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Rio+20: Holy See and G77 Fight to Erase Women From Sustainable Development Agenda

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Written by Zonibel Woods for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.

In 1992, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, the “Earth Summit,” was the first of a series of United Nations global conferences that sought progress on sustainable development, including human rights, population change, social development, women’s human rights and gender equality. The ambitious plans of action resulting from the Rio, Vienna, Cairo, and Beijing Conferences have set the blueprint for the development agenda over the last two decades. In addition to Agenda 21, the Earth Summit also resulted in three ground-breaking international treaties or conventions - the Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. Rio set the tone for what was a global effort in envisioning what “could be possible” to improve the lives of people and the planet.

This week, 55,000 people are expected to attend Rio +20, including at least 115 world leaders who will participate in the high-level segment from June 20th to 22nd. At 80 pages, the expected outcome document, titled “The Future We Want,” still remains largely under negotiation. Governments began negotiating Wednesday with only 30 percent of the text already set, and with only three scheduled days of negotiations left. It remains to be seen whether we will agree on “The Future We Want,” or if the Brazilian government, in a last ditch attempt, will pull out a short political declaration to be signed by heads of state and thus “save face” with minimal commitments, including any commitment to achieving gender equality.

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