Activists term Rio+20 summit a ‘hoax’

June 23rd, 2012 - 9:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, June 23 (IANS) As world leaders ended the Rio+20 summit with a 53-page statement called “The Future We Want”, activists have slammed the UN Conference on sustainable development as a “failure of epic proportions”, CNN reported Saturday.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described the document as a “firm foundation for social, economic and environmental well-being”.

“Rio+20 has affirmed fundamental principles, renewed essential commitments, and given us new direction,” Ban said in a statement.

But conservation group Greenpeace said the summit, formally known as the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, was “over before it started”.

“One by one, the few proposed commitments and targets were deleted,” Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo said in a statement.

“Rio+20 has been a failure of epic proportions. The only outcome of this summit is justifiable anger, an anger that we must turn into action,” Naidoo said.

Aid group Oxfam also termed the event as a failure.

“Rio will go down as the hoax summit,” Oxfam chief executive Barbara Stocking said.

“We elect governments to tackle the issues that we can’t tackle alone. But they are not providing the leadership the world desperately needs.”

“Paralysed by inertia and in hock to vested interests, too many are unable to join up the dots and solve the connected crises of environment, equity and economy,” she said.

About 100 heads of state and government were among roughly 40,000 delegates who attended the meeting, which the UN called a “historic opportunity to define pathways to a safer, more equitable, cleaner, greener and more prosperous world for all”.

During the meeting, the UN said $513 billion had been committed to a number of issues, including energy, food security, access to drinking water and ocean management.

Pledges made during the summit include a 100-million tree planting programme, plans to lift African women out of poverty through green economy businesses, and a commitment to recycle 800,000 tonnes of PVC each year, the UN said.

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