The following report from the Rio Earth summit kindly forwarded by Sharifin Gardiner of Rodmell who was there to witness the frustratingly slow process...
On the last day at the regular briefing meeting for the nine Major Groups the representative of Children and Youth, Kyle Gracy made an impassioned speech which reduced many to tears and evoked a standing ovation.
The following is the closing statement by the Major Group for Children and Youth in the Rio +20 negotiations.While leaders of nations were given many hours to give speeches about the outcomes in Rio, Youth and other members of Civil Society were not allowed even two minutes in the closing session to give their views; probably because leaders were afraid of what we had to say.
Major Group for Children and Youth
Rio +20 closing statement.
I want you to imagine a generation that has been dammed, imagine children deprived of a world without war, imagine a community where human beings are slaves to fellow beings, and where disease and hunger are the order of the day. That is the future we warned you of in ‘92 and that future, is today.
If these sheets of paper [the official document “The Future We Want”] are our common future, then you have sold our fate and subsidized our destruction. Where was the voice of our children and grandchildren in this? How can you listen to them in the future if you did not show the will to create the space now?
We have one planet. Our being, our thinking and our action should not be constrained by national boundaries but by planetary ones. You failed to liberate yourself from national and corporate self-interest and recognize our need to respect a greater, more transcendental set of boundaries.
We came here to celebrate our generation. We have danced, dreamed and loved on the streets of Rio and found something to believe in. You have chosen not to celebrate with us.
You were supposed to show leadership. It was not just your job to seek consensus. It was your responsibility to commit, show ambition and to lead. You have failed.
You have worked hard to close a deal. So if any of you think this document is the ambitious, action oriented outcome you said you wanted, please stand up.
If you are unable to stand up you must be unwilling to move forward, so we will move forward for you.
We know this:
We need intergenerational cooperation.
We need innovation and creativity.
We need to embrace the values of sustainability, equity, justice and respect for human rights.
We need to recognize that material resources are finite, but human potential is not.
We will create strong global institutions.
We will create new paradigms of wealth and prosperity
We will act as the voice for future generations, one that you so wilfully ignored.
We will stand united beyond borders and bridge the national interest that divided us
We will implement what you have not .
We are moving forward decisively with action. We’re not deterred.
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