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As you all know by now, the Rio+20 summit is happening next week. More than a hundred heads of state are expected to gather in Rio and many government delegations are heading for Rio next week to finalize the outcome document to be signed by world leaders on June 20-22.

Remarks made at the side event, “Right at Rio+20: A Rights-based Framework for Sustainable Development” organized by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, The Missions of Germany, Maldives and Norway with Ibon International, the Center for International Environmental Law and The Council of Canadians, in collaboration with the UNDG-HRM. April 27, 2012. UN Headquarters, New York

Water Debate at the World Water Forum

Today the world finds itself far off track in realizing the vision of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development. Global economic expansion continues to severely strain the environment. Humanity’s ecological footprint now exceeds the planet’s biocapacity by over 50%, and three of nine planetary boundaries that define the safe operating space for human life on Earth have been breached.

Since the World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong in 2005, ‘Aid for Trade’ (AfT) has become the new catchphrase in international development to foster and promote trade and liberalization. Originating from the 2001 ‘Doha Development Round’, the WTO reasons: “Aid for Trade aims to help developing countries, particularly least developing countries, develop trade-related skills and infrastructure that is needed to implement and benefit from WTO agreements and to expand their trade”[i]. As such, the framework is complementing WTO trade reform and market opening by focusing on capacity building, particularly on trade policy and regulation and improving trade-related infrastructure to ease supply side bottlenecks.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Right to Development. Adopted by General Assembly resolution 41/128 of 4 December 1986, this Declaration defines such right as "an inalienable human right by virtue of which every human person and all peoples are entitled to participate in, contribute to, and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development, in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized."

We, 52 women and men from 18 countries (Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, China and Hongkong SAR,India, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Spain,Thailand, Timor Leste, USA, and Vietnam) and representing peasants, agricultural workers, fisherfolk,indigenous peoples, workers, women, youth and students, refugees and stateless persons, academia,environmental and support NGOs and networks met for the ‘Promoting a Transformative Agenda for Sustainable Development: A Strategy Workshop on Rio+20’ on August 15-17, 2011 in Bangkok, Thailand.

IBON together with its co-organisers are pleased to announce the release of A Celebration of People's Struggles, A Festival of Hope—the printed conference proceedings of the International Festival of People’s Rights and Struggles (IFPRS) held in Manila last year.

IBON International is pleased to announce the launching of the International Festival for People’s Rights and Struggles (IFPRS) Website. Papers, presentations, photos, videos and proceedings of the various events can now be viewed and downloaded from the site.

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