09 June 2022

Reckoning with a complex planetary crisis at Stockholm+50

On the 2nd and 3rd of June, world leaders met for the Stockholm+50 conference to discuss how to achieve a healthy planet for the prosperity of all. The UN meeting commemorated the landmark 1972 Stockholm conference, the first of its kind focussing on the environment. The event featured four plenary sessions along with leadership dialogues, side events, webinars and regional multi-stakeholder consultations. The goal was to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals by calling for bold environmental action.

While the outcomes were largely focused on environmental action and economic transformation, the interconnectedness of security and the biosphere and climate was addressed at Stockhom+50. There were side events about the issues of financial action towards the climate-security nexus, securing a just and peaceful transition in a new era of risk, and approaches, tools, and lessons from environmental peacebuilding. The conference concluded with a statement from the co-hosts Sweden and Kenya, in which they recommend placing human well-being at the centre of a healthy planet and prosperity for all, adding that a healthy planet “is a prerequisite for peaceful, cohesive and prosperous societies”.

The conference also saw an increased focus on the issue of gender, with gender equity being a necessary step not only in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic recovery but for the long term future. General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid emphasized the importance of removing gender barriers in the workplace in a side event focused on “shaping economies that work for women”.

The outcome of the conference demonstrates world leaders’ increased awareness and commitment to tackling a planetary crisis comprised of multiple interconnected challenges.

Photo credit: Brian Dooley/Flickr