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Rio+20: Brazil will support the creation of the Council for Sustainable Development

The creation of a Council for Sustainable Development, within the remit of the United Nations (UN), to address global issues related to water, amongst other topics, will be discussed during the Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20. The aim is to discuss the creation of the new Council instead of strengthening the UN Office for the Environment Program (UNEP), as sought by the European Union.

"There is general dissatisfaction with UN agencies and the Brazilian proposal is a broader response than specific reforms. It takes advantage of the moment, the high level of dissatisfaction in relation to these bodies, to propose something new", said the President of the National Water Agency (ANA), Vicente Andreu, who presented the initiative for the creation of the Council during the 6th World Water Forum in Marseille (France). "The proposal will be raised at Rio+20 and the Brazilian position is in favor of the creation of the Council."

The matter will be discussed along with the proposal put forward by the European Union to strengthen UNEP. Currently, there are two lines of thought on the subject: to consolidate the work of UNEP, the body that already exists and is the focal point for the principal requirements, discussions and actions in the sector, and the transformation of the agency in a world environmental organization - which would be at the same level as bodies such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), which deals with international trade rules, or the World Health Organization (WHO), the authority which directs and coordinates the health-related actions  of the United Nations.

According to Vicente Andreu, the World Water Forum is a way to exchange experiences with other countries. In not being a government entity, but rather a society forum, where governments participate together with businesses and other interested parties, the panels can incorporate discussion of topics such as infrastructure for access to water and climate issues. "It will provide access to successful experiences in various parts of the world," he said.

The forum takes place every three years, and is organized by the World Water Council, a non-government organization. This year's forum is coordinated by the French government, the city council of Marseille and the World Water Council, and is composed of around 400 delegates from 70 countries. The World Bank and European Central Bank also have their space at the forum, to discuss financing for water-related projects.

17 March 2012