Rio+20: conference reflections

By CIDSE/Florian Kopp

By James Stella

On entering the Rio+20 Conference centre, the participants are instantly greeted by an enormous blue coloured digital billboard displaying the extensive list of side events scheduled for the day.

Listed on the board one will find the name, location and time of the event. With events scheduled around the clock, from 9:00 in the morning to 8:00 in the evening, there are approximately 55 side events everyday with each having a duration of one and half hours.

Some of the wide array of topics include, ‘Glaciers and Sustainability in the Anthropocen’ by CEDHA, ‘Motorcycle Safety al Rio+20’ by Ecuadorian Motorcyclists Association; ‘The Forest Green Economy and South-South Cooperation’ by WWF International and an event presented by a Palestinian organisation that focused on sustainable development under the Israel occupation.

With a plethora of organisations pushing their agendas in Rio it occurred to me that the organisers of Rio+20 have been entrusted with a monumental undertaking.

In order to secure a sustainable future it is essential that all the issues are brought to the attention and are addressed by the international community.

Deciding which issue has the highest priority and trimming down the hundreds of recommendations submitted into one clear concise document to be adopted by the world leaders this week can’t be an easy task.

If organisers want to enter into any type of solidarity at the conference they will need to somehow assuage the many vested interest groups present.

The arduous task of reaching a consensus on a document I am sure presented numerous barriers and obstacles. But with global temperatures getting warmer and the social and economic inequalities continuing to widen, Rio+20 is an opportunity to once and for all safeguard our planet for generations to come.

Caritas Internationalis

President: Cardinal Luis Antonio Gokim Tagle
Secretary General: Michel Roy

Caritas Internationalis
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