Rio+20 Text Officially Approved: Still More Graphs!

Welcome to the Rio+20 talks! The Brazilian Chair’s text at Rio+20 was accepted by consensus a bit surprisingly this morning with no modifications. A number of delegations spoke about the things they would like to have seen changed in the plenary session, but all said that they would recommend to their Ministers and Heads of State to endorse it without modification.

It was a pretty intense moment when the Brazilian Foreign Minister announced that the text had been accepted. There was a loud round of applause, but definitely a lot of misgivings. There are some good things in the text (eg. Universal Health Coverage endorsed, Human Right to Water, process  – albeit a confusing one – for establishing Sustainable Development Goals) and some less good things (eg. Reproductive Rights missing, quite weak provisions on implementation and financing).

It’s been a fascinating experience and I feel like we actually made a real contribution by helping the WHO when they didn’t have enough people on the ground to follow the negotiations closely. I’ve seen inside the UN beast and look forward to doing it again!


Maybe not surprising, but sustainable occurs much more often than any other word in the UN Conference on Sustainable Development’s final text.
These things don’t always have to be a bolt from the blue.
This is a little meatier: Any text whose top three “action” words are recognize, support and promote isn’t likely to trouble someone inclined to ignore it, unfortunately.
Here is the frequency count in case the text is too small:
word freq
recognize recognize 147
support support 85
promote promote 65
reaffirm reaffirm 57
call call 51
encourage encourage 48
commit commit 38
note note 37
acknowledge acknowledge 33
strengthen strengthen 31
stress stress 30
emphasize emphasize 29
commitment commitment 27
invite invite 25
ensure ensure 21
underscore underscore 18
welcome welcome 16
facilitate facilitate 14
urge urge 13
reiterate reiterate 13
request request 11
recognizing recognizing 11
aim aim 9
underline underline 7
affirm affirm 5
recommit recommit 2
seek seek 2

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