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NEWS: Brazil notes water in its zero draft submission for Rio+20

A media release from the Brazilian government today states that it has, “released the proposals it will bring to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) to be held in Rio de Janeiro… The proposals were submitted to the United Nations as Brazil’s contribution to the first draft (also known as the zero draft) of the Rio +20 declaration, which will be negotiated throughout 2012 by UN member states.”

“Resulting from extensive consultations with government institutions and multiple stakeholders from Brazilian civil society, the proposals include…the development of a Global Socio-environmental Protection Program in an effort to overcome extreme poverty and promote policies that ensure environmental quality, food security, adequate housing and access to clean water for all. …Brazil (also) supports that the sustainable use of the water be treated in a more integrated way within the United Nations. Discussion should also take into account the participation of governments, private sector, development banks and multilateral agencies.”

Brazil is a founding member of the G77. A United Nations report from the July 28, 2010 vote at the General Assembly on the recognition of the right to water and sanitation notes, “The representative of Brazil said the right to water and sanitation was intrinsically connected to the rights to life, health, food and adequate housing. It was the responsibility of States to guarantee those rights to all citizens, and Brazil had been working within and outside its borders to promote access to water and sanitation, especially in low-income communities. Pointing out that treaty-based and non-treaty based human rights bodies were based in Geneva, she said the United Nations headquarters there was the best forum for the current discussion. Nevertheless, Brazil would vote in favour of the text.”

The Council of Canadians continues to develop its analysis of Rio +20, the green economy and water and intends to intervene at the May 28 to June 6, 2012 summit in Rio. There is already significant concern that the green economy agenda on water is backed by big business and that it includes water privatization, dams and putting a price tag on nature.

The Council is currently working on a paper on ‘the green economy and water’, with a scheduled release date of February 2012.

The Council also intends to participate in the ‘Towards People’s Summit of Rio+20′ in Porto Alegre, Brazil this coming January 24-29. As noted in their outreach, “The Brazilian Civil Society Facilitating Committee for Rio +20 is calling civil society organizations and social and popular movements from all around the world to a process that will culminate in June 2012 into the autonomous and plural event, provisionally called People’s Summit of the Rio +20 for Social and Environmental Justice, parallel to the official Conference.”

For additional background and emerging analysis, please see these campaign blogs:

UPDATE: Groups seek inclusion of RTW in Rio+20 ‘zero draft’
UPDATE: Calling on the G77 to support the right to water in Rio
UPDATE: A right to water for the 99%
NEWS: UN releases Rio+20 report
NEWS: Rio+20 ‘green economy templates’ point to dams, water privatization
NEWS: Big business backs water agenda at Rio+20
UPDATE: The Stockholm Water Week statement on Rio+20
UPDATE: Rio+20 and water