Spire’s representatives (Siv Maren Sandnæs and yours truly) are attending the Rio+20 conference and have arrived safely in Rio De Janeiro! This is the first blogpost from us, and we will update here when we have the time and have anything important to say. We are going to write in English firstly because Spire is an organization with internatonal members, and secondly because this blog will be and information source also for English speaking people in Rio. You can also follow our activities on my personal blog.

So we arrived on Sunday evening (which is in the middle of the night to Monday in Norwegian time). For the last couple of days we’ve been attending the Youth Blast, aka the conference for youth engaged in Rio+20 arranged by the Major Group for Children and Youth (MGCY). It has been great to meet up with other youth and strategise for the upcoming negotiations.Here are some pics just to give you some idea of what we’ve been doing:

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Siv Maren is happy with her Youth Blast pass!

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Meeting for European Youth following the Rio process.

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An amazingly inspiring 12-year old indigenous American boy talking about participation and our common responsibility for the World.

The prioritized institutional things for the MGCY are:
– Upgrading of the UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) to a specialized agency (like an organization with a lot more power and money)
– Youth advocacy
– Establishing a Sustainable Development (SD) Council that can work on SD coherence within the UN
– Creating an Ombudsperson for Future generations (High Commissioner).

As Spire delegates we are mostly going to focus on the last issue, but keeping track of them all.
It has been wonderful and inspiring to meet a lot of youth who are all knowledgeable and committed to making the best out of Rio+20 and showing high ambitions.

Tomorrow is the first day of the last Preparatory Committe, the negotiations before the big High Level Rio+20. Then we are changing venue to the RioCentro, a big conference place based an 80 minutes bus drive away from Rio centre. There is going to be a whole lot that is happening and a LOT of people coming, so it’s hard to know what to expect yet. It’s going to be exciting as the negotiations are starting to see where the different nations stand in different cases. We’ll report more specifically on this as we get along.

That was all for now! It’s way past out bed time here at King George’s Hostel, so we’ll say good night for now. Stay tuned for more updates!

– Mari Gjengedal (Spire´s representative in Rio)