The Rio+20 'Future We Want' is a 53-page document, an outcome of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (A/CONF.216/L.1*, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 20-22 June 2012). This document deserves to be read by all citizens, not because it provides us hope for serious change but because it reminds us of the platitudinous nature of global diplomatic discourse.
Women's groups’ statements and reactions
Various feminists, women’s rights advocates and organizations participated in the Rio processes, read their reactions and statements.
Engagement and advocacy by civil society organizations, both during the official Conference and its lead-up process, centred on, among other themes, the relationships between climate change and women’s empowerment.
A month on and the much anticipated Rio +20 has sunk virtually without trace. Whilst the Brazilian hosts declared the talks a success , women’s organisations, farmers’, young people, indigenous peoples, environmental and climate change groups as well as trade unions see it as woefully inadequate, a shopping list of wants, rather than a call to action.
The partners and the steering committee of the project "Green Economy Gender_Just" drafted a common discussion paper in October 2011.
Although traditional media coverage of Women’s Major Group and Rio+20 was conducted in a multitude of languages, the articles included in this brief assessment were all written in English, and were primarily hosted on North American and European sites, though articles from Asian and African news agencies also have a significant presence. Both formal articles and blog entries are included.
Devaki Jain, co-editor of Harvesting Feminist Knowledge for Public Policy: Rebuilding Progress, and founder and former director of the Institute of Social Studies in Delhi, India, talks here about the importance of feminist economics and the meeting of feminist economics with mainstream economics.
In close coordination the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC), Realizing Sexual and Reproductive Justice (RESURJ), Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN), and the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (YCSRR) actively engaged in five inter-governmental negotiations leading up to and including the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20) from December 2011 through June 2012.
Women’s Major Group Releases Final Statement on the Outcomes of Rio+20
The “Future We Want” outcome document from this week’s United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Rio+20, lacks meaningful inclusion of reproductive health and rights.
Women from Asia Pacific demand governments address critical issues on women’s human rights missing in the Rio+20 negotiations for sustainable development. Employment and economic rights, militarisation, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and women’s role in climate change significantly impact women across the region, yet are being ignored. Asia Pacific women call for States to ensure the promotion, protection and realisation of women’s human rights in the outcome document.
There were few unanimous voices emerging from the Rio+20 summit on “Sustainable Development”. Sadly, one that was unanimous was that of the Reproductive Rights (RR) community: united in its disappointment and outright anger that once again RR had been sidelined and alluded to in only the most cursory fashion in the outcome document.
According to the main page of the Rio+20 website this morning, "Negotiations have come to a successful conclusion." We got yesterday word that governments were finished and the Future They Want decided.
Women's Major Group Final Statement of the outcomes of Rio+20
While governments were locked in their semantic battles in the Rio+20 process, women’s and other social movements continue to fight on multiple fronts for human rights, justice and sustainability.
Brazil, a country that in the past has championed women’s human rights, including reproductive rights, at the global level, has failed women in both Brazil and the world over.
Rio +20, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, is renewing international conversations about how to simultaneously address poverty, protect the environment, and maintain balanced economic growth.
Seida Saric is country director for Women for Women International in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Ixchal is a sharp and wise Mayan goddess. One of her signs is the rainbow as her wisdom comes from the fertility of the earth.