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UPDATE: Groups seek inclusion of RTW in Rio+20 ‘zero draft’

The United Nations has been canvassing governments and non-governmental organizations for their views on what the political document for the upcoming UN Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20, should contain. These opinions will be condensed into a ‘zero draft’ that will then be further discussed in negotiations due to finish in late May, just prior to the formal June 4-6, 2012 summit.

Council of Canadians water campaigner Meera Karunananthan writes, “In meetings at the United Nations last week, we learned that the G77 states were working on a joint submission for the ‘zero draft’ (text). …Upon learning that a handful of G77 states were blocking inclusion of language on the human right to water and sanitation, the Council of Canadians and 37 other organizations from more than 20 different countries sent a letter calling on the G77 to include the human right to water in its submission.”

United Nations Environment Program executive director Achim Steiner stated, “Today (Nov. 1) marks the deadline for governments, business and civil society to submit their submissions for how Rio+20 can deliver a transformational outcome in terms of accelerating and scaling-up sustainable development for now seven billion people.”

Meera’s blog on the G77 and the letter to them can be read at http://canadians.org/blog/?p=11636.

The Council of Canadians continues to develop its analysis of Rio +20, the green economy and water and intends to intervene at the June 4-6, 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:

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