- Date submitted: 1 Nov 2011
- Stakeholder type: Major Group
- Name: World Association of Former United Nations Internes and Fellows (WAFUNIF)
- Submission Document: Download
INPUTS FOR COMPILATION DOCUMENT
THE UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 4-6 June 2012: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The World Association of Former United Nations Internes and Fellows (WAFUNIF)
2 United Nations Plaza, DC2-0370, New York, NY 10017 1 November 2011
2 UN Plaza, DC 2-0370
New York, New York 10017, USA
Telephone: (212) 963 -3110 Fax: (212) 963 -4609 or 4116
CONSULTATIVE STATUS: SPECIALCATEGORYWITH ECOSOC ,ANDGENERAL CATEGORY WITH UNCTA D, ASSOCIATIONWITH U NDPI
I. EXPECTATIONS FOR THE OUTCOME OF THE CONFERENCE
A. Concrete Proposals
1. Intactness of the Earth
2. Resources of the Earth
a. Living Resources
b. Non-Living Resources
c. Conservation of Resources
d. Preservation of Resources
e. Protection of Resources
f. Exploitation of Resources
g. Uses of Resources
i. Constructive Uses
ii. Destructive Uses
3. Civilizational Demands
B. Comments on Existing Proposals
2. Green Economy Roadmap
3. Framework for Action
4. Sustainable Development Goals
5. Revitalized Global Partnership
C. Implementational Views
1. Closing Implementational Gaps
2. Relevant Actors
a. Public Sector
b. Private Sector
c. Civil Society
D. Implementational Methodologies
1. Content of Priorities
2. Framework of Timings
3. Cooperative Mechanisms
a. With Common Interests
b. With Diverse Interests
4. Partnership Arrangements
5. Other Tools
II. Specific Elements
A. Conference Objectives
1. Securing Reviewed Commitment
2. Assessment of Progress
3. Remaining Implementational Gaps
4. Addressing Emerging Challenges
5. Sectoral Priorities
l. Climate change
m. Natural Disasters
B. Green Economy
7. Elements of Agreement
C. Poverty Eradication
7. Elements of Agreement
D. Institutional Framework
1. Individual Pillars
2. Integration of Pillars
i. International Level
ii. Regional level
iii. National level
iv. Local Level
E. Proposals for Refinement
1. Green Economy
2. Poverty Eradication
3. Institutional Framework
EXPECTATIONS FOR THE OUTCOME OF THE CONFERENCE
CONCRETE PROPOSALS Intactness of the Earth
The Earth being a very fragile planet in its composition, delicately balanced in all its parts (viz., lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere), any scheme of sustainable development to be successful has to flow from the realization of this fundamental fact.
In destabilizing the structure of the planet or disturbing its titanic plates by violent activities, one cannot expect to simultaneously subscribe to the requirements of sustainable development. Similarly, by inflicting injuries to the lithosphere by such acts as gas emission, soil erosion, land slide, desertification, and deforestation cannot be conducive to the precepts of sustainable development. Likewise, senseless exploitation and ruthless destruction of Earth?s resources cannot go hand in hand with the demands of sustainable conduct. In the same vein, subjecting the land mass of the Earth to suffocating pollution and toxification cannot be treated as a tolerable activity for a sustainable economy.
Similar degenerative activities in hydrosphere (viz., oceans, seas, lakes, ponds, rivers, glaciers) violate the premises of sustainable life. If pollution beyond the natural absorptive capacity and exploitation of marine resources (living and non-living) above replenishment capacity cannot be regarded as sustainable. Therefore, promulgation of effective checks is necessary to stem the tide against the sustainability standards, so that a conducive future could be ensured.
Degenerative perpetrations are also increasingly rampant in the atmosphere (even beyond in outer space). Overloading the atmosphere with carbon dioxide and other toxic gasses is having harmful effects over weather, setting in motion consequences equally injurious to life on the Earth, emission of other gasses is punching holes in ozone layer, with hazardous consequences to health among others.
It is thus expected that Rio+20 will proceed with the fundamental premise that only with a healthy Earth can emerge a sound sustainable development plan. With these bases, a comprehensive program has to evolve with the recognition that the planet?s resources (both living and non-living) have limits, demanding accordingly their sensible treatment. They need their proper conservation, preservation, and protection. They too have their rights and therefore, as parts of civilizational desiderata, they need proper handling on all counts.
Comments on Existing Proposals
The Agenda 21, Rio Conventions, Johannesburg Plan, and the Millennium Declaration have all been important steps as they touched upon important questions (e.g., biodiversity, desertification, Climate change), thereby helping to define the parameters of Sustainable Development goals and to build a global sustainable agenda. The momentum so generated gave rise to many other constructive initiatives (e.g., Green Economy Roadmap) and produced pressure for creation of implementational devices (e.g., Framework for Action, Global Partnership).
These initiatives ushered in visible spectrum of socio-economic progress worldwide. As such, numerous projects of development may be proudly mentioned to testify this claim of advancement.
Yet, the progress has been sporadic and uneven, far below the expected measure. Therefore, the underlain conditions of dissatisfaction and insecurity have remained, encompassing most of the sectors across the board (e.g., water, food, energy, biodiversity, climate).
Such circumstances have posed many challenges, which have necessarily to be seriously addressed. Not only the remaining issues are there, having not been fully resolved, but also emerging problems have further added to difficulties.
Among these, one critical aspect is that of implementation of what had been solemnly agreed upon. Many gaps have been left consciously or unconsciously. While the plans of action, programs of timing, roadmaps of procedure are in existence, they have not been wholly or partially acted upon.
Therefore there is a need of concerted endeavors on the part of all relevant actors (e.g., public sector, private sector, civil society, organizations, institutions, groups, individuals), on all levels (viz., local, national, regional, international, global).
In order to pursue the professed goals, with implementational elements in sight, there is the necessity of incorporating due methodologies. In order to systemize the entire gamut of means, firstly the context of priorities of tasks has to be decided, so that specific issues demanding urgent attention may be taken up immediately. Then, the general questions could be taken up, at their turn. Also, the framework of timing is equally important, so that all problems could be attended to properly. A simple issue may not be allowed to degenerate in the waiting, while a complex problem may have sufficient time to muster concerted support, whereas the middle ones may be settled in due course. Accordingly, all tasks must be sorted out diligently as short-term, medium-term, and long-term, in view of their importance and urgency.
It is at this juncture that the cooperative mechanisms as parts of essential methodologies have to be sought. They may be developed with agencies of common interest, which naturally are the most conducive, with prospects of intense and sustained relationships. But, even with those of diverse leanings, casual ties could still be possible in areas of some degree of mutuality. The essential feature is that any available measure of cooperation (short or long, incidental or sustained) should be welcomed.
Beyond these, there could be likelihood of partnerships, for reciprocal gains in defined spheres of pursuit. It may be comprehensive in the sense of coverage of all or most areas of concern. Or, it may be partial, dealing with a select facet or several chosen facilities. In both ways, they are gainful.
Besides, there are certain advocacy groups, voluntary services, special facilities, and honorary offers, whose capacities could profitably be deployed.
SPECIFIC ELEMENTS Conference Objectives
In the wake of only partial success and many failures, with numerous impending dilemmas and crises, it has been a bold and wise step to hold another Conference on the same theme. It will provide opportunities to utilize the experiences gained during the interim period, both to avoid pitfalls and fill the gaps, while meeting challenges and resisting temptations.
The international community, consisted of all stakeholders, is therefore returning to Rio with renewed vigor to objectively: i) assess the progress made during the intervening years; ii) fill up the remaining implementational voids; iii) build institutional stamina to address emerging challenges; iv) formulate action oriented policies; v) produce workable development agenda for the coming decades; vi) mobilize financial and technological resources; and vii) capture conducive opportunities.
With the obtainment of political commitment for such a program, focusing on green economy and poverty eradication as its leit motif, it has laid down its plan for sectoral development priorities. This consists, among other things, such factors as: energy, food, agriculture, forests, technology, water, oceans, urbanization, production, consumption, biodiversity, Climate change, and natural disasters.
The concept of Green Economy, if friendly to the Earth and natural forces, may be considered as a positive move. Embracing most of the sectors of life on the planet, it must be considered as having great potential to promote the elements of developmental sustainability. Otherwise, it will invite futility and dejection. Here, the lessons learnt from past successes as well as from failures must provide light to chart a correct course, both for seizing opportunities and meeting challenges. Accordingly, the elements of agreements have to be universal in their nature to encompass all facets of the problem and global in scope to cover all areas of the world, in a harmonious way.
Poverty Eradication, even though an important goal, it can hardly be treated as a pillar of the sustainable development scheme. As a symptom rather than an independent issue in itself, it should have been considered as a sector within the context of green economy, as broadly defined. Even if brought in as one of the main independent pillar, it ought to be considered in realistic terms, so that its intrinsic significance is not eclipsed. It is within this context that its potentialities have to be assessed in view of past triumphs, as well as defaults, in order to profit from professed fortunes and deal with imminent dilemmas, to provide proper elements to be included in anticipated agreements.
Sustainable development being a global problem, to tackle it adequately, naturally demands a global response. However, since no such machinery presently exists, the closest approach could be involvement of all stakeholders (viz., national governments, international organizations, private sector, civil society, interest groups, individuals) on all levels (international, regional, national, local).
As a catalyst, the United Nations can play the key role by bringing the national governments together and generating a climate of binding commitments, thereby opening the road for global standards.
With the promulgation of legal norms, appropriate institutional framework will follow, both by design and by practice. A broadly based tripartite structure could initially be established with open channels from the top tier (international) through the middle rungs (regional, national) to the bottom one (local). With their respective responsibilities at their designated stations, they will be coordinated according to their interests and commitments, always linked together by the common cause of a better future for all.
With the underlain devotion and constant practice, the urge for integration of all functional levels into a single administrative authority will tend to increase in time, finally to be merged into a compact body of all pursuances.
Proposals for Refinement
Refinement of all its facets of the sustainable development scheme will come from three elements: i) conceptual soundness; ii) functional reality; and iii) growth potential.
As for the green economy, while its concept is sound, its functional reality rests on the will of sovereign states. For a successful passage, it has to be broadly based and functionally viable to serve the largest interests, while able to cut through the resisting impediments.
As regards to the premise of poverty eradication, it is difficult for it to stand alone as a main independent pillar of the sustainable development scheme, because essentially it is a dependent component of other interacting factors. Its refinement therefore depends either on making it a part of a larger phenomenon or broadening it separately as an independent entity.
Concerning the institutional framework, its refinement includes its functional efficacy on all organizational levels, with reliable coordination among them. With the aid of international organizations and cooperation with regional entities as well a national sovereigns and local authorities, it will apt to present itself as a viable structure, capable of taking the current load while having the capacity of constant improvement for future responsibilities.