What precisely is the ’92 Global Forum?
The ’92 Global Forum is the series of simultaneous, substantive, independent sector events to take place during the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), or Earth Summit, that will be held in Rio de Janeiro between June 1-12, 1992. Most of the ’92 Global Forum events will take place in the Flamengo Park where special facilities will be built, in the Hotel Gloria Convention Center and in approximately 30 auditoriums in downtown Rio de Janeiro and environs.
Who runs the ’92 Global Forum?
The ’92 Global Forum secretariat, which has been installed at the Hotel Gloria in Rio since mid-1991, is a joint effort between the Forum of Brazilian NGOs and the International Facilitating Committee (IFC). The Forum of Brazilian NGOs is an coalition of hundreds of Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) who are devoted to environment and development issues. The Forum of Brazilian NGOs is represented at the ’92 Global Forum by Tony Gross, a respected Amazon researcher and author. The IFC was formed of representatives from international, independent sector environment and development organizations and one of its prime objectives is to assist the Brazilian NGOs in putting on the ’92 Global Forum. The IFC is represented in Rio by Warren H. (Chip) Lindner, Executive Director of the Centre for Our Common Future in Geneva, who has assumed prime organizing responsibilities for the ’92 Global Forum.
How do the ’92 Global Forum activities differ from the official UNCED activities?
UNCED is an official United Nations conference, subject to the conventions and rules that govern UN-organized events. It will be held at Riocentro, Rio de Janeiro’s city-owned convention facility which has been ceded to the UN for the period and which during the Conference will become “UN territory.”
The ’92 Global Forum is a series of varied events put on by independent, non- governmental organizations from all over the world, who desire to participate in the Earth Summit. The Forum thus is the organizational umbrella for a wide variety of sectors of civil society who desire to express their viewpoints at the same time official delegates will be finalizing the negotiations on environment and development issues crucial to the world’s future. Many of the groups who are putting on events as part of the ’92 Global Forum have been accredited by the UNCED secretariat to participate in the preparatory committee meetings to UNCED (PrepComs). They include a broad cross-section, from environment and development NGOs, human rights movements, women’s organizations, religious and inter-faith communities, youth associations, trade unions, indigenous people’s groups, industry organizations, professional associations, scientific and research institutes and so on.
Is the ’92 Global Forum recognized by the UN and Brazil as an integral part of the Earth Summit?
Yes. It has received specific designation by UNCED Secretary General Maurice Strong as the entity which is to organize and help assure thorough participation by civil society during UNCED. The Brazilian government, through the National Working Group (GTN), likewise has been providing full assistance to the ’92 Global Forum, including the formation of a special committee made up of representatives from federal, state and city government and important civil organizations to assist the Forum in its task.
With its location in Flamengo Park, isn’t there danger the ’92 Global Forum is going to end up as a type of popular cultural festival, something like an “ecological Woodstock”?
Definitely not. Many of the Forum’s scheduled events are to take place in Flamengo Park in a special closed-in area in pre-fabricated structures that after their use in June will be donated to the city of Rio de Janeiro. There will be E festival-like atmosphere. For one thing, access will be through registration andA invitation. And although there will be special cultural events, including concerts and other types of performing arts put on as a part of the’92 Global Forum, the scheduled activities are in the great majority substantive debates, seminal symposiums, exhibitions and symbolic events designed to show worldwide concern over the problems related to sustainable development. Besides the events which will take place in the park, there will be many other Forum activities taking place in the 30-odd auditoriums located throughout the downtown, Gloria, Laranje and Catete neighborhoods.Coordinators: Forum of Brazilian NGOs for UNCED • International Facilitating Committee for UNCED / Centre for Our Common Future