Colombo+20: The Future We Want, is an effort to emphasise the importance of the Rio+20 (United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development) Conference and its outcomes towards sustainable development in Sri Lanka.
Rio+20 – the short name for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development taking place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, during this month of June 2012 – is an historic opportunity to define pathways to a safer, more equitable, cleaner, greener and more prosperous world for all.
Colombo 20: The Future We Want, is an advocacy campaign that will reflect this year’s conference’s theme The Future We Want, in a Sri Lankan context and is organised by three different renowned youth networks, the V-Force (National Voluntary Taskforce), Youth for a Greener Sri Lanka (YGSL) and the National Youth Services Council (NYSC), bringing in youth from every corner of Sri Lanka. This initiative is further supported and endorsed by several UN agencies, including the United Nations Volunteers.
One of the main events of this collaborative effort of all school children, university students, and the general public will be held at Independence Square on 1 July, from 3p.m. onwards. The event programmed will be lined up around two buses being painted in collaboration with the Academy of Design and include sub-events such as flash mobs, storytelling for kids, canvas painting for the public, a photo exposition, live music, and many others in a mini carnival atmosphere.
The occasion shall be used to sensitise the public through the various activities and volunteers engaging them in conversations on actions that we, as citizens could undertake to shape the future we want.
This is our call out to society to join us and take a stand united as a force for ‘The Future We Want’. Come out and we together can be part of the change you want to see in our country. This change does not merely end at the end of the Rio+20 conferences but carries on into the future. It is our turn to reduce our carbon footprint through simple means such as planting trees, switching off lights or even using the reduce, reuse, recycle philosophy. Even the smallest of things can change the bigger picture.
Twenty years after the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, where countries adopted Agenda 21 – a blueprint to rethink economic growth, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection – the UN brought together governments, international institutions and major groups to agree on a range of smart measures that can reduce poverty while promoting decent jobs, clean energy and a more sustainable and fair use of resources.
Rio+20 is believed to be our chance to move away from business-as-usual and to act to end poverty, address environmental destruction and build a bridge to the future.