and enrich the reports, which were informed by data and
information collected through national consultations conducted in Member States of the
different sub-regions.
4. The review of the sub-regional reports and outcomes of the consultative
meetings contributed to informing the Africa review report on progress towards
sustainable development.
5. The African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) held its Fourth
Special Session in Bamako, Mali, from 12 to 16 September 2011, with the goal of
preparing for COP17 in Durban and the Rio+20 Summit.
a) The Ministers adopted the Bamako Declaration on Consolidating the African
Common Position on Climate Change and Preparation for the United
Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). In their
declaration, the Ministers reaffirmed that Africa will present a common
position to Rio+20;
b) The Ministers also adopted a Decision on Green Economy in which they
welcome the green economy as new opportunities to advance the
attainment of Africa’s sustainable development and acknowledge that the
transition to a green economy entails additional costs which require
additional financing;
c) The Ministers also adopted a decision on the Institutional Framework for
Sustainable Development (IFSD) and the International Environment
Governance (IEG). In this decision, the Ministers acknowledge the need to
strengthen the IFSD in order to promote a balanced integration of the three
pillars of sustainable development, to define the characteristics of an
international specialized institution, and support the 17th African Union
Summit Decision on Rio+20, which takes into consideration the need to
strengthen, consolidate and transform UNEP into an international
specialized institution for the environment, based in Nairobi, Kenya.
6. The Africa Regional Preparatory Conference for Rio+20 was held in Addis
Ababa, Ethiopia, from 20 to 25 October 2011. The Conference was organized by the
United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), in collaboration with the African
Union Commission (AUC) and the African Development Bank (AfDB), in partnership
with the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), the United Nations Environment
Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
(DESA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The Conference
Assembly/AU/10(XVIII)
Page 3
comprised two segments, an expert segment held from 20 to 23 October and a
ministerial segment held from 24 to 25 October 2011. The Bureau was composed of:
Republic of Congo (Chair), Somalia (1st Vice-Chair), Botswana (2nd Vice-Chair), Benin
(3rd Vice-Chair) and the Sudan as Rapporteur.
a) The main objective of the Preparatory Conference was to deliberate on the
objective and themes of Rio +20 and other substantive matters of
importance to Africa, with a view to arriving at a consensus on Africa’s key
priorities and concerns to be reflected in the outcomes of Rio+20. It was
attended by over 400 participants, including the Head of State of the
Republic of Congo, Mr Denis Sassou-Nguesso, in his capacity as Africa’s
Spokesperson and Political Coordinator for Rio +20, and His Excellency,
Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of the Federal Democratic Republic of
Ethiopia;
b) Also in attendance were Ministers in charge of foreign affairs, the
environment, the plan and planning, social affairs, labour, as well as
eminent personalities, high-level policy makers and experts from African
Member States, regional and sub-regional organizations, United Nations
agencies, development partners and representatives of the nine major
groups recognized by Agenda 21. Given the multidimensional nature of
sustainable development, members of delegations included experts from
economic, social affairs and environment ministries and agencies, as well
as experts and diplomats from foreign affairs ministries in Addis Ababa and
New York.
7. To sustain the political momentum in Africa’s preparation for Rio +20, on 1
November 2011, the Republic of Congo, acting in its capacity as Africa’s Political
Coordinator and Spokesperson for Rio+20, together with the African Union
Commission, presented the Africa Consensus Statement to the Rio+20 Secretariat and
held consultations with Egypt and Botswana, which represent Africa in the Bureau of
Rio+20 so that the continent speaks with one voice through the common position (Africa
Consensus Statement to Rio+20) which was adopted by all the parties in Addis Ababa.
The Africa Consensus Statement to Rio+20 was also shared with influential G77
members and China, in a bid to mobilise political support for Africa’s common position
to present Africa’s ambitions and expectations for Rio+20.
8. After the 2nd inter-sessional meeting on Rio+20 held in New York from 15 to 16
December 2011, African countries have continued to promote and defend their common
position in the negotiations leading to Rio+20.

See attachment "Assembly AU 10 (XVIII) _E - Rio + 20.pdf" for full report

Please check as well the decisions taken:
ASSEMBLY%20AU%20DEC%20391%20-%20415%20(XVIII)%20_E.pdf
ASSEMBLY%20AU%20DEC%20391%20-%20415%20(XVIII)%20_F.pdf
EX%20CL%20Dec%20668-695%20(XX)%20_E.pdf
EX%20CL%20Dec%20668-695%20(XX)%20_F.pdf

And don't miss the "RepositioningECA_ENG.pdf" or visit http://www.uneca.org/