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Nigerian Ambassador hosts Rio+20 women ministers and leaders meeting on International Women's Day

WECF supports UNEP secretariat in organising an informal meeting of the Network of Women Ministers and Leaders for the Environment (NWMLE)

09.03.2011 |Sascha Gabizon

The Women Rio+20 Steering Committee (WECF, WEDO, VAM, ENERGIA and IUCN...) supported the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in organising an informal discussion of women ministers and heads of delegation during the 2n Prepcom for Rio+20.

The Nigerian Ambassador to the UN, Professor Joy Ogwu, hosted the women ministers and leaders meeting on 8 March 2011, International Women's Day, at the mission in New York. 27 women ministers, heads of delegations and civil society leaders shared their ideas for piority areas for the Rio+20 summit, for which draft negotiation texts are being prepared this year. The chair of the meeting, deputy minister of environment of Mexico, Mrs Sandra Herrera and and executive coordinator of UNCSD2012, Liz Thompson gave an introduction to the discussion. The meeting was held under Chatham-house rules, the report provides therefore the general tenor of the discussion.

Around the table the delegates discussed the different perceptions and definitions of "green economy", and brought forward that social equity and gender equity should be firmly included in the criteria. The "Green Economy" was seen as a tool but not as replacing the Sustainable Development concept. Best practices should be identified, which can be upscaled, and others mentioned the need to focus on rural women, giving the example of UNWOMEN's plans for a solar program for rural women.

On international governance, it was suggested that all international governance structures should look at gender balance in their structures, including in committees for allocation of global funds and technology assessment.

Another priority area pointed at by delegates was the focus on poverty eradication, through the involvement of women in the "green" economy, Rio+20 should bring clear outcomes, sector-based, e.g. in the area of water, sanitation and health, other delegates mentioned the areas of  energy, production and consumption and urbanization (including water management, waste and sanitation).

The UNEP secretariat suggested that the input by the Network of Women Ministers and Leaders can be strategic in assuring that priorities of women leaders are included in the Outcomes of Rio+20. The suggestion is to cluster priorities by regions, during the regional Prepcoms for Rio+20.

For more information contact: Janet Macharia at UNEP, or Sascha Gabizon at WECF

WECF's Rio+20 project receives financial support from the Federal Ministry of Environment of Germany

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