IBON International and Rights for Sustainability Delegation at Rio+20 Summit
Rio de Janeiro, Wednesday, June 13, 2012 — IBON International’s 34-strong “Rights for Sustainability” delegation of civil society representatives from Asia, Africa and Latin America arrived in Rio today with the message, “Put Rights and the Rio Principles at the Heart of Rio+20.”
The Rights for Sustainability (R4S) delegation is an advocacy platform coordinated by Philippines-based civil society organisation IBON International to push for a rights-based approach to sustainable development. It will be involved in a series of side events at Rio+20 as well as monitoring continuing negotiations on the summit outcome document in the Preparatory Committee (Prep Com) meetings at Rio Centro, and the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development itself. IBON International coordinates the NGO Rights and Equity Cluster for Rio+20.
Azra Sayeed of Pakistan-based civil society organisation Roots for Equity, congressman Jose Jacques Medina of the LX Legislature of the Mexican Congress, and Celestine Akpobari of the Nigeria-based Ogoni Solidarity Forum are all part of the international Rights for Sustainability delegation. In a joint statement, they endorsed a lobby letter from IBON International and Rights for Sustainability to government delegations at Rio+20.
“We believe that the following commitments are a minimum basis for any meaningful outcome at Rio+20,” they said.
“If human rights and the Rio principles are not put at the heart of Rio+20 there will be dire consequences for the poorest and most marginalised people, most of whom are in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
“These commitments must be made at Rio+20, or sustainable development in its true meaning, encompassing economic, social and environmental concerns, will not be realised.
The lobby letter calls on government delegations to Rio+20 to:
– Reaffirm and build upon Rights and Rio principles in Rio+20;
– Ensure democratic access and control of smallholders, women, indigenous peoples, youth and other marginalized groups over resources such as land, water, seeds, forests, finance, appropriate technologies and infrastructure;
– Commit adequate public financing for poverty eradication, social equity and sustainable development;
– Establish a strong regulatory framework for the private sector to ensure that it contributes to rather than undermines sustainable development;
– Establish participatory accountability mechanisms through which the people’s voice, including that of women and youth, can be reflected and independent monitoring of Rio commitments can be conducted at the national, regional and global levels.
Sayeed, Medina and Akpobari were joined by hundreds of organisations and individuals from across the world who signed on to the open letter tabling the demands within days of it being posted online. Countries represented included China, India, the Philippines, Nepal, the USA, Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, Egypt, Sudan, Uganda, Nigeria, Zambia, the Palestinian Territory, Syria, Germany, Spain, the UK and Australia, among others.
NOTES TO EDITORS
- IBON International is an international civil society organisation based in the Philippines. Its mission is the capacity development of peoples’ movements around the world for human rights and democracy.
- IBON International provides secretariat support to networks including the Rights for Sustainability Initiative, the People’s Movement on Climate Change, the People’s Coalition for Food Sovereignty and Reality of Aid Network.
- IBON International coordinates the NGO Cluster on Rights and Equity for Rio+20, and was elected Asia-Pacific regional representative of Major Groups and Stakeholders to the United Nations Environment Program. IBON International also represents NGOs on the Major Groups Media Advisory Committee at Rio+20.
- “Rights for Sustainability” (R4S) is a global initiative led by IBON International with the objective of promoting a rights-based approach to sustainable development, promoting inter- and intra-generational equity and justice in the reform agenda towards Rio+20 and beyond.
- The campaign calls for strengthening the people’s rights to productive resources and sustainable livelihoods, gender equality, appropriate technologies, and access to information, participation and means of redress. It also calls for strengthening the Right to Development, which recognizes the collective obligation of all states to create a just and equitable international environment “so as to equitably meet developmental and environmental needs of present and future generations” according to Principle 3 of the 1992 Rio Declaration.