Catholic reps say Rio+20 document might miss important issues
Published: June 19, 2012
RIO DE JANEIRO (CNS) -- Representatives of the international alliance of Catholic development agencies, CIDSE, told Catholic News Service the final version of the Rio+20 document probably will not touch important issues. Part of the problem is the two main issues -- development and the environment -- were separated at the U.N. Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development, said Maureen Jorand of CCFD Terre Solidaire, a French coalition of Catholic development agencies. Jorand, an expert in food security, helped CIDSE prepare the final text of what it expected from a conference of this magnitude. She said governments are negotiating increased food production and focusing on global markets, debating issues such as genetic medication, fertilizers, machinery, and how to give priority to markets by reducing trade barriers, instead of having agriculture serve society. CIDSE members say consumption and access to food must be addressed. While negotiators are putting forth the idea of a "green economy," which would take into account environmental and social costs for sustained, inclusive, equitable growth, CIDSE says people must change their lifestyles, "away from materialism, toward respect for creation, simplicity, solidarity, authentic human development and well-being." Many nongovernment organizations believe that U.N. delegates in Rio, pressured by the private sector, are leaning toward a text that would make corporate responsibility voluntary and install a process that uses international standards or guiding principles. CIDSE's position is that "adequate regulation for large corporations and mandatory corporate reporting on environmental, social, and human rights impacts, is crucial to change exploitative practices."
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