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Forum of Ethics & Responsibilities Proposes Alternative Zero Draft for Rio+20 Conference


by Marina Urquidi

After a broad consultation with partners including our team, the Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation (FPH), which funds the Ethics & Responsibilities program, has drawn up a list of proposed amendments to the UN’s “Zero draft of the outcome document” of the coming UN Rio+20 Conference. Read, tell us if you agree, suggest other amendments!





The Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, which is to be held in Rio de Janeiro next June 20 to 22, has, as is customary in this kind of official conference, prepared a “zero draft” intended to serve as a basis for negotiations among states as they move toward the conference, also known as the Rio+20 Earth Summit. It is called “The Future We Want,” and was developed with inputs mainly from the UN Member States, but also from the so-called Major Groups (nine formalized “overarching categories through which all citizens [can] participate in UN activities” including for instance Women, Indigenous Peoples, and Business and Industry), and all the UN agencies. The zero draft has been in discussion among diplomats and states since the beginning of 2012.

The Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation (FPH), which has a very long history of cross-cultural, cross-regional, and cross-sector forward-looking proposal building, has been drawing from its long-term thinking and the work of its partners to frame an alternative draft including our Ethics & Responsibilities inputs. This process has resulted in specific amendment proposals to the Zero Draft, which we are happy to submit for your appraisal.

Striving for more than business as usual and for ensuring our survival on this planet

The amendments are directed at trying to make of this document something more than “business as usual” and patching up some of the flaws that have led to the failure of the process begun at the first of these conferences 20 years ago, which is the general feeling given by the original UN text. Our point is to emphasize processes that will truly help humankind achieve the “Great Transition,” failing which, there is little hope for our collective survival on this planet. The transition will require a complete overhaul in our thinking from the ethics, governance, and economy standpoint. For this, we are suggesting, among others, that the UN adopt the concept of universal responsibility, or co-responsibility.

A clearly set out document for easy reading and intended for the official Rio+20 delegations

The amendments are set out in the down-loadable document below, following the exact structure of the Zero Draft, which is displayed in the left-hand column, with the corresponding proposed replacements or additions in the column on the right.

The proposed amendments will be sent to the Heads of Delegations who will take part in the negotiations at the Rio+20 Conference as well as to civil-society organizations that will take part in the Rio+20 event. It is also a process that shall be implemented after the Rio Conference with the FPH partners and all the stakeholders who wish to share their thinking and proposals for the Great Transition.

Please download the proposed amendments and feel free to add your comments, observations, or proposals in the comments section :

Word - 30.5 kb
Presenta- tion FER Alternative Zero Draft
PDF - 336 kb
FER Alternative Zero Draft
Published on: 26 April 2012
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