This morning, the world’s UN negotiators flooded the main plenary at the Rio+20 UN Earth Summit and passed a new Sustainable development text. It came after a week of intense debates, but surprisingly the negotiators were in more or less agreement with each other. It was actually frightening to see the amount of consensus. After so much contention between developed and developing countries, it seemed that everyone was swept up in the spirit of consensus.
There were still some outstanding issues, such as the G77’s desire to upgrade UNEP to a United Environmtneal Organisation and disappointment over the lack of support and focus on the means of implementing sustainable development. The EU and US were also seriously worried about the exclusion of reproductive rights within the text.
Nevertheless, the text was passed, and everyone seemed to be very appreciative of the Brazilian governmnet’s leadership. Whether this is a good thing or not, who knows. As the text was passed, youth and NGO’s boos were heard over the top of an extended applause. In any case, here is the play by play of how nations responded after the text was passed.
- “we didn’t hear it!”
- Agree in full with the text
- Very thankful of Brazil – a trend that seemed to continue
- Happy with the inclusion on the rights to indigenous people
- Happy with right to water
- Disappointed with MOI
- Supports the text
- A new child has been born but without a name
- Wants to see a new upgraded UNEP called UEO – United Environmental Organisation
- In support of new text
- Loved the new text. If Canada loves the new text, that can’t be good!
Small Island States:
- Fully support
- “dismayed that the reference to reproductive rights did not make it into the text”
- Worried that the SDG were not categorised into themes
- We have been an active and constructive participant
- “Our agreement to the text presupposes that UNEP would not be changed or expanded, and we did not agree on the theory that the text would be opened up over the next few days, and if it did open up, we would”
- “Everybody here swallowed some things that they just didn’t want to swallow”
- “while we have not done all we could do to promote sustainable development, even though it is the only type of development possible in the 21st century”
- “unique sense of unity among the delegates in their global push towards sustainable development”
- “In our view, ambition is to
- “we still firmly believe that this text could be better in many ways”
- “we support the approach of the African Group creating the new UNEO”
- “let me be clear, even thought we would have liked to see a much more ambitious text, but I think we can accept the text in its entirety”
- “I fully agree with G77 and China statement”
- “you have given a lesson in how you can bring the world together in agreement in the spirit of multilaterism”
- “negotiations were done in a transparent, multilateral way”
- Concerned over energy, oceans and procedures around sustainable development goals
- Worried over means of implementation
- “We see evidence as developing countries of the lack of political will of certain developed countries. The strong political will of developing countries to show what is necessary to have a better world”
- “this text lays the basis for a collective construction of a better future. The concept of a green economy has been reappropriated by developing countries to give it a new multilateral feel”
- “We fully agree with the content and structure of the text”
- 2 objections
- Right to water
- “we are fully associating ourself with the member from Algeria. We would have liked more. We would have liked to see ambition. But we agree”
- We are builging together for a common future. We would have liked to see better on Means of Implementation. On IIFSD we see it as a means and not an end.
- “we are having a common future and a common planet. We will constructively build on it”
- Supports G77 statement
- Would like to adopt the text
- Wants to adopt the text
- “we have to follow with concrete actions”
- Thanks everyone, and then even more people
- Supports the US statement on reproductive rights “I am surprised and dismayed by the lack of protection of reproductive rights”
- “I would like to support the submission of African Union in upgrading UNEP to UEO”
- “I would also like to see more mention of the youth”
- Wants to see the text ambition upgraded
- “green growth is not only the preferred path, it is a necessary path”
- “i urge all persons here to work hard, and I say work hard for our children”
- “We need to change these words into real change for our future”
- Agrees with the text
- Agrees with the text
- Supports Algeria, G77 and China
- The UAE stand ready to support the process of further sustainable development
- Deep appreciation of Brazil – like everyone. Thanks for nothing Chile.
- “Occassionaly we may live up to expectation”
- Thanks Brazil for bringing multilateral negotiations back to the UN
- “Document should not be opened”
- “I do not want to stay here until 4am as we stayed here yesterday”
- “we thank you for what you have done”
- In tears announces the passing away of the crown prince of Saudi Arabia
That’s what happened, more or less. Now you know. What do you think?
About the authorChris Wright
Climate researcher, political ecologist, activist and an award-winning slam poet from Australia.