Rio+20, the United Nations Sustainable Development Conference that begins today in Brazil has been fitted out with the very latest in cutting edge technology. There are computer terminals throughout the city, panels with real time information and multimedia networks.
According to Wilton Mota, the director of operations at the Federal Data Processing Service (“Serpro”), Rio+20 will be a laboratory for testing the development and implementation of technology that Brazil will be using over the next few years for a series of international events the country will host. Such as the World Soccer Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016.
Serpro is the government’s IT company.
“This event has been thought out carefully from basic infrastructure to information security. As there will be many important authorities from around the world here we are dealing with it as the first step in preparation for other grand events.
“We are ironing out problems with mobilization and integration. Various government agencies, such as the ministries of Defense and Foreign Relations, along with the Federal Police and monetary/fiscal authorities (Receita Federal) will all be working together.
Mota emphasized that Rio+20 will have around 2,500 computers (desktop workstations and laptops) online at the Riocentro, where around 130 heads of state and government will gather, along with UN officials and Brazilian authorities, between June 20 and 22.
It is estimated that a total of 50,000 participants will be present at Rio+20 and Mota says all of them will have access to wireless Internet connections. There will also be over 160 self-service information booths in hotels, at the airport and other locations where Rio+20 events will take place.
There will also be direct connections with the Summit of Indigenous Peoples (Cúpula dos Povos).
Two control centers will be in operation to deal with problems. “There will be 24-hour monitoring to minimize the impact of flaws, disasters or computer failures,” explained Mota.
A total of R$ 3 million were invested in the technology infrastructure. Some financial assistance came from the UN Development Program.
Speaking on the eve of the Rio+20 United Nations Sustainable Development Conference, president Dilma Rousseff called the event that seeks to create a working model where sustainable development, economic growth and social inclusion will all be present.
“It is possible to have a country where you develop economically, grow while including the population, that is, that grows in a social sense with justice, and at the same time respects the environment. This is the great challenge of Rio+20,” declared the president.
Dilma called the question of sustainable development the main priority of the day even as she admitted that many are concerned with the international economic crisis. She said the crisis could divert attention away from efforts at Rio+20 but there was no way to underestimate the importance of sustainable development, economic growth and social inclusion.
Today Dilma Rousseff will be in Rio de Janeiro where she will inaugurate the Brazilian pavilion at Rio+20. The event will last until June 22 (with heads of state and government participating between June 20 and 22).