Rio +20

ICLEI Rio +20

Local Governments in the Rio+20 Outcome Document

The Rio+20 outcome document was finalized by the end of the conference and shows a high visibility of local governments, cities and urban matters. The outcome document has been published on the UN Rio+20 website in the six official languages of the UN.  Click here to read it.

The paragraphs particularly relevant to local governments, cities and urban matters are:

  • Paragraph 22 on Page 4
  • Paragraph 42 on Page 7
  • Section IV E (Title: Regional, national, sub-national, local) on Page 19
  • The section “Sustainable cities and human settlements” on Page 26 starting with Paragraph 134


ICLEI participated in the official UN preparatory meetings ahead of Rio+20. At formal UN conferences, UN bodies and nine so-called Major Groups sit at the table with the representatives of the states.

The nine Major Groups are Business and Industry, Children and Youth, Farmers, Indigenous Peoples, Local Authorities, Non-Governmental Organizations, Scientific and Technological Community, Women and Workers and Trade Unions. For each group, one or two "Organizing Partners" act as focal points to facilitate participation from that constituency.

ICLEI is the Local Authority Major Group Co-Organizing Partner and in this role aims to achieve a high level of coordinated input from Local Authorities into the international process. At the Rio+20 conference, ICLEI facilitated the presence and active participation of local governments.


ICLEI's submission to the Rio+20 zero draft

On 1 November 2011 the deadline for all contributions to the zero draft of the Rio+20 outcome document occurred. 

The zero draft will be a compilation document where the intellectual contributions of member states as well as other stakeholders are collected. Acting as the mouthpiece of cities, ICLEI – as the Local Authorities Major Group Organizing Partner – highlighted the importance of local action and pushed for urban actors to be brought on board in the quest for sustainable development.

The key policy messages include:

  • Bend the trends: Rio+20 needs to be the turning point where current global trends such as population growth, urbanization, global warming and biodiversity loss are managed. By looking at the long-term trends we can see the full effects of current behavioral practices which can help us identify problems, needs, and opportunities. If we want a sustainable world in 2050, what do we need to do now in order to transform the trends accordingly?
  • Green Urban Economy: With the world’s 100 largest cities contributing over 30% to global GDP, and urbanization projections indicate that cities are going to continue to grow in importance over the coming decades. A green urban economy is therefore an indispensable part of a green global economy.
  • Local government stakeholders: For sustainable development governance at the global level, all relevant stakeholders – including local governments – must play their part in policy-shaping and implementation.

For more information, please contact the ICLEI World Secretariat at


Korean version available

ICLEI's Korea Office has now translated the ICLEI Rio+20 zero draft submission into Korean. Copies of the original and translated versions have been distributed to a number of important bodies and agencies in Korea. 

If you are interested in the Korean version, please visit the website of the Korean office at or contact them at 


Fondation Charles Léopold Mayer