Tag Archive for rio+20

Global Shared Societies Agenda: Promoting Long-Term Inclusive and Sustainable Growth

Global Shared Societies Agenda: Promoting Long-Term Inclusive and Sustainable Growth

The Club de Madrid’s official side event in Rio+20 is an opportunity to unveil the Global Shared Societies Agenda, a joint initiative Club de Madrid, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and Center of Concern aimed at promoting long-term inclusive and sustainable growth developed during a seminar in April 2012 in the context of the Spring meetings of the IMF/World Bank, in which representatives of different international organizations took part.

There is a growing concern about current levels of overall inequality and theirnegative impact on economic performance. Equally Shared Societies are not only inherent desirable but they too offer an economic dividend. The costs of social divisions, and of missing out on the Shared Society dividend may be significant and the ultimate consequences for the sustainability of human economic and social life, devastating. The Global Shared societies Agenda is intended to guide on what policy options provide the best opportunities to encourage greater equality, inclusion and sharing and thereby facilitate the creation of a more effective, efficient and sustainable economic system.

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The #FutureWeWant

The #FutureWeWant

Club de Madrid Official Side Event in Rio+20!

The central message coming from the Club de Madrid official high-level side event “Sustainable Development in an Unequal world” in Rio+20 is that environmental justice requires social justice and social justice cannot be achieved without greater equality of income and wealth between countries and within countries. The event focused on the relationship and interdependence between the economy, social justice and the environment. It addressed the high and increasing worldwide inequality between those who pollute most through wasteful use of natural resources, and those who suffer the effects of pollution. It pointed to the fact that the world´s most affluent one billion people have a lifestyle which negatively affects and pollutes the other six billion´s air, water, land, foodstuffs and undermines their right to a decent life.

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Rio+20: Where do we go from here?

By Carla Fernández-Durán and Irene Vergara*

Where do we come from?

Today, more than twenty years after Gro Harlem Brundtland was appointed to chair the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) in order to unite countries to pursue sustainable development together, there is general agreement that “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without jeopardising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.

We have come to understand that the world we live in has limits, and so do the natural resources we need to maintain a growing population.

And there must be a right to develop for the current and future generations, covering basic needs and ensuring that the level of poverty diminishes drastically.

These principles were agreed internationally in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and today, the world has not reached the point we had hoped 20 years later. How long will it take to agree on the actions that need to be undertaken to build a safer and better world?

Beyond the already agreed traditional definition, sustainability and sustainable development are fundamentally also issues of justice. A holistic definition that has to embrace human rights, social justice and climate justice.

Where do we stand today?

Although progress towards sustainable development has been made since the Rio Summit in 1992, there are still important implementing challenges that need to be faced.

Agreements under international law imply the recognition of a common interest above the particular interests; and in the case of Sustainable Development, recognition of common but differentiated responsibility.  And we should not forget that Human Development needs a holistic perspective since every human action has a consequence in the world.

Today, we stand at a crossroad, and all nations must agree on a document that not only spells out principles. We need action, concrete solutions that seek a global movement towards a better world from both intra-generation and intergeneration perspectives.

We must see the next meeting in Rio as an opportunity to bring to the table solutions linked to the economic recovery and development, a sustainable use of our natural resources and better social conditions. We are all in the same planet, and therefore, in the same boat, we must agree on the need to help us each other in cooperation, and not to develop ourselves against the others.

Where do go from here?

Women waiting to receive food aid, children drinking un-clean water, farmers hit by drought, wildlife declining due to poaching in protected areas… the future of Humanity is being played here, today. We cannot spend 20 more years to realise that the future is now! The time has come to go for the future we want, for us, for our children and for our grandchildren.

Last but not least, we would like to highlight the critical window of opportunity that the States have today to scale up political and financial response to the environmental, social & economic challenges of this period of crises.

Acknowledging political will is required in order to advance and start building a better world for all, there is no other solution than a joint exercise of check and balances leaving aside individual and short-minded interests. We need action, and we need it now:

  • The adoption of strong mechanisms to reduce food price volatility and curb speculative tendencies, including data disclosure, coordinated regulation of derivative markets and stabilizing stocks
  • A commitment to the effective implementation of: i) international financial transaction taxes and ii) an international carbon tax, as the most promising means to secure the resources necessary to effectively address development and climate change challenges
  • Ending fossil fuel subsidies and invest in non-nuclear Renewable Energy for All- An integrated approach of what we call “Shared Societies” in Rio+20: addressing equality from an economic, and gender point of view, particularly looking at the rights of minorities.

These are just examples of needed actions towards a better future in the world with boundaries we live today. We all need to keep in mind that steps have been taken forward, but not enough, and time to reverse the consequences we are already experiencing such as the climate challenge, is coming to an end. Therefore, there is a need for a strong political will in Rio towards an ambitious outcome, and we call for it!

*Carla Fernández-Durán is Program Officer at the Club de Madrid for the Shared Societies Project and Irene Vergara is Program Officer at the Club de Madrid for the Energy and Climate Change Project.

“I have made sustainable development my number one priority”

“We need to invent a new model – a model that offers growth and social inclusion – a model that is more respectful of the planet’s finite resources. That is why I have made sustainable development my number one priority.”

Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary General.

We think the same, and that’s the reason why we’re hosting an official side event in Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, on Wednesday, 20 June 2012 17:00 – 18:30h. Rio Centro Convention Center, Room T-4.


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Club de Madrid Official Side Event in Rio+20! Sustainable Development in an Unequal World

When? Wednesday,  20 June 2012 17:00 – 18:30h. Rio Centro Convention Center, Room T-4.

What? The vision statement from the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability offers an insightful summary of the global state of affairs: “Today our planet and our world are experiencing the best of times and the worst of times…  Inequality between the world’s rich and poor is growing, and more than a billion people still live in poverty.  In many countries, there are rising waves of protest reflecting universal aspirations for a more prosperous, just and sustainable world.”  In this event, world leaders past and present will speak to the urgent need respond to millions of people worldwide who need sustainable development to get out of poverty and to ensure security and stability, and to every country’s need for a transition to sustainable consumption and production that can ensure socially equitable and economically and environmentally viable economic development

Download here the PDF

Further information here

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Luisa Diogo: “We need to do it right. Otherwise, we will disappear as a planet!”

The Club de Madrid in collaboration with the Friederich Ebert Stiftung staged a debate on the issues at stake at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development at the UN’s headquarters in NY, 10 November 2011.

Four Members of the Club de Madrid, Wim Kok (Prime Minister of The Netherlands, 1994-2002), Jennifer Mary Shipley (Prime Minister of New Zealand, 1997-1999), Ricardo Lagos (President of Chile , 2000-2006), and Luisa Diogo (Prime Minister of Mozambique, 2004-2010), offered their points of view on the key issues at stake at the UNCSD negotiation process.

Find here a summary of the event!

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Please find additionally included Club de Madrid’s Recommendations, in its contribution to the Rio+20 process.

What is needed?

  • Not to renegotiate the principles of sustainable development but to find the political will to integrate the economic, social and environmental pillars already agreed to in an institutional framework putting human well-being at the center of concern, and that reinforces principles of intergenerational equity and common but differentiated responsibilities.

Great challenges:

  • Developed countries must shrink environmental footprints as fast and as far as possible while sustaining human development achievements.
  • Developing countries must continue to raise their people’s living standards while containing increases in their footprints, recognising that poverty eradication remains a priority.

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