Kofi Anan, former United Nations Secretary General - 2010
From 20-22 June 2012 the world will meet in Brazil for the United Nations Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development. This first ‘Earth Summit’ of the 21st century will assess progress made in the past 20 years and focus on two themes for the future: (a) a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; and (b) the institutional framework for sustainable development.
During the Conference it is hoped that the international community will agree on a set of Sustainable Development Goals; appoint a global ‘high commissioner’ for the environment, and elevate the United Nations Environment Program to Organisation status equal to WTO or WHO.
The historic Summit also coincides with the rise of Africa as the last frontier for investment and the new engine of global growth. After 50 years of independence the world’s largest store of untapped of resources – mineral, ecological and human - is opening up and ready for business. For the first time Africa's resources are becoming accessible to the rest of the world and the world’s products are becoming accessible to Africa.
In the past four years since the beginning of the current crisis a record number of conferences, meetings, reports, papers, articles, speeches, interviews and films confirm Africa's enhanced position in global affairs. The recent success and inspiration of the May 2012 World Economic Forum on Africa in is springboard to the world stage. The Rio+20 Summit could be the next. So great is the continent's growth potential some say this will be an African century.