In association with the Government of Brazil, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has, via an online platform, offered a voice to concerned person on issues discussed at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), which came to a close on Friday in Rio de Janeiro.
The “Sustainable Development Dialogues”, which can be accessed at https://www.riodialogues.org/, has been operational for about five months. It offers a platform for engagement among participants on wide-ranging issues such as “oceans,” “food and nutrition security,” “sustainable development for fighting poverty,” “sustainable development as an answer to the economic and financial crises,” “sustainable energy for all” and “water.”
Others are “the economics of sustainable development, including sustainable patterns of production and consumption,” “sustainable cities and innovation,” “unemployment, decent work and migrations,” and “forests.”
A user is at liberty to join one or several of these dialogues.
“Riodialogues helps people bring their voice to Rio+20. It is an online platform whereby people can register, log in and bring out their voice on important issues,” says Marc Lepage, the UNDP Knowledge Management team leader.
According to him, the issues (raised on the site) are those of the Government of Brazil, and not UN-driven.
He adds: “We are just providing the tools and in that sense we are reaching out to the people. The Riodialogues website was established in association with the Brazilian government based on the concept the UN uses for knowledge sharing, but it is open so that people can register and use it even if you are not a UN staff. It has been a good tool to exchange ideas on the topics of discussion in Rio. You can vote on issues considered most important.”
A participant’s page content features: unread post, teamworks activity, article, blog post, bookmark, event, file, forum topic, gallery, poll, status update and wikipage.
Under the Water Dialogues for example, 0ver 60,000 people voted, and their top choice is “Secure water supply by protecting biodiversity, ecosystems and water sources”
Similarly, 1,500 people in the room at the live Dialogue on June 18, 2012 listened to the panel and they voted. This was their top choice: Implement the Right to Water
The panelists reached consensus on a new recommendation: Adopt more ambitious global policies that assert the importance of integrated water, sanitation, energy and land use planning, development, conservation and management at all scales, taking into account specific gender and cultural needs and with the full and effective participation of civil society.