Rio 20 Side Events Will Address Ethics Concerns, Provide Religion Insights

(Photo Credit: WCC/LWF/W. Noack)Participants of the World Council of Churches and Lutheran World Federation's Youth for Eco-Justice program protest at the Global Day of Action Procession in Durban, South Africa in December 2011.

Side events at next week's major UN environmental meeting in Brazil will highlight ethical concerns and religious insights as countries consider a set of policies to help reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development in the context of a green economy.

The World Council of Churches, which says the policies should take into consideration poor and vulnerable communities, highlighted specific times, dates and locations for side events taking place in the days ahead of the Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro set for June 20-22.

Groups also participating in the events will be Caritas Internationalis, the Lutheran World Federation and Religions for Peace.

"We hope that the results of Rio will effectively reflect a larger 'we', including in particular the most vulnerable and poor communities in the world," said Dr Guillermo Kerber, WCC program executive on climate change.

"WCC delegates will focus on highlighting ethical concerns, and religious insights in a number of events which we have organized, in addition to the intense advocacy efforts to be carried out at the UNCSD," he added.

At one event a message from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople will be read.

About the UN Conference

The outcome of the UN Conference will be a "political document."

"Governments are expected to adopt clear and focused practical measures for implementing sustainable development, based on the many examples of success we have seen over the last 20 years," according to the UN Conference website.

Participants will also include international institutions and major groups.

The UN says the two main themes for the conference will be "how to build a green economy to achieve sustainable development and lift people out of poverty, including support for developing countries that will allow them to find a green path for development, and how to improve international coordination for sustainable development."

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