Invitation to the press: Knapen to open Rio+20 business and industry consultation on sustainable development

Minister for European Affairs and International Cooperation Ben Knapen will open the Rio+20 business and industry consultation with government and civil society on Wednesday 11 April in The Hague. The conference, which the Netherlands is organising at the request of the United Nations, will take place on Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 April at the World Forum in The Hague and is entitled ‘Realising Inclusive and Green Growth’. It is being held in preparation for the sustainability conference Rio+20, running from 20 to 22 June in Brazil.

International businesses are coming to the World Forum to discuss the need for their involvement in the transition to a green economy and the steps that need to be taken.

The outcome of this consultation will form the key message from the business sector to the Rio+20 conference. About 300 people will attend, most of them representing the business community (mainly at CEO level) in the Netherlands and abroad, including developing countries. Naturally, civil society organisations, UN agencies and government officials will also be participating.

The key themes of the conference are transparency and reporting, leading examples in the food and water sectors, innovation in finance models (with a special focus on the role played by financial institutions), and support for small and medium-sized businesses, including through international trade chains.

Representatives of the media are cordially invited to attend the following parts of the programme:

Wednesday 11 April 2012

09:30 – 10:15

Welcome and keynote speeches by:

Jozias van Aartsen, Mayor of The Hague

Ben Knapen, Minister for European Affairs and International Cooperation

Sha Zukang, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs

Jean-Guy Carrier, International Chamber of Commerce Secretary General, member of the BASD2012 Steering Committee

10:15 – 10:30 Press opportunity with Ben Knapen, Sha Zukang and Jean-Guy Carrier.

10:30 – 12:30 ‘Realising Inclusive and Green Growth – Collaboration for a Sustainable Future’, discussion led by moderator Yvo de Boer, KPMG, former Executive Secretary of UNFCCC.

Thursday 12 April 2012

14:00 – 16:00 The Road to Rio and beyond: results of the business and industry consultation

16:00 Closing address by Ben Knapen

The conference will be held in English. For more information, please visit

The media are requested to register via: Press Rio+20 Business Consultation

Note for editors (not for publication):

On Thursday 12 April there will be a press opportunity with Ben Knapen at approximately 16:15. If you are interested, please contact Saskia Gaster, spokesperson to Mr Ben Knapen, on +31(0)70 3484167 or +31 (0)6 51171518 or at

For further information and requests for interviews with other speakers, please contact Cindy Heijdra, spokesperson for the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, on +31 (0)70 378 5107 or +31 (0)6 20013684 or at