After spending Friday in their regional blocs, the delegates of the Rio +20 Earth Summit Plenary Session convened on Saturday in the Manhattan Ballroom. Upon arriving in committee the delegates found themselves confronted by the challenge of trying to merge the different ideas that had been discussed the day prior. In an interview with the Chronicle, the delegation of Cambodia noted the in the Asian committee their focus had leaned towards the interest of developing countries, and merging these opinions with those of more developed country had proven itself to be a test of everyone’s ability to delegate.
In a room with more than one hundred different delegations, Belarus described they found it “hard to get your voice in there.” They attempted to merge their ideas with those of their continental counterparts from Western Europe, but found it tough to caucus with them. The different blocs had supported many of the same ideas, but had focuses on the issues more pertinent to issue. Renewable energy seemed to be a big focus in the regions of Eastern & Western Europe, while issues like deforestation, environmental conservation, and education became the central points of the other regions.
On coming into the plenary the USA delegates realized immediately the need for a “definite shift in the politics to reflect a more global perspective.” One of the two delegates from the American delegation noted that although the change was not dramatic, it was clearly noticeable and necessary. They were glad that the other delegations from the other regions had placed a greater emphasis on some issues that they may have overlooked, and realized how broad of a subject sustainable development really is. As members of the United Nations get ready to ready to discuss these same problems this summer in Brazil, it can be inferred by the example of this committee what kind of problems the countries will face when they come together for the purpose of trying to create a sustainable future.