Friday, June 01, 2012

International Newsletter of Sustainable Local Development
Newsletter #89
June 1st 2012

Instill new political ambition in the change we want from Rio+20!

Message from the Editorial Team

We are dedicating this issue of our Newsletter to the preparation of the international Conference of Rio + 20. It is the last issue before the Conference takes place, from the 20th -22nd of June 2012. For a whole week, Rio de Janeiro will provide the public space for exchange and confrontation of different points of view, interests and cultures. This innovative process of democratic mobilisation will see the coexistence of an international Conference that brings together leaders from across the planet, which will take place in the outskirts of the city, whereas the Peoples’ Summit will take place from the 15th-23rd of June 2012 in the town centre, and will bring together social movements and civil society. There will be some « small bridges » between the two events to enable dialogue to occur. Local Authorities will be meeting for a Global Town Hall. The world’s media will all be present.

The influence of multinational corporations and company lobbies can be increasingly felt within the UN, just as in the countries themselves. States are reduced to implementing short-term policies, in their fear of shifts in existing economic hegemonies, and are demonstrating little desire to regulate the economy in accordance with the principles of sustainable development. Agreements that have already been signed, such as that on water, are being questioned. There is every reason to fear that there may even be regression on certain fundamental subjects. Coalitions are built to counter positions rather than to work towards solutions, and succeed in formalising them as commitments! Civil society organisations everywhere in the world are mobilising to make this global meeting a point of departure for the transition to a world of greater justice, well-being for humankind, and renewed trust in the institutions … and an exit from the crises.

We would like to draw your attention to the European Call by civil society of the French RIO+20 Collective. We share the aims of this call, which are to « to raise issues of general interest to the level of all humankind ». The priority of our editorial team is to communicate initiatives of inhabitants and communities, who take on the responsibility for finding solutions to the problems facing them in their daily lives and their future. Therefore we support the statement that « new paths of development can only be built if citizens’ society uses its hands-on experience to include it in devising strategies and if conflicts of interest are recognised in a fully transparent manner ».

We join Martine, as representative of the European P’Actes in the Collective, in inviting you to discover the key aspects of the Call.
Site of the official UN Conference:
Site of the People’s Summit:
Site for the Global Town Hall:

Our next Newsletter will be published on July 20th. The main subject will be Rio+20

Judith Hitchman
Yvon Poirier
Martine Theveniaut

Instill new political ambition in the change we want from Rio+20!

Introductory note written by Martine Théveniaut

The French RIO+20 Collective has brought over forty civil society organisations together since 2010. It includes NGOs involved in international solidarity, environment, trade unions, etc. The members have been working together on a voluntary basis on two dimensions: expertise and mobilisation. The expertise group decided to create an open space for discussion and achieve consensus to argue and strengthen their work on innovative proposals to States, the European Union and international organisations of international civil society. The mobilisation group has been working on trying to bring together all those who want to see a decisive movement for change that reaches beyond 2012, in order to achieve collective, responsible governance of our planet and clearly laid out commitments with a time-line. In April, they launched a European Call aiming to gather as many signatures as possible by organisations and networks.

Excerpt from the Call on European civil societies:

(English translation by the RIO+20 Collective)

Guarantee the right to food, water and development: The green economy concept put forward in Rio would be inadmissible if the investment is recommended subject to a unique approach by the market. Access to services and essential goods asserts the primacy of the citizen on the economic and the need for financial, economic and legal regulation.

Recognize the existence of a plurality of development patterns: stop the social marginalization and increase investment in basic services people need. The use of renewable energy, agro¬forestry practices, simple techniques for collecting, storing and distributing water, are all relevant approaches for 1.8 billion small farmers.

Reaffirm the existence of the commons, whether natural environments, immaterial technological or cultural goods; recognize users’ expertise and encourage local management; protect them, limit their financialization; redefine the relationship between humanity and nature; stop speculating on the conditions necessary to good life.

Open new paths for ecological and social transition of all our societies: put the public interest first; take into account the constraint on consumption of resources in the search for a new model of social organization. From this perspective, strong social and territorial integration is necessary to find other ways of satisfaction than overconsumption.

Build a universal common core of social protection: recognize the value of working, accompany the training time, and secure career paths open to quality jobs across the planet. Social dumping must stop. A fair transition can only be opened if the players face their responsibility.
Recognize civil society: give it its rightful place in the negotiation and decision-making process on public policies and their local implementation. New paths of development can be built only if the civic society, with its expertise in use, is included in upstream strategies and if conflicts of interest are recognized in full transparency.

To sign the Call (FR)

About the Newsletter

This Newsletter is published in French, English, Spanish and Portuguese, It has been produced on a totally voluntary basis since the first issue in 2003.

The Editorial team wishes to thank the following volunteers for their support in translation and revision:
Michel Colin (Brazil)
Paula Garuz Naval (Ireland)
Évéline Poirier (Canada)
Brunilda Rafael (France)

We also wish to thank the Civil Policy Research Institute(CPRI) of Seikatsu Club in Japan for the Japanese translation.
Our Newsletters are available on the WEB:

To contact us (for information, feedback, to subscribe or unsubscribe):
Yvon Poirier

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