Rio+20: The Rift Between Hope and Power

Posted on 22 June 2012 by admin

At the demonstrations in the streets of Rio de Janeiro and the colourful People’s Summit, civil society activists brainstormed together, chanted slogans and railed against nearly everything.

Meanwhile, in Riocentro, hours upon hours elapsed in dull deliberations and speeches by government officials that seemed as if they had been penned by the same ghost writer. Fresh air was exchanged for drab three-piece suits, perhaps explaining the lack of courage to forge a less grey future.

Rio+20 may pass into history as emblematic of the vast gulf between the cries in the streets and the uninspired language of the conference’s final outcome document.

But it is not the end of the road, not for the United Nations or for civil society.

The world body’s own secretary-general characterised the document as “timid”, and activist movements understand that much work remains unfinished.

For 2014, Sustainable Development Goals need to be defined – ones that are far more audacious than the “unanimous” document signed in Rio.


Categorized | English, Featured

  • Pascal Molineaux

    As committed environmentalists, deeply worried by the diminishing ability of the earth’s ecosystems to sustain life and deal with the ever-increasing human demands and waste we impose on them, we are saddled by anxiety as we witness our governments inability or full unwillingness to behave responsibly, for the sake of our children, grandchildren and all other life forms than inhabit this earth.  How long will this dramatic and sad charade continue?  It’s time to wake up and call the shots: “our” governments (are they ‘ours’ or ‘theirs?)’, tied up by corporate interests, will NOT live up to their historic reponsibilities, caught up as they are in an old and downright dangerous paradigm of endless growth, increasing energy demands and consumption… true demaocracy means people decide, not BIG corporate interests.

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