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Accommodation levels in Rio de Janeiro are anticipated to be at full occupancy during the conference. While it is not the responsibility of the United Nations to procure accommodation for the media, it should be noted that the Brazilian national organizing committee for Rio+20 has committed to blocking a minimum of 500 hotel rooms in Rio de Janeiro for media covering the conference. Costs must be covered by the media. For more details, visit: For information regarding room availability please contact: Terramar Travel Agency

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Rio+20 may be the largest event in the history of the United Nations
"For ten days, Rio will be the centre of the world," says the diplomat Laudemar Aguiar, responsible for the logistics of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20. The Brazilian Government wants the event that happens in June, to be the largest conference of the UN history surpassing the Copenhagen Summit of 2009 in attendance. Aguiar predicts the presence of 150 Heads of State and a total of 50,000 visitors, including diplomats, journalists, businessmen, politicians and environmental activists.

In the 30 hotel chains of Rio there are practically no more vacancies for the period. Hotels like the Sheraton, in S„o Conrado, and the Copacabana Palace have 100% of their rooms blocked for Heads of State and their entourages. It is estimated that about 10,000 people will be camping, but not at the Flamengo Park, as it happened during the Rio-92, when the grass was destroyed. The plan includes a camping with 5,000 young people, with another two thousand peasants, and two spaces with 800 and 1,000 Indigenous people.

Rio+20 logistics previews unprecedented event in the history of the UN

It is necessary to understand that for ten days Rio de Janeiro will be the UN," says the Diplomat Laudemar Aguiar, 50, born in Niteroi and responsible for all the logistics in what the Brazilian Government wants to be "the largest conference in the history of the United Nations?. He works with large numbers: 150 Heads of State and Government and 50,000 diplomats, journalists, businessmen, politicians and more people accredited to circulate at Riocentro, where the UN summit will be held the in June. And tens of thousands of people - an even more difficult number to estimate ? who will attend to events scheduled by the civil society at the Flamengo Park, city centre and Barra da Tijuca. "Rio will be the centre of the world", he celebrates.

But to the superlative of this mega operation be confirmed, it does not depend on the willingness of the Government. The contents of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (the formal name of the Rio+20) determine its political role and importance of leaders who will come. In the famous climate conference in Copenhagen, in December 2009, 47,000 were enrolled and 120 leaders - 40 of them confirmed their presence just two days before the event, when President Barack Obama finally said he would go. But Copenhagen did not have much effect, and the next event in Cancun, Mexico, resented ? 20,000 were accredited and only 22 world leaders.

Rio+20 is part of another family of UN conferences, which discusses how the planet wants to develop, which started 20 years ago with the Rio 92 and that had another issue of weight in Johannesburg, South Africa, ten years ago. It will be an important debate on sustainable development with its economic, environmental and social slope, with the backdrop of poverty reduction and "green economy", a concept that presupposes the use of clean technologies. But it will not produce any convention, as the parent conference, when two major contemporary environmental agreements were signed, the climate convention and the biodiversity one.

To Rio 92 came 109 leaders and over 30,000 people visited the official event, that was also at Riocentro. The contents of the Rio+20 are much more modest begin to be discussed this month in New York. The level of ambition of what will be obtained in June in Rio depends on the negotiations until there, the direction of the U.S. election campaign and the global economic crisis.

The work of Laudemar Aguiar cannot wait. "On June 5th we have to hand over the keys of Riocentro to the United Nations. They flew the flag and it turns territory of the UN. Rio becomes New York", he says, referring to the United Nations headquarters.

The challenge of this diplomat, who was Counselor Minister of the Brazilian Embassy in Paris until receiving the invitation to be responsible for the logistics of the Rio+20, is organizing the party without knowing how many guests will come - and even if they will come. "We work with historical estimates, but always with room for growth", he says. "What cannot happen is to prepare to receive ten and arrive 20."

The budget approved by the Congress for the conference on December 15th is of BRL $ 430 million. Of this, BRL $ 230 million will go to security and BRL $ 190 million, to logistics. The lease of spaces add BRL $ 30 million. "Everything will be transparent, all expenses proven", said Aguiar, Secretary-General of the National Organization of Rio+20. "There is a tremendous interaction?, he guarantees, pointing out the work in conjunction with the City Hall and the State of Rio.

One of the marks cashed by Rio +20 is to be a conference with "maximum feasible participation of civil society", Aguiar says, repeating the mantra that has been told by senior government. "We are discussing what will be the planet. The document elaborated at the Rio+20 will be agreed between governments, but we want to have the maximum of inputs from all sectors of society."

The logistic challenge is to make the displacements in Rio the best possible ?various plans of traffic flow have been analyzed - reducing the distance from Riocentro, in Barra da Tijuca, with the rest of the city. For this reason, initially, the conference would be in the harbor area. Everything - official event and all the parallels - would be concentrated there. The initiative would require a great work of revitalizing the area, a legacy for the city. The docks were, therefore, the option of the City Hall. But it did not work. "For many reasons, logistics, security, infrastructure and also costs" Aguiar explains. "By moving to Riocentro I say that we exchanged ten problems for one: the big problem of Barra is the access. Let's do a very large work related to transport?, he promises.

A big difference between Rio+20 and Rio 92 is the priority that the so-called "major groups" have now. The concept, in vogue at the United Nations, brings together nine segments of civil society - business, children and youth, farmers, indigenous communities, local governments, NGOs, scientists, women, workers and trade unions - and it is the government's intention to bring them most to the decisions of the conference. In the 1992 edition, the governments meet at the Riocentro, and the civil society at the Flamengo Park. They were two separate worlds. The proposed architecture is different now.

According to him, at the Rio+20, "for the first time in a United Nations conference, the civil society will have several different places to meet". The suggestion is to offer, at Barra da Tijuca, the Athletes' Park (formerly Rock City), to national and local governments build pavilions and stands. The JacarepaguŠ Speedway is a large area that is available to civil society - indigenous groups are studying to build a large hollow there and also companies evaluate whether it is the case to use part of the 550,000 m2 site. It is being rented to the Barra Arena (HSBC Arena), a modern gymnasium with capacity of 18,000 people.

Areas in the center of Rio are another option for civil society events. Aguiar cites the region around the Museum of Modern Art (MAM) and the Monument to the Dead of World War II. Vivo Rio, with capacity for 2,000 people, would be another area for seminars and meetings. "In 92, all the Flamengo Park was used, what cannot to be done now", he says, remembering that the grass was destroyed. The region, without taking up the grassy areas, is the favorite area for NGOs and social movements. Aguiar says that if spaces lacks, Quinta da Boa Vista Park will function as a kind of "back-up area?.

To expedite the contracts, the organization of the Rio+20 organized a task force with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). UNDP can be faster in hiring, streamline contracts and choose suppliers not only by the lowest price criterion, but consider other variables such as quality, for example. The bidding on the company that takes care of lodging and travel of official delegations was decided this week. "But people will also have to stay in nearby towns," Aguiar estimates. The Rio hotel chain has a maximum of 33,000 rooms, including flats. Only accredited is forecast to reach 50,000. "They will have also to stay in people's homes," he predicts.

Rio+20 will have new connectivity, accessibility and sustainability, promises Aguiar. "We will have the least possible use of paper and increased use of new technologies", he explains. The subway will be the first subway with more than ten years fully accessible. Biodiesel generators, paper cups, selective garbage collection are some of the sustainability criteria adopted.

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