Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD)
24 August – 4 September 2002
Information for Asia Pacific Greens – From the Australian Greens
WHAT IS IT?
The Johannesburg Summit is a global conference on sustainable development, including the
official meeting with representatives from 180 governments and a parallel event for NGOs,
the ‘Global Forum’. The Johannesburg Summit comes ten years after the 1992 Rio Earth
Summit, where world leaders signed up to a global action plan for sustainable development
(Agenda 21) and negotiated major treaties including the Conventions on Climate Change and
Biodiversity. The promises of global action have largely proved empty; the WTO agenda
and corporate globalisation have overtaken sustainability. Johannesburg is supposed to
set a new action agenda for sustainable development (the Plan of Implementation) but some
governments (Australia and the US in particular) have been actively undermining the
potential for effective outcomes.
The Global Forum is where civil society organisations from around the world, including
the Greens, will gather. The venue is the Nasrec Expo Centre, well away from the
official conference at Sandton! Around 40 000 people are expected to attend a myriad of
meetings, forums and actions at the Global Forum. There will be 65 000 people altogether
in Johannesburg, including government delegations, civil society groups, business and
For us, Johannesburg will be successful if the Plan of Implementation meets the key civil
society demands for action, including the Global Greens demands below. Don’t be
confused by the ‘political declaration’ (vision not action) or the various voluntary
partnership agreements (type 2 agreements) that will be announced.
GREENS EVENTS IN JOHANNESBURG
24—26 August (finishing 1330 Monday)
Just Solutions – A Better World is Possible. Hall 23, Nasrec Expo Centre
Conference organised by the Greens/European Free Alliance Group in the European
Parliament and the Heinrich Boell Foundation. Panel debates focusing on sustainability.
Monday 26 August, 1330 — 1600
Global Greens meeting. Nasrec Expo Centre
· Follow up on decisions from Berlin meeting
· Greens in South Africa and Africa – role of Greens in the African continent
· Issues for the Global Green Coordination to act upon
· Planning global green actions and campaigns
Saturday 31 August, 0930 — 1300
Global Greens meeting, Nasrec Expo Centre
INFORMATION FROM JOHANNESBURG
Senator Bob Brown and Margaret Blakers (Australian Greens) will be at the Johannesburg
Summit, together with other Greens from Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia and the
Pacific. Contact us in Johannesburg – firstname.lastname@example.org or
Ph. +61 419 877 325
Deb Foskey will distribute updates via the Global Greens Newsletter. You can subscribe by
sending a blank email to: email@example.com
GLOBAL GREENS DEMANDS
Greens parties around the world have five core demands for Johannesburg, chosen because
they are achievable, urgent and will make a difference –
DEMAND 1. 1 billion people do not have access to clean water and 2.4 billion lack basic
sanitation. 3 million die annually from water-related diseases. The WTO GATS agreement
for trade in services promotes private corporate control in place of public and
· Provide affordable access to clean water sources and basic sanitation.
· STOP WATER PRIVATISATION
DEMAND 2. One-third of the world’s population (2 billion people) does not have access to
adequate energy services. Public investment in solar power and other clean energies will
reach these people and take us away from our dependence on fossil-fuels.
· Provide affordable access to clean and renewable energy sources.
· Set targets and timetables for a substantial shift to renewables and create an
independent International Renewable Energy Agency to promote this policy
DEMAND 3. 10 years after Rio, we have international treaties on climate change (Kyoto),
control over trade in GMOs (Cartegena), exploitation of genetic resources (Convention on
Biological Diversity and FAO treaty), access to environmental justice and information
(Aarhus), control of fish stocks (UN/FAO Action plans). None of these is fully
implemented or effective.
· Consolidate the environmental progress made since Rio.
· Ratify and implement these and other green Treaties now
DEMAND 4. The WTO has a powerful and secretive disputes settlement mechanism
which can over-rule environmental, social and public policy decisions. It
should be subject to a higher, comprehensive and independent judicial
· Place environmental and social rules ahead of trade rules. Transfer the final
power of arbitration from the WTO to an independent Court
DEMAND 5. Private corporations are not accountable for the public and social consequences
of their business activities. Voluntary arrangements are not a satisfactory solution.
· Create a legal framework for corporate social and environmental responsibility
and accountability of private corporations
USEFUL WEB PAGES
http://www.greens-efa.org Greens/European Free Alliance Group in the European
Parliament. List of European Green MPs attending, program for Green events and side-
www.worldsummit2002.org Heinrich Boell Foundation. Events, background papers
including the Jo-burg Memo: Fairness in a Fragile World (prepared by an international
working group and published in June 2002 as a guide to what is required for sustainable
development in the next decade), list of events
www.foei.org Friends of the Earth International. Radio Earth Summit, media releases
www.greenpeace.org/earthsummit/ Greenpeace International. Information and
documents, including annotated text of the Draft Plan of Implementation (the main
document to be negotiated by governments at the Summit).
www.acfoa.asn.au/ In Reverse. Australia’s environmental performance, 1992-2002
www.worldsummit.org.za Civil Society Secretariat
www.johannesburgsummit.org World Summit on Sustainable Development