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0730 declaration rio 10 def eng(20020730)

300_0730 declaration rio 10 def eng.rtf

World Parliamentary Forum

A sustainable world is possible, necessary and urgent

Declaration on the Rio + 10 Summit
Johannesburg, 26 August- 4 September 2002

In 1992, the first Earth Summit In Rio de Janeiro/Brasil raised international awareness
for the need to reverse the unsustainable patterns of production and consumption in the
world. 10 years later, Rio the second Earth Summit in Johannesburg is supposed to review
the progress made towards this aim and to agree on new initiatives to tackle the world’
s major problems. In fact, the UNEP Global Environmental Outlook N° 3 catalogues rather
disastrous results: the state of the world is worse then ever. More people than ever are
suffering from poverty, hunger, environmental devastation, war and repression.

In Johannesburg, the Earth Summit will bring together political leaders and
representatives from citizen groups, business and other sectors of society from all over
the world.

Much is at stake. There is a risk that because of the lack of government commitments, in
particular from industrialised countries, the concrete results of the Summit will be as
weak as the Monterrey and the Bali Conferences on financing development and that the
trade agenda takes the lead over the development and environment agenda. Multinational
corporations are making major efforts to ensure that the proposals for action to be
decided in Johannesburg mainly reflect their own economic interests. Once again,
corporate power intends to overthrow democratic decision making and control. We firmly
reject the attempts to make sustainability a business issue. We do not want Rio + 10 to
result in a Rio – 10. A failure in Johannesburg will also be a failure in the battle for
a safe and fair world for all. The world will also win the battle for peace by winning
the fight for sustainable development, health and a decent future for all. That is
another reason why the results in Johannesburg will be so decisive.

Therefore we, members of the World Parliamentary Forum, propose

10 demands for Rio + 10

which we will defend and support in our parliamentary work. The aim of sustainable
development is not economic growth as such although it can contribute to achieve such a
goal. The aim is human progress, human dignity, the improvement of the quality of life
for all, social inclusion and the protection of the environment. Therefore, we need a
clear vision and clear objectives, targets and timetables In order to reach this aim it
is necessary to

1. Stop the causes of impoverishment
The improvement of the conditions of life for all people in the world must be the overall
aim of political and economic activities. As a full part of that aim, the right to
education must be enhanced. In our parliaments, we oppose any initiative to privatise the
commons. Free access to public goods must be guaranteed. Public services are not for sale
and should be protected and promoted alongside social rights. Food security, which is
incompatible with the privatisation of property rights for seeds, is a human right. A
Tobin type tax on international transactions and other international taxes (the carbon
tax on gas emissions, etc) must be implemented to raise funds to eradicate the most
extreme forms of poverty and to allow access to public goods for all in a sustainable way
in developing countries. There will be no sustainable globalisation without
redistribution of wealth on a world scale.

2. Stop the causes of environmental devastation – Ratify and implement all international
environmental and development agreements and commitments concluded since Rio
The growth logic, starting with irresponsible (ab)use of land and energy which has led to
ever more man-made disasters must end. Uncontrolled logging, pesticide use and
construction of houses and roads have put the survival of the planet at risk. The
polluter pays principle and the precautionary principle must be the basis of all
It is high time that the treaties on climate change (Kyoto), biological diversity,
biosafety and fisheries become effective. Therefore, we will contribute to put pressure
on those governments which are reluctant to sign or withdraw their signature, such as the
US. The Johannesburg summit must adopt the UN target of 0.7 % GDP for Official
Development assistance (ODA) including a timetable for implementation.

3. End debt, undermine financial speculation
The yearly debt service of developing countries amounts to 200 billion US$. This is
almost four times the official development aid. Thus, in reality, the South is financing
the North. The present system of involving whole countries into a debt trap, with its
totally perverse effects, has to be stopped, starting with debt cancellation for poor
countries. Additionally, instruments like the Tobin tax and the suppression of tax
heavens will also help to stop speculative capital flows.

4. Make companies accountable
We support the call for a legally binding international framework on corporate
accountability and liability requiring private investors to comply with core labour and
environmental standards defined in national legislation and international law and
including independent verification mechanisms. A first step towards this should be
mandatory reporting on social and environmental performance and the strengthening of
existing guidelines for multi-national enterprises. Furthermore, all Multilateral
Environmental Agreements should include provisions relating to natural resource use and
investment controls. Voluntary codes are not enough to guarantee rights of citizens and
communities and duties of corporations . Johannesburg should be the place to launch the
negotiations of such an international framework agreement.

5. Shrink the WTO
Instead of giving new competences to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), its functioning
needs an in-depth review and reform. The WTO should not be given the authority over new
areas such as investment, government procurement, competition and public services,
particularly health and education. The far too powerful Dispute Settlement Mechanism of
the WTO should be subordinated to the decisions of other multilateral organisations in
charge of social, environmental and human rights. There is a need for a new international
framework and for the recognition of a new hierarchy of international rules under the
control of the United Nations organisation, so that the WTO cannot override regulations
of MEAs. Trade should serve social aims and respect environmental and health priorities
of the international Community, and not the other way around. In no case living material
should become a commodity.

6. Engender gender equality and minority rights
Equality among men and women is still far from being recognised. There is also a need for
improvement of ethnic minority rights, this must be a full part of development policies.
Gender impact assessments have to become mandatory in all international agreements in
order to make sure that development contributes to close the gender gap.

7. End war and militarisation
The terrorist threat is a real one and must be fought. But the answer is not more
militarisation and reduction of democratic liberties in the name of antiterrorism. There
can only be sustainable development in regions torn by violent conflicts, if the
conditions are put into place for sustainable peace, if inequalities are combated and
democratic rights are strengthened. The logic of a” military globalisation” is not the
adequate response to these essential aims. The international community has to give
preference to the political resolution of conflicts, under the lead of the United Nations
and respecting the resolutions of the Security Council. The right of interference to
defend oppressed people should be limited and regulated by the International Criminal
Court. The trade of weapons and military assistance should be limited as well.

8. Guarantee the right to culture and language
There is no access to self-development without the respect for all peoples to their own
heritage and human respectability. As well as biodiversity, cultural and linguistic
diversity must be preserved at planetary level. Today, about half of the 6,000 or so
languages spoken in the world are under threat. Over the past three centuries, languages
have died out and disappeared at a dramatic and steadily increasing pace, especially in
the Americas and Australia. At least 3,000 tongues are seriously endangered or dying in
many parts of the world.

9. Guarantee of free access to water
Access to fresh water is one of most basic human needs. However, this access is getting
more and more precarious or expensive, not only in the South, where climatic conditions
may be adverse, but also in the North, where the pollution of subterranean water reserves
and rivers is increasing. Under these conditions, privatisation of water or water
distribution has particularly damaging consequences for the peoples. Fresh water is a
basic need and not a commercial value. Therefore it cannot be sold for profit. We oppose
privatisation of water and water services.

10. Sustainable development cannot be privatised
The Public Private Partnerships or so called “Type II proposals” are not a solution to
the problems of sustainable development. The Rio + 10 Summit should end with the firm
commitment to political agreements with timetables and action plans amongst governments.
This is the only way to guarantee our future. We need sustainable communities, not
sustainable profits for corporations.



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