Incorporating Regional Priorities into Global Conferences: A Review of the Regional Preparatory Committee Meetings for Rio+20



This year, the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) marks the fortieth anniversary of the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, the twentieth anniversary of the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro and the tenth anniversary of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. As part of the preparations for Rio+20, the five UN Regional Economic Commissions convened regional preparatory meetings. These regional meetings have become de rigueur in the run-up to international conferences or summits. This article examines the regional contribution to Rio+20 by looking at the history of the UN Regional Economic Commissions and their role in preparing for the global sustainable development conferences, with specific emphasis on the Rio+20 process, and how the regional preparatory meetings examined some of the major issues on the agenda.