MESSAGE AT THE RIO+20 SUMMIT FROM THE “IN DEFENSE OF HUMANITY” NETWORK

“The solution cannot be to prevent the development of those who need it the most. Because today, everything that contributes to underdevelopment and poverty is a flagrant violation of ecology. (…) If we want to save humanity from this self-destruction, wealth and available technologies must be distributed better throughout the planet. Less luxury and less waste in a few countries would mean less poverty and hunger in much of the Earth. (…).  Enough of selfishness, enough of hegemonies, enough of insensitivity, irresponsibility and deceit”


Fidel Castro, Río de Janeiro, 1992.


Now, twenty years later, inspired by those words spoken by Fidel, in the recent encounter with a group of founders of our network and embarking on his call to carry on fighting without a pause in order to save the human species, aware of the fact that egoism and the blindness of the powerful continue to block all initiatives associated with true solutions, we are circulating this MESSAGE TO THE RIO+20 SUMMIT to the other chapters and members of the Network In Defense of Humanity and to other social movements, organizations, networks and persons that are not willing to accept the suicidal model imposed on the world, nor our extinction, as our fatal fate.

Using all the means within our reach, we must make our demand before the system of United Nations international organizations:

 

  1. That the RIO+20 Summit starts out from the analysis of the state of compliance of the commitments taken on in Agenda 21 and the Principles agreed at the World Summit on the Environment and Development in Rio, 1992 and reiterated at the Johannesburg Conference.  
  2. To refute the intention of replacing the approach on compliance with the principles of sustainable development and the goals of millennium development with the new theses proposed around the “green economy”.   To reject this concept and any other form of exploitation by trans-national power and demand a multi-sector and multi-dimensional approach to deal with the crisis.  
  3. To condemn the privatization of natural resources and all forms of merchandising nature.  To acknowledge and give value to the integral concept of life of aboriginal cultures and of the principles of solidarity, equality, complementarity and reciprocity upon which alternatives such as El Buen Vivir and others are based, for a harmonious relationship with nature and the survival of the human species.   
  4. To acknowledge the urgency of placing the defense of the rights of our species and nature as the focal point for negotiations and international normative instruments to the detriment of the rights of capital. From this point of view, to acknowledge the need for a criminal tribunal on the environment.
  5. That wars, imperial policies and the arms race be condemned as the greatest aggressions on the environment and on the preservation of the human species, both for their direct consequences as for the incalculable expenses they cause.  These resources should instead be used to resolve the principle social and environmental challenges facing humanity.  That the suicidal nature of nuclear arsenals should be denounced and their elimination and absolute prohibition should be demanded. 
  6. That public authorities should take on as their principal obligation the application of an approach based on the rights of sustainability, well-being and progress of society, and the inexcusable responsibility of governments to provide services essential for the lives of every single citizens should be recovered. That the indicators of development and progress should be radically changed so that they take into account the environmental costs, social equity and human development.
  7. That the transformation of the patterns of production, consumption and income distribution is recognized as being imperative.  The search for growing accumulation of profits and orienting production towards solvent demand and not social necessity, something identifying the capitalist system, cannot, nor can it ever, generate equality, eliminate poverty or guarantee harmonious development along with preserving the environment.  The real urgency of migrating towards non-polluting technologies cannot reduce the analysis to merely technological aspects.
  8. That the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, acknowledged in the Rio Declaration, becomes translated into real financing, flexible and political access mechanisms for technology and knowledge for the most needy countries and into inescapable obligations for the industrialized countries.   
  9. To denounce the cynical “clean talk” of the powers of the North that are today trying to blame the countries of the South while covering over their historical and present responsibility in those countries’ technological backwardness and in the deformation of their economies and favouring the trans-national’s “dirty” operations in the South.  The “green” brands and patents have to be denounced as a renewed and dangerous mechanism reaffirming domination over all technologically dependent countries.
  10. That the Summit should stand in favour of the vital precautionary assessment of technologies according to their social and environmental impact.  It is urgent that we put together a world convention for the control of new and emerging technologies, based on the principle of precautious and participative assessment.   
  11. To denounce so-called programmed obsolescence and to favour technologies dealing with product maximum life-spans, providing benefits for standardization, repair, recycling and minimum waste, so that human needs may be satisfied at the lowest possible environmental cost.
  12. To condemn world trade control by trans-nationals and the role of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in imposing agreements legitimizing inequality and exclusion and prevent the exercise of sovereign public policies.  To promote concrete actions to achieve fairer trade exchanges that are in harmony with environmental requirements.  
  13. To agree on concrete measures to stop the volatility of food prices and speculation on the basic products market as an essential means to combat hunger and poverty.  
  14. To denounce the massive acquisition of land in the South countries by foreign powers and multi-nationals in order to exploit their natural resources or dedicate them to projects that compromise the environment or the balance of the ecosystems.
  15. To promote a framework convention for environmental and social responsibility of the companies and national legislation condemning their harmful and abusive practices, taking into account the trans-national nature of their operations.  
  16. To promote control actions on commercial advertising that instigates extravagant consumption and creates unreal necessities, particularly the advertising directed at young children and adolescents, and to establish instead policies that promote advertising for the public good, thereby constituting a source of sustainable information and practices.
  17. That a firm declaration be made in favour of orienting education and science towards benefitting human development and not revolving around market functions, based on new consupmtion ethics that, without sacrificing the essentials of material satisfaction, reject products which are the result of ecologically aggressive practices or slave labour and other forms of exploitation.
  18. To promote review and modification of the current system of intellectual property, in the light of environmental negotiations, the agenda of struggle against climate change and for human rights, so that the transfer of technologies and environmentally healthy practical knowledge, or access to them, may be facilitated.  
  19. To demand that the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) as a UN organization, faces up to the urgent need for a paradigm change around the matter of international scientific research and knowledge, in such a way as, leaving to one side the market mechanisms, promotes the necessary collaboration, coordinated research and distribution and applications of the results on a large scale.  That this organization should implement the mechanisms necessary to favour, as soon as possible, an effective energy transition and the measures to mitigate climate change.
  20. That an integral re-evaluation of the existing environmental management system, that has shown itself to be incapable of stopping the ecological catastrophe, should be promoted, and a new, inclusive, genuinely democratic and participative one that is directed towards the deep causes of the crisis should be laid down, one that should be capable of promoting real solutions to these problems for the generations of today and the future. To generate a new Social Contract in our countries and on an international scale.

 Please convey your support to the following e-mail address:

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