The representatives of 193 governments were reunited in Rio de Janeiro from the 20th to the 22th of June in order to take part in the United Nations’ Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Rio+20.
The conference’s object was to evaluate the achievements and advances regarding the commitments assumed by the countries on climate change, biodiversity and desertification –among others- since the last conference, held also in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, that made possible the environmental debate on an international level.
Furthermore, this summit was expected to trigger and institutionalize the green economy, defined by the UN Program for the Environment (UNPE) as a set of economic activities related to the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services that result in ameliorations of the human well being in the long run while, at the same time, preventing further generations from being exposed to environmental risks and significant ecological deficit. The implementation of this proposal required political reforms in the international environmental aspect of governing in order to generate the necessary conditions for an institutional convergence at a national level.
Rio+20 resulted in a declaration entitled “The future we want”; approved by all nations. Still, it is a declaration that does not place a landmark on concrete measures for the promised reforms.
The final report proposes the creation of a political forum with the vision of promoting the sustainable development, instead of fortifying the existing entity, the UNPE -as the EU wanted. The only measures to impulse the green economy can be resumed in the proposal for a formulation of the Objectives of the Sustainable Development, replacing the existing Millennium Objectives in 2015 and the creation of a commission of experts -to be named in the next General Assembly of the UN next year.
A movement parallel to the Conference -the People’s Summit- took place simultaneously in Rio de Janeiro, supported by 80.000 persons and leaded by social movements, ecological organizations, environmentalists and investigators. The demonstrators concurred on criticizing the basic objectives of the official Conference, accentuating that the proposal of a green economy merchandizes nature and does not solve environmental problems; none the less, it aggravates them. It is a posture shared by various Latin American governments, the Bolivian and the Equatorial among others.
Summarizing, Rio+20 has left some marks to follow in the future, but has not achieved to imprint its mark, as promised. What opinion does the final agreement deserve?
You can find the document “The future we want” (in Spanish) here: http://www.uncsd2012.org/content/documents/778futurewewant_spanish.pdf