Dear Rights for Sustainability advocates,
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.
Based on the results of the last round of negotiations in New York, our collective efforts to defend people’s rights in the outcome document has had some success. The right to water and basic sanitation is back in the text as well as.
But we also know that the reaffirmation of already agreed commitments does not move us an inch forward. So we need to increase pressure on our government delegations to ensure that they make firm commitments to establish enabling conditions for the protection, respect and fulfillment of the human rights and people’s rights.
So aside from (1) calling on governments reaffirm and build upon rights and Rio principles in Rio+20 – i.e. desist from and oppose attempts to delete or weaken references to rights and rio principles in the text, including rights of nature — we should also demand that governments:
(2) Commit adequate public funds for sustainable development (social equity, economic development and environmental protection) rather than passing on the burden to the private sector or public-private partnerships which will be driven primarily by commercial/ profit interests. This includes measures such as progressive taxation, increasing official development assistance, debt cancellation and debt restructuring in favor of impoverished and marginalized sectors and communities, especially in developing countries.
(3) Commit to undertake systemic macroeconomic reforms to rectify existing finance, trade and investment policies that undermine countries’ capacity to fulfill human rights obligations to citizens including generating green decent jobs, ensuring universal social protection, and developing green productive capacity, especially in developing countries
(4) Establish strong regulatory framework for the private sector to ensure that they contribute rather than undermine sustainable development. Transnational corporations in particular, many of which command greater resources and have greater influence on governments than ordinary citizens, are responsible for many human rights abuses and unsustainable production and consumption patterns and therefore need to be subjected to greater public scrutiny and social regulation.
(5) Establish rights-based accountability mechanisms [refer to letter of Special rapportueurs] to ensure P10. Has to go beyond voluntary registry of commitments.
If you support these five (5) basic demands for a meaningful outcome for Rio+20, we urge you to email and fax the attached letter (or draft your own letter) to your government delegation – both those from home ministries and those based in UN missions — as soon as possible or not later that this week so that they will receive this message before they travel to Rio for the UNCSD 2012 next week. We also urge you to send the same to the members of the Bureau for UNCSD 2012 since they will be playing a key role on crafting the final outcome document for Rio+20.
We are also attaching the directory of email addresses of UN missions and the Bureau members for your reference.