World Summit on Sustainable Development
Johannesburg, South Africa
August 26-September 4, 2002 (Rio + 10)
10 years after the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, truly sustainable development remains a near-impossibility for many countries because of obstacles caused by wars and conflicts, lack of human rights, political corruption and non-democratic governments. For others, sustainable development requires political will to change the way we live and co-operate with other nations in order to adopt polices which put social and ecological justice before narrow self-interest and economic greed.
The list of actions needed is almost infinite, including the promotion of gender equality, defeating the HIV/AIDS virus, reversing desertification, and stopping the destruction of our rainforests. Nevertheless, all countries have a responsibility to respond to these challenges and we present our political leaders with 5 achievable demands for action at the Rio +10 Johannesburg Summit which will, as a minimum, contribute to moving our planet and its people in a sustainable direction.
DEMAND 1. 1 billion people do not have access to clean water and 2.4 billion lack basic sanitation. 3 million die annually from water-related diseases. The WTO GATS agreement for trade in services promotes private corporate control in place of public and governmental responsibility.
Provide affordable access to clean water sources and basic sanitation. STOP WATER PRIVATISATION.
DEMAND 2. One-third of the world’s population (2 billion people) does not have access to adequate energy services. Public investment in solar power and other clean energies will reach these people and take us away from our dependence on fossil-fuels.
Provide affordable access to clean and renewable energy sources. Set targets and timetables for a substantial shift to renewables and create an independent International Renewable Energy Agency to promote this policy.
DEMAND 3. 10 years after Rio, we have international treaties on climate change (Kyoto), control over trade in GMOs (Cartegena), exploitation of genetic resources (Convention on Biological Diversity and FAO treaty), access to environmental justice and information (Aarhus), control of fish stocks (UN/FAO Action plans). None of these is fully implemented or effective.
Consolidate the environmental progress made since Rio. Ratify and implement these and other green Treaties now
DEMAND 4. The WTO has a powerful and secretive disputes settlement mechanism which can over-rule environmental, social and public policy decisions. It should be subject to a higher, comprehensive and independent judicial process.
Place environmental and social rules ahead of trade rules. Transfer the final power of arbitration from the WTO to an independent Court.
DEMAND 5. Private corporations are not accountable for the public and social consequences of their business activities. Voluntary arrangements are not a satisfactory solution.
Create a legal framework for corporate social and environmental responsibility and accountability of private corporations