WORLD FORUM OFCIVIL SOCIETY NETWORKS The RIO+20 memo Report of the activities of the UBUNTU Forum at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) RIO DE JANEIRO, 16 – 23 June 2012 Presentation Introduction and Context Participation at the Official Summit Presentation 18 June: UBUNTU Side-event “Food, sustainability and global The United Nations Conference on Sustainable democracy: challenges and Development (UNCSD) known as Rio+20 took place in perspectives” Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), from 15 to 23 June 2012. Parallel 21 June: Side-event of the to this was the People’s Summit or Cupula dos Povos. The Leading Group: “Innovative UBUNTU Forum was present and took an active part in financing for sustainable both summits. development” At the official conference the UBUNTU Forum organized Participation at the Cupula dos Povos a side-event on food-related issues, and took part in the side-event organized by the Leading Group on Innovative 19 June: Activities related to the Financing for Development (LG). At the parallel one it Robin Hood Tax Campaign co-organized two activities and was present at the Robin 21 June: Workshop “Building new Hood Tax demonstration. The UBUNTU delegation paths towards global and environmental governance” participated in several meetings such as the UN Global Dialogues, informal meetings of the Helsinki Process and Participation in other activities of the International Council of the World Social Forum (WSF), the presentation of the document “Another future is possible” and the launch of the Inter Press Service TV project. Statement “A financial transactions tax for the future we want” This is an executive report of all those activities.
Introduction & Context In 1992 the first UNCSD –that time known as the The final outcome document adopted at the UNCSD “Earth Summit”– took also place in Rio de Janeiro and resulted with several outcomes, such as the the serious problems that the international Agenda 21, the creation of the Commission on community has in dealing with the sustainable Sustainable Development or the establishment of development agenda. However the renewal of the the conventions on Biodiversity, Climate Change political compromise on sustainable development and Desertification, among others. These were and the idea to introduce additional measurement aimed to address environmental degradation and to mechanisms beyond the GDP can be considered its acknowledge sustainable development through its main achievements. The lack of political will to three pillars: social, environmental and economic. effectively face environmental issues and the Twenty years later the environmental crisis has increasing gap between Southern and Northern worsened and the need to confront it is absolutely countries, but also from civil society and social imperative. In parallel, the world is suffering a movements towards the process causes serious severe multidimensional crisis which has concerns regarding the future of the process. dramatically influenced the negotiations leading to This was clearly reflected in the People’s Summit Rio+20. The main issues at stake in the negotiations which denounced the commoditization of nature, were the “green economy concept”, the proposal of the exercised power of transnational companies, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), green economy concept, etc., and exhorted the the institutional framework and the means of imple- urgency of building a new paradigm. mentation. The clash in negotiations between the North and the South, particularly the emerging countries, was evident both in the negotiations and in the process itself. UBUNTU Side-event: “Food, sustainability and global democracy: challenges and perspectives” On 18 June, the UBUNTU Forum, in collaboration hunger based in substantive changes of the current with the Global Foundation for Democracy and economic and social models. Following this idea, Development (FUNGLODE), organized a Daniela Sanchez stated that all the actors involved side-event at Riocentro entitled “Food, must participate in the democratization of the sustainability and global democracy: challenges and process, something which is not anymore evident in perspectives”. This counted with the participation of some countries of the North, resulting with a feeling Selvino Heck, Special Advisor to the Presidency of of growing democratic deficit. This participation the Republic of Brazil; Daniela Sanchez Frozi, from implies the need for a different food security the Brazilian National Council on Food Security approach based on a participatory and inclusive (CONSEA); Natasha Despotovic, from process. This is how Brazil has elaborated its FUNGLODE; Julian Oram, Senior Political policies and how proper nutrition has become one of Advisor on Agriculture of Greenpeace the priorities to achieve progressive social change. International; and Manuel Manonelles, Director of Julian Oram from Greenpeace stated that the the UBUNTU Forum. The main objective of the challenges for food and agriculture are, on the one event was to promote a multi-stakeholder debate to side, how to avoid the control of corporations of discuss the existing alternatives to eradicate hunger agriculture and, on the other, how to reach a food and to highlight the importance that the role of paradigm based on family and farmers agriculture. international institutions should have in this area.2 Finally, Natasha Despotovic addressed one of the Selvino Heck emphasized, on the basis of the key elements responsible for the rise of food prices Brazilian experience, how the UNCSD had to focus in the last years: speculation in food markets. on promoting integrated public policies against
Side event at Riocentro. From left to right: Julian Oram, Natasha Despotovic, Manuel Manonelles, Selvino Heck and Daniela Sanchez-Frozi. Photo UBUNTU Forum.Speculation is fed by economic, political and The discussion was introduced by Jomo Kwameenvironmental conditions searching to increase Sundaram, UN Assistant Secretary, who pointed outmarginal benefits. These dynamics have driven the support of the UN Secretary General formore than 150 million people into poverty. In order innovative sources of generating additionalto confront speculation, Despotovic exposed the revenues to fund development. The governments ofinitiative that Leonel Fernandez, President of the Belgium, Finland and Norway –represented atDominican Republic, is promoting within the UN ministerial level– also expressed the need ofGeneral Assembly context, that resulted with the promoting new sources for funding development,General Assembly’s resolution 66/188 “Addressing and stressed their backing to a FTT implementation.excessive price volatility in food and related Brazil, as host country, but also member of the LG,financial and commodity markets”. was present and expressed its support. Side-event of the Leadingsustainable development”The LG "the UBUNTU Forum is one of itsmembers since 2006", also organized a side-event in The representatives of the European Commissionthe context of the Summit. This, as it was agreed in and the European Parliament –where the discussionits Plenary meeting in Madrid last February, took on FTT is being held in terms of an imminentplace in a very sensitive moment, since the debate implementation– also stated their support foron the Financial Transaction Tax (FTT), which has putting development needs as one of thebeen strongly promoted within the LG, has attracted destinations for the funds to be collected by this newmuch attention in different scenarios during the last tax.months. Civil society was initially represented by MaryThe event counted with the participation of Robinson, who spoke on behalf of Oxfamhigh-level representatives from several LG International. After the abovementioned 3members. interventions, Manuel Manonelles, in representation of the Robin Hood Tax Campaign, presented the statement prepared for the occasion and signed by a large number of organizations.
Participation at the Cupula dos Povos Activities related to the Workshop: Robin Hood Tax Campaign Building new paths towards global and The day of action entitled “A Robin Hood Tax for a environmental governance Sustainable World” took place on 19 June, and was made up of two activities. On 21 June the UBUNTU Forum, together with the Forum for a New World Governance (FNWG), The first one was a panel –moderated by Manuel organized a workshop entitled “Building new paths Manonelles– that counted with the presence of towards global and environmental governance”. representatives of Brazilian trade unions and It counted with the participation of Matt Davies, campaigners from Europe and North and Latin from ATDM-Fourth World and the Beyond 2015 America. The US campaigners were represented by Campaign; Gustavo Marín, from the FNWG; Jean Ross from National Nurses United, while Julie Germán Niño, from LATINDADD; Alan Tuckett, Chaverou from Coalition Plus and Markus Brun from ICAE, and was moderated by Manuel from CIDSE shared the insight from the European Manonelles, from the UBUNTU Forum. The campaign, Alessandra Nilo from the Brazilian discussion was focused on different views and organization GESTOS, presented the incipient options on how to find ways to build a new and articulation of the campaign in the region. Professor effective global and environmental governance. Ladislau Dowbor and Pablo Solon, director of Focus on the Global South, gave important The first speaker, Gustavo Marín, started his conceptual inputs, and raised awareness regarding intervention stating that it is crucial to think and to the feasibility and implications of the tax. ask the right questions. These would be, assuming that institutional actors are not able to respond to The event was closed with the presentation of the global governance challenges, and that we are living draft statement “A FTT for the Future we Want”, in a turbulent political period, the following: read by Hernán Cortés from the UBUNTU Forum, How can we build new institutions? Is it possible to as the civil society position paper for the event of transform the state and to democratize it? In Marín’s the LG, scheduled on 21June. opinion it is necessary to rethink the current system and start to build a new paradigm. Following this The second activity, held in the context of the Robin idea, Alan Tuckett stated that future needs are to be Hood Campaign, was a march that gathered FTT built through an imaginative approach, by supporters, from Brazilian NGOs and trade unions, acknowledging that when we debate about global campaigners from different organizations and governance we are also referring to power relations. countries. The march ended in front of the Therefore, the role of power must be challenged by headquarters of the “Caixa Econômica Federal” in giving voice to the unvoiced, demanding accounta- Rio de Janeiro, with several speeches, including the bility to the international community and linking the one by Senator Eduardo Suplicy. local arena, with the global one. View of the panel “Global financial transactions tax: A just solution for human development”. Photo CONTRAF. descripció foto4
Germán Niño focused on economic relations and He presented the work that ATDM-Fourth World isthe role of corporations in global governance, carrying on, as well as the one of the “Beyond 2015”which, linked the lack of transparency, results in Campaign, in which UBUNTU Forum isstate’s powerlessness or unwillingness to combat participating. Both are working on extreme povertycorruption. He also denounced the prominence of related issues and trying to dignify people sufferingcorporations as one of the main characteristics of from it. This situation can only be overcomeRio+20. through participation, one of the main objective of “Beyond 2015”, and a key element for global andThe last speaker was Matt Davies who, paying environmental governance.tribute to Mercedes Sosa, quoted her by saying that“I am not indifferent to injustice”. Workshop “Global Environmental Governance: New Paths”. Gustavo Marin speaking. Photo UBUNTU Forum.Participation in other activitiesBesides organizing the above-mentioned events, the 18 June: The Ministers of Foreign Affairs and ofUBUNTU Forum delegation also participated in the International Cooperation of Finland organized anfollowing activities: informal meeting of the Helsinki Process Group in Rio. The UBUNTU Forum, which is part of the16 June: The UBUNTU Forum delegation attended process and was recently invited to participate in thethe second Sustainable Development Dialogue, Helsinki+10 Process gathering, took part in theentitled “Sustainable Development as an Answer to meeting.the Economic and Financial Crises”. 21 June: IPS TV: Inter Press Service presented its16 June: Presentation of the document entitled WebTV project in an event at Riocentro that“Another future is possible. This document was the counted with the participation of the President of theresult of the compilation of all the Thematic Group’s UN General Assembly. The UBUNTU Forum wasof the Thematic Social Forum that, prior to the present in the event and in some parallel meetingsRio+20 summit, was held in Porto Alegre on related to it.January 2012. 21 June: Informal meeting of the International Council of the World Social Forum. This meeting discussed the main issues to be included in the agenda towards the next WSF to be celebrated in the Magreb-Mashrek region. 5 The delegation of the Ubuntu Forum during a Robin Hood Campaign action at Riocentro. Photo UBUNTU
Statement A FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS TAX FOR THE FUTURE WE WANT Rio de Janeiro – 22 June 2012: The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, known as RIO+20, has taken place at a critical moment. The G20, that has taken place almost simultaneously, has not shown enough collective will by the world’s major economies to resolve the economic and financial turmoil we face. Member states of the European Union are facing a crucial test of their leadership in overcoming the financial and debt crisis. They are being called to choose whether or not to adopt a FTT for human and sustainable development. A positive answer could lead to a fairer and more sustainable future for the EU and contribute to sustainable human development worldwide. The FTT can help address many of challenges at hand. It can contribute to economic stability, reducing hot capital flows that fuel speculation and drive instability both in the financial markets and in prices of essential commodities like food. It is time for the financial sector to pay for their responsibility in the expanding crisis that is increasing, even more, the social and economic vulnerability of millions of people. The revenues of a FTT would generate hundreds of billions of dollars per year. Our message is clear: world leaders must commit to implement the FTT to fund decent sustainable jobs, tackle poverty and inequality, advance public services such as health and education, and strengthen global action against climate change. Today, more than 30 countries have FTTs at their national levels. In different occasions, political leaders from –among others- France, Germany, Spain, Brazil, Argentina, Norway, Finland, Ethiopia and South Africa have stated their support for the FTT. They have also affirmed that a good proportion of FTT revenues should be used to tackle development and climate change challenges. In doing so, they reinforced proposals on FTT need and use from the Leading Group on Innovative Financing for Development, a unique multi-stakeholder platform for consensus building on the implementation of innovative financial mechanisms for development. We are concerned that the FTT is not at the top of the global political agenda. Even where there are serious discussions on its adoption, as in the case of the European Union, there are risks that FTT revenues will neither be used for social expenditure nor development and climate change, which is worrisome. In the outcome document of Rio+20 too we see no mention of the FTT. We need to move from the good intentions towards clear action. We, representatives of citizens and civil society, demand that world leaders no longer turn a blind eye to the potential of financial transactions taxes to contribute to a better world for ourselves and future generations. We have come out in large numbers: in Brussels during EU summits; in Nice and Cannes during the G20 in 2011, in Chicago during the G8 in 2012 and now at Rio+20 demanding that our governments implement the FTT for human and sustainable development. The FTT, also known as the Robin Hood Tax, is growing as a movement around the world – involving thousands of social justice, human rights, environmental, health, trade union and faith-based organizations. Further, it is significant that yesterday, on June 21st, 52 financial industry leaders released a public statement in support of financial transaction taxes.6
Also this week, the President of the EU Commission, José Manuel Durao Barroso, has stated hissupport for the FTT as a means to fund sustainable development. According to a new global pollcommissioned by the International Trade Union Confederation, two-thirds of people in 13 countriessupport a financial transactions tax. The Robin Hood Tax campaign has been launched this week acrossthe United States, in parallel with the Robin Tax for a Sustainable World events here in Rio.The hopes and future of billions of people worldwide are at stake at this moment. World leaders mustseize this opportunity to ensure a more equitable, greener, healthier and prosperous world for all.We call upon the Leading Group to maintain and advance their work towards theimplementation of the FTT for a sustainable world. It is time to give the people of the world hopein the form of realizable solutions that link equality, sustainability and economics.This is the future we want.Signatories: ·11.11.11. Flemish North South Movement ·Institute for Policy Studies, Sustainable ·ABONG Energy & Economy Network ·ABGLT ·International HIV/AIDS Alliance ·Action for Global Health ·ITUC-CSI ·AFL-CIO ·Jubilee USA Network ·Altermonde ·KOO- Koordinierungsstelle der Österr ·Asociación Noruego – Cubana ·National Nurses United ·Association of Citizen for International ·NGO Forum on International Solidarity Solidarity Taxes (ACIST) Levies ·ATTAC Norway ·Norwegian Solidarity Committee for Latin ·ATTAC Vlaanderen America ·Center of Concern ·Norwegian Union of Municipal and ·Center for Interethnic Cooperation General Employees ·Centro de Cultura Luiz Freire ·Oxfam ·CIDSE ·PSI ·CNCD 11.11.11. , Belgium ·Robin Hood Tax Campaign Norway ·Coalition Plus ·Robin Hood Tax Campaign UK ·Commonwealth HIV&AIDS ·Sindicato dos Bancários do Rio de Janeiro Action Group ·Stamp Out Poverty ·CONTRAF CUT ·Stop AIDS Alliance ·CSA TUCA ·Stop AIDS now ·Federaçao dos Bancários Rio de ·Trocaire Janeiro e Espírito Santo ·TUC (Trades Union Congress) from Great ·FENTAP Perú Britain ·Forum for Development and ·UBUNTU -World Forum of Civil Society Environment in Norway Networks ·GCAP ·Utviklingsfondet - The Development Fund ·GESTOS/LACCASO ·Vida Brasil ·Global South Initiative Nepal ·WWF Brazil 7 ·Internationale Entwicklung und Mission
Promoted by: WORLD FORUM OF CIVIL SOCIETY NETWORKS Secretariat of the UBUNTU Forum Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya Jordi Girona 29, edifici Nexus II With the support of: Barcelona, 08034 firstname.lastname@example.org Edition: March 2012This Memo has been prepared by the Secretariat of the UBUNTUForum. It has been prepared and edited by Laia Bertran,Hernán Cortés,Marc Gavara and Manuel Manonelles with the collaboration of Marisa Velasco.Special thanks to the support of Mª Antònia Bogónez from The FoundationCulture of Peace