More than 130 world leaders and thousands of representatives from the business, major groups, associations converged in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil to attend the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development or better known as Rio+20, held from 20th to 22rd June 2012.

 Representing on behalf of the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of BruneiDarussalam was The Honorable Pehin Dato (Dr.) Mohammad Yasmin Umar, the Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister’s Office. Also present was Her Excellency Rakiah bte Hj Lamit, Ambassador of BruneiDarussalam to Brazil (Non-Resident), senior officials from the Ministry of Development and also the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The Ceremonial Opening was officiated by the President of Brazil, Her Excellency Dilma Rousseff, who was also the President of the Conference.

 A National Statement was delivered by YB Pehin Yasmin where he highlighted what Brunei has been undertaking to address sustainable development. The paper addressed how Brunei’s development is based on the Brunei Vision 2035. It also covers on the setting up of a national target of zero for poverty, developing Energy Industry Competency Framework to produce quality human resources, launching aEnergy Efficiency and Conservation (EEC) and Renewable Energy and Green Building Initiatives, undertaking measures to ensure the availability of water, setting targets for food security and embarking the Heart of Borneo initiative. The statement also referred to the ASEAN Vision 2020 in addressing sustainable development through its various programs and the progress made through the various Millennium Development Goals.

 The Rio+20 Conference carries a dual theme of A green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication and also Institutional framework for sustainable development. It also highlighted 7 priority areas that need attention viz. decent jobs, energy, sustainable cities, food security and sustainable agriculture, water, oceans and disaster readiness. Rio+20 is to mark the 20thanniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the 10th anniversary of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) held in Johannesburg, South Africa. It aimed to secure renewed political commitments towards sustainable development and to assess the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of previous major summits and to address new and emerging challenges. At the closing of the conference, the Outcome document on “The Future We Want” was endorsed. This document calls for a wide range of actions, such as beginning the process to establish sustainable development goals; detailing how the green economy can be used as a tool to achieve sustainable development; strengthening the UN Environment Programme (UNEP); promoting corporate sustainability reporting measures; taking steps to go beyond gross domestic product to assess the well-being of a country; developing a strategy for sustainable development financing; and, adopting a framework for tackling sustainable consumption and production.

 YB Pehin Yasmin also visited Petrobras Headquarters where discussions on further collaboration were held and agreed that benefits from the oil and gas development must provide spin offs to local businesses and to improve the lives of its people.

The Brunei Times