Recent negotiations in New York City to prepare a document and agenda for the upcoming Rio+20 conference ended on a discouraging note. Civil society organizations sent an open letter to the secretary general for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), citing frustration with the process and calling for a rights-based process.
This letter was in response to “attempts by certain countries to weaken or even eliminate references to human rights and equity principles in the draft Rio text”, The Future We Want (also referred to as the zero draft negotiating text, to be finalized in Rio). Member nations to the UNCSD had met in “informal-informal” sessions for nearly a week.
With a conference emphasis on the green economy (which has various definitions), there is great worry that money will trump human rights. The civil society open letter noted a “strong push for private sector investments and initiatives to fill in the gap left by the public sector” which could lead to increased privatization of public services and shared natural resources such as water.
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