Posted June 21, 2012 from Nigeria

The excitement, interest and hope generated by various stakeholders in painting the kind of future they want on the road to Rio+20 made it look as if some serious and far reaching decisions which will lead to a real transformed world will be taken by our political leaders at Rio. The social media blitz on the future we want is second to none to the extent that stakeholders are voting for the future they want as if by mere voting, the good future we so much desire can be wished into existence.

Just two days to the beginning of the RIO+20 conferences proper the social media became a washed with “the future we don’t want”. At this juncture, reality on ground in Rio has started to betray signs of broken hopes; the politicians have shown that they are not interested in changing the status quo. The promising green economy is now given way to “greed economy” and / “green capitalism”. The market assaults to which the developing world and especially the poor, the majority of whom are women are been exposed to is set to be renewed and reformed to reposition and take capitalism to the next level.

All our votes for the future we want are beginning to disappear into nothingness before our very eyes. According to Augustine Njaminshi of Pan African Climate Justice (PACJA) The negotiating “document has been so diluted from the expected high concentration of ambition, urgency and means of implementation that we were all expecting to have here. In fact, it defeats the very purpose or the key objective of the summit which was to galvanize and rekindle political will at the highest level for sustainable development”.

The Bolivian climate change platform had this to say about the current Rio+20 document “In its current form the text reaffirms and deepens the neo-liberal economic model. It promotes “inclusive and sustainable” economic growth with various references throughout the text without putting forward proposals or changes to the dominant economic systems”

Is this dismal scorecard from Rio+ 20 summits confirming the prediction of Patrick bond that Rio+20 will be an overall disaster zone for the people and the planet?. Will Rio+20 turn out to be the greatest disaster of the 21st century? Obviously, the same vigour with which we created awareness about the future we want is urgently needed and even much more to speak out against the future we don’t want.

While it appears that all hopes of securing a meaningful agreement with concrete outcomes is almost becoming lost, I am still optimistic that we can rise to the occasion by individually and collectively calling upon our political leaders in Rio to for once place the interest of the people above greed and profit, take decisive decisions that will be in the best interest of our planet and the people. Let the voices and the demands of the people on the future they want count! I urge my colleagues in the struggle not to lose hope. Let us continuously unleash our collective voices to pull down the future we don’t want and enthrone the future we want!

Rio+20: United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development

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  • Olanike
    Jun 22, 2012
    Jun 22, 2012

    More often than not, the generality of people are always excited at any opportunity to bare their minds to political leaders; in hope that they will listen and take positive action(s) on what they heard. I believe it was in this same vain that people responded impressively to the call to speak up about the future they wanted. Obviously, the issue of the future people don’t want must have sprung up as a result of the present that people would hate to have repeated in the future. However, I am glad about your optimism which I know many others share too.

    The future we want and the one we don't want are no doubt two sides of the same coin and we cannot afford to relent in speaking up about it; with the hope that it would help our leaders to take decisions that will not compromise our collective future and also preserve our planet. We must keep reminding our leaders that “greed economy” and “green capitalism” are the shortest roads to wiping out world economy, humanity and our planet.

    In the mean time, we will just have to wait for the outcome of the Rio +20 Summit. Guess what too? I am sure that as bridge builders and development partners, we will not relent in making sure that our leaders do what is right!

    God bless you sister for sharing this insights!



  • Titilope
    Jun 24, 2012
    Jun 24, 2012

    The only hope we have is to continue to be uptimistic. Rio has ended and the outcome documnet is a far cry from our expectations. The only cheering news is that we managed to get the human right to water and food. Of course! the struggle continues at the home front. We will not relent! Thank you my sister.