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Non-Paper: Preliminary Canadian Views on Rio+10  


There is a clear need to rekindle the enthusiasm and optimism that prevailed at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. It is highly unlikely that the standard intergovernmental U.N. negotiation process, such as the one that was followed in 1997, will produce an outcome much different than the somewhat disappointing results of Rio + 5.

  Rio + 10 should have a focused, forward-looking agenda, with a few key issues. That should include new, evolving and emerging issues. If we load the agenda with too many issues, we are likely to make little real progress.

  We also need a forward-looking, problem-solving, action-oriented process that goes beyond negotiations on text. The objective should be a renewed North-South partnership in promoting sustainable development. We need to look for common ground and complementary actions between developed and developing countries.

  One of the lost opportunities of the last ten years was the assumption by many that governments could deliver on Agenda 21 by themselves. Rio + 10 should emphasize the notion of shared responsibility between governments, civil society and business. Major groups can play an important role in making sustainable development happen. They can be very useful partners in bringing experience, expertise and resources to the discussion, and they can mobilize public opinion and action.

  In our view, Rio + 10 should take the form of a World Summit or World Conference on Sustainable Development, at the level of Head of State and Govemment. It should give a new impetus to the commitment by countries and the international community to economic growth, social equity and environmental sustainability.

Rio + 10 should be held in a developing country I in a spirit of international solidarity. This will also heighten the international visibility of Rio + 10 and help promote a renewed high-Ievel commitment to achieve sustainable development.


It is essential to start the preparatory process as soon as possible,

  The preparatory process should include the review of the implementation of Agenda 21 with an emphasis on the successes achieved, the lessons learned and the persistent obstacles. There is already a large amount of material to draw on. We need to summarize what is known and to structure a fruitful dialog,ue with all stakeholders. This dialogue should draw on the experience and needs of countries and major groups.

  It will be very important to engage civil society and business, along with governments and international institutions, in the preparatory process right from the beginning.

  There should be regional preparatory meetings, with could focus on key regional issues.

  It will be important to develop an effective communications strategy, so everyone knows what is at stake and to build the public support necessary for the success of the process.

With the enormous advances in information and communication technology, the preparatory process and the Conference itself should take advantage of this to the maximum, to enable the widest possible participation by all parties.

CSD-10 should review implementation of Agenda 21, with emphasis on identifying key constraints in its effective implementation, and make recommendations to Rio + 10 on solutions.

  It is necessary to consider how the CSD-10 and Rio + 10 processes should be integrated or coordinated.