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Rio+20: disappointing and very weak zero draft

The so called zero draft of the outcome document for Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development came out in the beginning of January. The document is very disappointing and weak. It is filled with good words and intentions about sustainable development and poverty eradication, but almost empty of concrete actions, policies for real changes and commitments. On trade it’s the same mantra about open, non-discriminatory trade and support for finishing the Doha round. Only three of the 128 paragraphs are on food security, and in two of them “global agri-food markets” and more “open trading systems” are promoted. Two of the most positive elements in the zero draft are: the support for “the creation of an international knowledge-sharing platform to facilitate countries’ green economy policy design and implementation,” including a toolbox of good practices, and the proposal to create a roadmap for the implementation of sustainable development.

The first talks between governments on the zero draft takes place in the UN headquarter January 25-27 and the more formal negotiations on the text will start in March. Now we need to influence national governments to make substantial changes and to strengthen the document. The document Rio+20 Time to act!, which More and Better and many of our member organizations have signed on to, should be actively used in the contact with the governments. More and Better members are kindly encouraged to send proposals, reports on their work on Rio+20 to secretariat@moreandbetter.org and to the e-mail list.