SGI Participates in Rio +20 Preparatory Process
The UN Conference on Environment and Development, popularly known as the Earth Summit, convened in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, was the first international conference to discuss the issue of sustainable development, resulting in the creation of "Agenda 21." In 2012, another summit, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development 2012, is to be held in Rio, known as "Rio +20."
On March 7 and 8, a preparatory meeting for Rio +20 was convened at the UN headquarters in New York. SGI delegates participated in this PrepCom in order to present the voices of civil society. On March 7, SGI representative Nobuyuki Asai made a presentation in a side event entitled "Strategy, Opportunities, Challenges: Greening the Economy" at Uganda House near the United Nations, responding to a request from the Education Caucus of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development.
In the presentation, SGI's grassroots awareness raising activities were introduced as an example of nonformal education, which many people agree is necessary to vitalize education for sustainable development (ESD). Mr. Asai also introduced the "Learn, Reflect and Empower" formula which SGI President Ikeda proposed in his 2002 proposal on promoting ESD. He also stressed the need to develop a concrete strategy which will follow on from the ongoing UN Decade of ESD which will end in 2014. He also made reference to the situation regarding human rights education in which a further UN-led programme complete with specific targets was launched in 2005 following the end of a similar decade.
Presentations were also made by Anne Carlsen, UNDPI Climate Change Adviser, on UNDPI's ESD activities, Sascha Gabizon of the Global Gender and Climate Alliance on the perspective of women, and finally Ted Schulman of TransComs stressed the role of the mass media.
The audience included a representative of the US Department of State, and Carol Crump, a support worker for the PrepCom who specializes in education issues.
These presentations from various perspectives and subsequent discussion, contributed to deepening the strategy of the Education Caucus toward enhancing the status of education in the preparatory process for Rio +20.
SGI will continue to follow this process, promoting relevant activities including showing the "Seeds of Hope" exhibition in many parts of the world.
[Adapted from a report from the SGI Office of Public Information; photos courtesy of SGI Office of Public Information]