Rio+20: A Washout?

The Rio +20 Dialogues have concluded.  Over 100 world leaders and perhaps 45,000 other people went to Rio de Janiero.  The UN Conference on Sustainable Development produced a non-binding declaration with modest goals.  There’s been some debate in the media about the usefulness and impact of these international conferences.  Nei Jing Now would like to hear your thoughts.

Do you think it is worth the effort and expense to conduct these global conferences if in the end the commitments are non-binding?

Do you think these summits advance the cause of international cooperation for the purpose of improving our global health and happiness?

Do you have any thoughts about the implications of the fact that the heads of state of the US and the UK did not attend the Conference?

What do you think about the fact that UN officials decided to focus on creating green economies rather than tackling climate change head on?

As we described in our previous post on the conference, the public had an opportunity to vote on which topics they felt were of priority to discuss.  The voting public ranked these agendas as our top priorities.

Take concrete steps to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies

Restore 150 million hectares of deforested and degraded lands by 2020

Secure water supply by protecting biodiversity, ecosystems and water sources

Promote food systems that are sustainable and contribute to improvement of health

Avoid ocean pollution by plastics through education and community collaboration

Promote global education to eradicate poverty and to achieve sustainable development

Promote the use of waste as a renewable energy source in urban environments

Phase out harmful subsidies and develop green tax schemes

Put education in the core of the Sustainable Development Goals agenda

Promote tax reforms that encourage environmental protection and benefit the poor

What are your thoughts on the fact that the Conference limited its debates to these ten agenda items?

Hundreds of non-governmental organizations gathered for a counter-conference, the People’s Summit, at the same time to “re-invent the world.”

What are your thoughts on the implications of not integrating the People’s Summit into the debates?

How do you think the People’s Summit can translate into more meaningful commitments than the results of the UN Conference?

Nei Jing Now wants to know from you! 


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Jayshree Chander

Doctor Chander