From the 20 to the 22nd of June 2012, the much talked about UN Conference on Sustainable Development or Rio+20, took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, bringing together some 50,000 delegates from around the world.
The outcome document of Rio+20 adopted by Heads of State is titled The Future We Want.
Rio+20 outcome document The Future We Want:
But for civil society, the Rio+20 outcome document is a disappointment, with many calling it " The Future We Don’t Want " or " Rio minus 20 ".
Such result comes in spite of the important CSO mobilization towards and at Rio. Indeed, NGOs constituted one of nine Major Groups engaged in the Rio+20 process, and a dedicated Peoples Summit ran alongside the high level event.
However, the feeling expressed by many civil society activists was that of frustration at the lack of a real influence on negotiations.
Civil society reactions which flowed following the Rio+20 outcome declaration point to its failure to address concerns of "ordinary" people who are impacted by these decisions the most.
But CSOs also speak of Rio’s impact on mobilizing activists worldwide to take concrete steps and apply more pressure based on and beyond the outcome document.
Below, you will find statements of CSO major groups and also quotes and links to articles expanding on expectations, criticisms and ways forward from Rio+20.
CSO statements on Rio+20 Outcome Agreement
|Women’s Major Group:||RIO+20: From the Future We Want to the Future We Need||Press Release: English Statement: English - French - Spanish|
|International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC):||There will be no social justice without environmental protection - Rio Outcome does not shift us from this unequal and enviro-destructive model||Statement: English - French - Spanish|
Opinions and reactions to Rio+20 Outcome Agreement
|ActionAid (Uzma Tahir):||"The text produced in the outcome document on which the debate was initiated and will continue for the coming three days has not been able to address the grave and daunting concerns of women, youth and children, farmers, indigenous people and workers."||Rio+20 - heading the wrong way?|
|Amnesty International Human Rights Watch, and the Center for International Environment Law (CIEL):||"While there has been some progress in the final outcome document, the mere fact that we have to advocate for inclusion of human rights is absurd."||Rio + 20: Outcome Document Undermined by Rights Opponents|
|Dochas (Hans Zomer - Video):||"The text coming out of Rio is extermely weak but it does introduce new concepts that are a good basis for further work. The key is that civil society keeps up the pressure."||Rio+20 Video Blog|
|CIVICUS Alliance for Citizen Participation:||"Under-achievement of Rio raises serious questions about the ability of the inter-governmental system as currently constituted to achieve sustainable development, protection of human rights, and the full participation of people."||Disappointment and frustration abound in Rio|
|The Independent (Paul Vallely):||"We may now need a similar bottom-up mass movement of individuals to get real progress on saving the planet."||The planet looked to Rio again, and Rio looked away|
|Voice (Ahmed Swapan Mahmud):||"In the past two decades, marginalisation – the rich and poor divide – has increased. So, the development goals must assert social and economic equality, and environmental protection. The green economy cannot solve the problem until the current architecture is changed."||Rio+20: A voice from Dhaka, Bangladesh|
CONTRIBUTE YOUR OWN REFLECTION ON RIO+20!
WRITE TO US: info cso-effectiveness.org
and keep an eye on the Open Forum International Events page where we will be posting more reactions and statements from civil society on Rio+20 in the coming days.