The Future We Don’t Want

Below is a statement from the Non-govermental Organizations (NGOs) attending the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development.  Much frustration exists among ordinary people here over the fact that that 20 nations are deciding the fate of 195. Many have been saying that the current document is taking steps backwards from the agreement reach in Rio in 1992. Petitions are circulating today among NGOs asking leaders to take stronger measures to protect the planet and its inhabitants.

A primary ask is to eliminate ALL subsidies to fossil fuel development.   The people have voted that this concern is number one in order to protect our planet, in order to have a sustainable future–to have a future.  For the sake of all life, we must hasten the transition away from fossil fuel extraction to clean, renewable energy.

But there’s still time for leaders to hear the voices of the majority.

More to come…

“We – the civil society organisations and social and justice movements who have responded to the call of the United Nations General Assembly to participate in the Rio+20 process – feel that the current state of negotiations severely threatens the future of all people and undermines the relevance and credibility of the United Nations.

After more than two years of intense negotiations and millions of dollars invested on the UN CSD 2012 Rio+20 conference, governments are unable and unwilling to reaffirm the commitments on fundamental principles they made in Rio in 1992.

Governments must realise that they receive their mandates from their citizenry people and that they must act in its best interest. They must be imbued with a long-term vision, an environmentally-informed mind set, so as to guarantee the sustainable development of civilisations and the best future for all, the future we all really want.

Although governments are apparently unable to resiliently deal with the current global economic crisis (a problem confirmed in the G20 meeting in Mexico this weekend), we believe that this is the perfect moment, with potentially cathartic momentum, to embrace sustainable development, social and environmental justice. This is not the time to abandon it on grounds of austere fiscal policies or allegedly pro-growth pressures in the North. We urge the Government of Brazil, the UNCSD Secretary General and all Member States to stop negotiating their short-term national agendas and to urgently agree now on transitional actions for global sustainable progress.”

We want governments to deliver the people’s legitimate agenda and the realisation of rights, democracy and sustainability, as well as respect for transparency, accountability and the honouring of promises and accomplishments already. Sadly, time is running out. A rushed and weak agreement will be neither acceptable to us nor representative of the future we all want.

We urge our fellow 99% citizens of the world to stand up for the future we really want, and not this one, imposed by a few: the 1% negotiators and their elite constituencies.

For all, let their voices of the majority finally shape the future.

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The Author

Janet Keating

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