IBON warns vs diluting Rio+20 draft: ‘Don’t delete our rights, don’t bracket our futures!’ : Page 2 of 3
Posted on 25 April 2012
CBDR is particularly contentious with major developed countries trying to eliminate any and all prescriptive language that would commit them to the provision of finance, technology transfers and capacity building in support of sustainable development effort in the South.
All references to the Right to Development are being eliminated.
Language hinting at the need for reforms of International Financial Institutions, the multilateral trading system, the big banks – they are dismissed as being beyond the remit of Rio. What happened to integrating the three pillars!
And it’s also hypocrisy because at UNCTAD, which clearly has the mandate to push for reforms in the international trade, financial and development regime, there are also ongoing attempts by many of these same powerful states to remove any concrete and meaningful reform proposals in the outcome document for the UNCTAD XIII next month.
Here in the UNCSD, even the goal of poverty eradication is being qualified to focus only on extreme poverty.
The powerful states are consistently opposing prescriptive language – in other words, language that commits governments to actually do what they claim to support in principle. On the other hand, they are pushing for private sector investments and initiatives to fill in the gap left by the public sector.
They are even avoiding concrete targets and timelines or even just defining the Green Economy. And I think this is deliberate. Because by keeping the definition open or vague enough, you can promote biofuels, or nuclear energy, or carbon trading, or financialization of natural resources, or geo-engineering, etc. as Green Economy measures.
So if all of these attempts by powerful states to remove rights, eliminate equity, whittle down Rio principles, and avoid concrete commitments to meaningful reforms in social, economic and environmental policies and governance succeed, then what are we left with?
CSOs and social movements are already asking the question whether we are better off with a weak agreement in Rio or no agreement at all.
There is a narrative emerging from these negotiations that can only be understood in the current global context. This is happening in the middle of the gravest crisis of the global capitalist system since the Great Depression of the previous century.
Capital is desperately seeking new investment outlets, new markets, new sources of raw materials and new ways of squeezing more profits from the toil of working people.
But they can’t privatize if we assign clear obligations on states to ensure universal access to water and so on, which is what rights imply.
They can’t make as much money out of green technologies if we require technology assessments based on the precautionary principle.
They can’t easily expand to biofuel plantations if we have too many safeguards in place, like respecting customary land use rights and practices of indigenous peoples.
They can’t speculate on commodities and derivatives if we have financial regulations.
They can’t talk about equity without us talking about the obscene concentration of wealth, or capital in the hands of