Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
Information
  • Date submitted: 1 Nov 2011
  • Stakeholder type: Member State
  • Name: Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
  • Submission Document: Download
Keywords: Green economy (5 hits),

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CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE BOLIVARIAN REPUBLIC OF VENEZUELA TO THE DRAFT FINAL DOCUMENT OF THE UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (RIO+20)

I. General Aspects Highlighted by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela:

1. It has been 40 years since the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, held in Stockholm, in 1972, where the international community recognized the advanced environmental degradation of the planet, which was reaffirmed 20 years later at the Conference on Environment and Development, held in June, 1992. At that Conference, the unsustainable patterns of production and consumption were recognized as major drivers of environmental degradation, and poverty as one of the greatest challenges to resolve.

The Summit on Development, held in Johannesburg, in June, 2002, ratified the agreements and principles of the Rio Summit of 1992, and included the three pillars of sustainable, economic, social, and environmental development, as ?interdependent and mutually reinforcing?. This interdependence is a necessary condition for achieving sustainable development.

After 40 years marked by the slow progress that there has been to assume the political commitment to move from rhetoric to action. This is one of the main challenges of the Rio+20 Summit.

2. Given the fact that there is little result reported on the compliance with the goals and objectives adopted at these Summits, the desire of exploitation for obtaining excessive profits, and even profits on the bases of pollution, is greater every day.

3. The persistence to ignore the deep causes of the progressive deterioration of the environment, associated to the preservation of an outdated capitalist model that encourages over-exploitation of natural resources ? and that keeps the planet at the verge of an environmental collapse ? is of great concern.

4. The ?green-capitalism? scheme intends to transform nature into a commodity to be measured, valuated, appropriated, and traded under a mercantilist model, leaving environmental sustainability aside. This is the second challenge: to stop great capitals, which only seek to use the Rio+20 Summit to transform nature into new economic actives that may help to save the capitalist model from its deep and perpetual crisis. This is what they have called ?Green economy?, under the lead of agents linked to the world of transnational corporations and the international financial sector.

5. The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, to be held in June, 2012 (CUNSD RIO+20), must promote a substantive debate on the economic model and the failed policies that have generated the global crisis that we are currently living. It is a unique opportunity to adopt measures that lead towards the eradication of poverty ? through social inclusion ? with a human vision of development.

6. In the Venezuelan case, our natural resources have benefited and strengthen our social programs, at the national level; and, at the regional level, they have allowed our country to foster policies of integration and regional cooperation, based on complementarity ? and not on the laws of the market.

7. Venezuela has supported the development of clean technologies, applied to the hydrocarbon industry, in order to diminish its environmental impact; such is the case of the use of cleaner gasoline, the extended use of gas, the application of tocología HDH+ in Venezuelan refineries (to eliminate the production of petroleum coke), and the generation of electricity through gas venting. Venezuela, being an oil country, produces 70% of its national energy from hydroelectric energy, and it has placed over 60% of its territory under some sort of environmental administrative protection; including national parks, biosphere reservoirs, and protected areas ? including great extensions of natural forests. Being an oil country with a strong environmental vocation, we consider that Rio+20 should aim towards the clean and rational use of hydrocarbons, taking into consideration the particularities of the producing countries, and the need to carry out public policies aimed at minimizing the socioeconomic asymmetries; in particular, the levels of poverty ? in order to leverage a sustained economic growth.

8. The policies and strategies to be adopted in Rio+20, in particular, those framed within the Chapter on ecological economy, must necessarily consider the environmental and social impacts, in particular, poverty, food safety, education, health, the promotion of the productive capacity of developing countries, and employment as transversal aspects of any program, project, or activity, to be developed, and advanced within the vision of the three interdependent pillars of sustainable development towards a comprehensive conception. We advocate for a social-ecological economy.

9. In Venezuela, we are constructing a development model that has the human being as its center of action, and stands on the values of solidarity, justice, social inclusion, equity, respect, and the fulfillment of human rights and citizens? participation. In congruence with this development model, the National Government carries out social policies aimed at eradicating poverty, discrimination, and social exclusion, with the purpose of achieving an inclusive and participatory society, capable of guaranteeing all its members a decent life, through the enjoyment of their social, economic, cultural, environmental, political, and civil rights, in an universal and equitable way. 10. What we are proposing as peremptory in Rio+20 is a debate of alternatives truly sustainable for the legitimate development, based on a new model oriented towards the productive growth, with inclusion and social development. Respecting the principal and guiding role of the State for the creation of a new productive tissue, it is intended that its subjects become actors, with a sense of risk, and innovative, and with the participation of all sectors linked to the popular economy: micro, small, medium, and large businesses, on equal opportunities. A development that is based on the diversification of the production of goods and services, related to the various production chains. This is the sustainable Endogenous Development.

II. About the Objectives of the Conference:

1. The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (CUNSD RIO+20) must:

a) Renew the commitment to sustainable development, to respect and align with the principles contained in the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, in particular, Principle 7 on common but differentiated responsibilities.

b) Recognize the Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation. The outcome of Rio+20 must ratify and monitor these instruments, and ease its implementation.

2. The spirit of Rio 92 must be preserved, and the sovereign right of the States to direct their development policies according to their national priorities, must be ratified, on the basis of Principle 2 and 3 of the Rio Declaration of 1992. In this framework, the compliance with the multilateral environmental framework-agreements is essential.

3. There must be a strong commitment to advance towards the compliance of the internationally agreed goals and objectives, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), with a sense of responsibility and international solidarity, especially a greater commitment by developed countries through the provision of new, additional, and predictable financial resources.

4. The Official Development Assistance (ODA) remains crucial in promoting the economic growth and fighting poverty. It is therefore urgent that developed countries meet the 0.7% of the GNP; this historic request must be accompanied by an international commitment to promote a fair trade, based on the complementarity between the nations, and the adoption of macroeconomic policies that are positive to the environment and development. It is unacceptable that developed countries argue the global economic and financial crisis to avoid compliance with ODA.

5. In this sense, it is required the adoption of concrete actions to address the gaps and loopholes that still exist in the implementation of existing commitments; such as, the fight against poverty and the social exclusion, for which it is required to consider:

a) The principles of equality and non-discrimination, as immediate and cross-cutting obligations in matters related to the economic, political, and social institutionality of sustainable development. Within this aspect those groups considered most vulnerable deserve special attention (women, children, youth, elderly, disabled, indigenous, and African descents).

b) Inclusion must play a leading role in the fight against poverty, with elements of sustainability. In contrast to the capitalist model, our humanist model promotes the participation of all social sectors, with the appropriation of the productive processes in order to reverse social inequalities. The creator men has the ability to take responsibility of the administration of environmental, humane, and financial resources aimed at improving the living conditions of the community in which every human being develops.

c) Promote the transfer of technology, which requires the creation of an international environment conducive to the elimination of all the technical, legislative, and administrative barriers that prevent the transfer of technology to developing countries; in this sense, the relevant international organizations, the research institutions, and the private sector must provide information on the activities that they have implemented and that could be implemented in order to fully comply with Chapter 34 of Agenda 21 and the Bali Strategic Plan for the technological support and capacity-building in the developing countries.

6. The result of CUNSD RIO+20 must be a concise document, action-oriented, focused on tools that allow overcoming the obstacles to sustainable development, and solutions to the structural causes of the negative environmental and social impacts, caused by neoliberal capitalist policies in sectors that are essential to human survival; such as food, water, energy, agriculture, housing, and employment. There cannot be a good outcome at the Summit if these, that are the social elements of sustainability, are not fully considered.

III. About the Green economy in the context of Sustainable Development:

1. In addressing what is stipulated on Resolution 64/236, Venezuela underlines that the document should make reference to ecologic economy (in accordance to its version in Spanish) and not to Green economy. The ecologic economy:

a) It should align with the principles of sustainable development and poverty eradication.

b) It should include actions in the social, economic, and environmental scopes, in an integrated way.

c) It should respect the policies and plans of development of the States.

d) Its principles and actions should be framed under the Rio Declaration.

e) It should exhaustively prevent the adoption of restrictive measures that result in ?green protectionism?.

2. For the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela it is unacceptable to adopt a unique definition for all countries, when there are insufficient studies on the extent of the environmental, economic, and social aspects that result from the so-called ?green initiatives?; because there does not exist an universally agreed definition and, especially, because we will not support any definition ? purely mercantilist ? that is not developed with the ultimate aim of supporting a harmonious development with nature, under a humanist and social vision.

3. The final decision of implementing these projects or ?green models? should be left to the sovereign discretion of each State, in accordance with their policies, laws, priorities, and national capacities.

4. The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela promotes the eco-socialism, which through the close interaction of the economic agents has progressively transformed the capitalist logic with non-economist productivity ? with social sense, where environmental responsibilities are assumed between the State and society. Therefore, the eco-socialism is the economic action linked to the socio-environmental interaction. In this concept, the economic actor is ?ecologized?, in order to ensure the well being of the population, to ensure that no private sector ? or its monopolies ? determines what is ?green? and what is not, but the human being as a guarantor of its social, productive, and environmental situation.

5. The Green economy is not a solution to the old and new threats that have deepened the environmental crisis because its ultimate goal is the imposition of expensive products and ?green? technologies from developed countries to poor and developing countries, which budgets are already engaged in the struggle to eradicate poverty. This technological and patents neocolonialism must be rejected.

6. The Rio+20 Summit must generate concrete commitments for developed countries to modify their patterns of consumption and production, which are the main cause of environmental degradation and poverty in the world.

7. Rio+20 should be a scenario oriented towards the evaluation and renewal of the common commitments, the identification of those that were left unfulfilled in the road, and the serious demand for compliance with them, and not to undermine the objective of this meeting with the simple imposition of the ?Green economy Agenda?, but to foster a true general balance 20 years after the Earth Summit.

8. Any approach aimed at the ?future qualification of projects? under the ecologic economy modality should ensure:

a) Not to promote the standardization at the expense of developing countries, particularly those lees advantaged.

b) That this does not become a condition for the technological transfer and financing, particularly with regards to climate change.

9. Rio+20 must adopt a strategy with efforts aimed at improving the ecologically-rational management of the resources; it should address the use of ecosystem components while respecting the functional integrity and the charge and recharge capacity of them, in such a way that the rate of use is less than the capacity of regeneration.

10. In this sense, a strong and firm political commitment is required in order to establish and support, at the national, regional, and international level, comprehensive multispectral measures and coordinated responses, taking the following into consideration:

a) The international cooperation, particularly the transfer of technology, knowledge, and financial assistance, must be aimed at establishing and implementing effective programs to assist in the implementation of the development plans, taking into consideration the cultural, social, economic, political, and legal national factors.

b) Any action aimed at achieving an economy based on the elimination and reduction of emissions must be aligned with the principles and objectives contained in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol.

11. The energetic issue should not be approached from a perspective that qualifies ?the use of fossil fuels as a problem?. Oil must be recognized as an important source of secure energy within the international energy matrix, which requires commitments for its production and its sustainable and responsible use. Oil is a key element in achieving access to energy for all countries, especially those most vulnerable. Oil, as natural resource used in power generation, and due to its wide range of uses, remains a major source of the global energy matrix and, as such, it is a key factor for promoting the access to energy and ensuring the global energetic security.

12. Consequently, the issue of access to energy must have an inclusive approach, aimed at promoting:

a) Diversifying the global energetic matrix, in order to improve the efficiency and conservation of the natural energetic resources, both renewable and non-renewable.

b) Promoting the use and transfer of advanced technologies, such as cleaner technologies for the development of renewable energies and the utilization of fossil fuels, which allow an energetic security that allow, both producers and consumers, to benefit from a regular and efficient supply of energy, that considers the necessities of the consuming countries to have access to energy, in non-discriminatory conditions, of free trade with a fair return for the producer countries.

IV. Institutional Aspects:

1. With regards to the review of the institutional framework of sustainable development and the follow up to the UNCED, the provisions of Chapter XI of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, the Rio Declaration, and the Agenda 21 provide the basis for this review and for ensuring an effective institutional framework for the management of the sustainable development, considering that the work and plans aimed at achieving the sustainable development have as mandatory requisite the integration of the economic development, the social progress, and the conservation and use of the natural resources.

2. In this regard, the role of an inclusive, transparent, and democratic multilateralism must be ratified as the mean for the establishment and the review of the objectives of sustainable development, internationally agreed; and the United Nations as an Organism that must continue to play the role of coordinator and catalyst of sustainable development on the basis of the respect for the sovereign equality of all States.

3. It is recommended to strengthen the existing institutions, in the United Nations framework, linked to the management of the sustainable development, such as the CSD and the UNEP, through budgets that ensure the optimum performance and implementation of their working plans, and to prevent the establishment of multiple teams and coordinating bodies, giving priority to the mandates and goals already agreed, which, to date, have not been met yet, before assuming new institutional commitments that may translate into unsustainable burdens to developing countries.

4. We reject the proposals regarding the establishment of a Global Environmental Organization until a substantive evaluation of the subject is done, on the basis of a detailed proposal that includes, among others: the proposed organizational chart, the agenda and the implications on the agendas of the different organs and agencies, issues related to the mechanisms provided and proposed for the coordination and cooperation between different organizations, and even the budgetary implications. The proposed establishment of this organization must be completed with substantive reform proposals in the other two pillars of the sustainable development, which also have large operational and budgetary weaknesses that should be diagnosed and addressed.

5. The proposal to change the status of the CSD to Council of Sustainable Development must be carefully completed, in terms of structure, regulations, and its relation with the ECOSOC and the other entities related to the three pillars, in order to determine:

a) The most appropriate mechanisms for tracking all the agreements related to sustainable development (in its three pillars).

b) Promptly identify how to address the weaknesses that affect the implementation of the agreements, in each of the three pillars of sustainability: economic, social, and environmental.

6. We advocate for the coordination and synergy between the Secretariats of the Framework Conventions, in order to avoid overlapping their mandates and roles, and the inadequate coordination among the key issues of environmental multilateralism.

7. The procedures and working methods of the United Nations programs and organisms must be simplified, in order to facilitate the inter-agency coordination.

8. In general, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela advocates for the respect of more than 20 years of the progressive development of the concept of sustainable development. In this regard, the promotion of an international negotiation on sustainable development should remain, in a coherent way, oriented toward concrete actions on the balanced basis of the three pillars of sustainable development, which allow overcoming the underlying causes of the environmental crisis.

9. Finally, the initiatives aimed at the creation of new structures should be reviewed in light of the process followed for the structural reform of the United Nations; meanwhile, recommendations that affect this process should not be taken.

10. In a broad sense, we advocate for the profound refoundation of the United Nations System. In the words of our Commander, President Hugo Chavez Frias, in 2005:

"?the United Nations has exhausted its model and it is not simply a matter of proceeding with reform, the twenty-first century demands deep changes that are only possible with a rebuilding of this organization. (?) The obsolescence of the United Nations System has made us, the peoples, feel orphaned before the complete delegitimation of a system that does not represent the interests and needs of the majority of the peoples and cultures of the planet, who have been oppressed by a scheme where some powers have appealed the decision-making through the perverse mechanism of the veto, which, for years, has undermined the sovereignty and will of the States and peoples".

The sustainable development requires a democratic United Nations that respects the integrity of the principles agreed in its founding Charter.
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