Posted on | June 20, 2012 by Timothy Herrmann |
Just so we are clear, for all intents and purposes, the real Rio +20 conference is over. The next few days exist only for the media and the heads of state that now swarm the “Rio Centro” like bees.
Negotiators sealed and delivered the document on Monday night at 3:30am. It will be signed in the upcoming days. Not a single part of the document will be changed and, I repeat, negotiations are over.
However, judging by the recent statement given only a few hours ago by the NGO “major group” at the UN, it would seem that “civil society” or at least those that claim to represent us here at the UN, never got the memo.
Here are a few interesting tidbits from their speech (emphasis added):
“You cannot have a document titled ‘the future we want’ without any mention of planetary boundaries, tipping points, or the Earth’s carrying capacity. The text as it stands is completely out of touch with reality. Just to be clear, NGOs here in Rio in no way endorse this document. Already more than 1,000 organizations and individuals have signed in only one day a petition called “The Future We Don’t Want” that completely refuses the current text. It does not in any way reflect our aspiration, and therefore we demand that the words “in full participation with civil society” are removed from the first paragraph.”
Sorry, too late. But you are right, it probably doesn’t and that’s because it’s governments, and the NGOs they show preference for, that negotiate this text, not you.
“There are many other failures in the document related to women’s reproduction health, missed opportunities to start new global treaties on civil society participation and on sustainability reporting, the extraordinary lack of any reference to armed conflicts, nuclear energy (especially after the Fukushima disaster), and many others.
Here again, not exactly. The document has more than 4 different mentions of reproductive (not reproduction…) health, but what it does not include is “reproductive rights” (read: abortion). AND, here is the kicker, it doesn’t include that terminology because governments along with groups from civil society, apparently the ones which you do NOT represent, here at the UN, kept it out.
That’s right, you aren’t the voice of civil society at the UN. And no, they won’t be taking your name out of the document for that very reason.
At the UN, a multitude of “major groups” exist and each claims to represent a different “group” of people or interests, but the truth is, they don’t actually represent those people or interests at all. The best examples are the UN major groups that claim to represent “youth” and “women” and that tend to always err on the side of the “radical” and the “left”. But, fortunately for the rest of us in civil society, reality tends to short circuit their logic and reveal the truth of things, just like today.
A member of civil society present and involved in negotiations at Rio +20