Briefing Notes: April 09, 2012
In the countdown to Rio+20, Sisters of Mercy and Mercy Associates worldwide are calling on governments to respond with immediacy and measurable efficacy to end poverty and to shift development and economic policies onto a sustainable and equitable pathway.
Statement of Mercy International Association to Governments on Rio+20, United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development
The challenges facing humanity in the twenty-first century are urgent and immediate. They impel the global community to advance an equitable and sustainable model of development. They impel world leaders and governments to implement a rights-based approach to development and poverty eradication within the limits of the finite natural resources of the planet, by strengthening the interdependent and mutually reinforcing economic, social and environmental pillars of sustainable development.
Current economic growth is built on the exploitation of natural resources that are assumed to be limitless but are in fact finite. The environment is rapidly being degraded, biodiversity is being depleted, water resources are becoming scarce and increasingly contaminated: the climate is in crisis. Our current patterns of economic growth and consumption are jeopardizing the very future of the planet and are causing increasingly catastrophic global poverty and injustice.
Representing 9,000 Religious Sisters of Mercy and 4,800 Mercy Associates ministering across six continents, in 44 countries, we call on all the governments in the countdown to Rio+20 to respond with immediacy and measurable efficacy to end poverty and to shift development and economic policies onto a more sustainable and equitable pathway.
Acknowledging that a growing inequity exists between the wealthy and those who are
impoverished and that the basic rights to water, food, energy, land, education and health services fail to be realized,
We, Sisters of Mercy call on Governments at Rio+20
Acknowledging that current market-driven globalization inhibits efforts toward sustainable development and that transnational corporations sacrifice the opportunities and livelihoods of peoples for profit,
We, Sisters of Mercy, seek a more equitable and ecologically just economic system. We therefore call on Governments at Rio+20
Acknowledging that the natural resources of a country belong to its citizens, and that the mining of these natural resources can negatively impact public health, food sovereignty, consumer choice and livelihood, and economic opportunities,
We, Sisters of Mercy believe that not just the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) but that the wellbeing of global citizens and the health of the environment must be at the centre in measuring economic progress. Therefore we call on governments at Rio+20
Acknowledging that the Precautionary Principle is not being implemented and that our future cannot be trusted to unproven and unsustainable technologies,
We, Sisters of Mercy call on governments at Rio+20
At no other time in history have humans been so capable of grand, creative and ethical partnership with the natural world, of bringing about justice, ecological and economic abundance for all. At the same time never have we experienced the level of poverty and devastation to life-supporting ecosystems putting the entire community of life in peril.
The planet and future generations depend upon you and your positive action NOW.
The Mercy Global Action team, including Mercy Global Action Network Coordinators and Sisters and Associates of Mercy worldwide, has begun another round of lobbying of governments in anticipation of the Rio+20 Conference. With the Sisters of Mercy Rio+20 Statement serving as the basis of our visits, specific governments to be targeted for lobbying between now and June 2012 include Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, New Zealand and the U.S.A.
Meanwhile, in the recent first round of “Informal- Informal” negotiations on the Zero Draft of the Outcome Document held at the UN in NY from March 19 to 27, 2012, Áine O’Connor RSM and Mary Bilderback RSM were present during the negotiations and at work with other NGOs and members of Civil Society to ensure a positive and ambitious outcome at Rio+20.
Critical areas for our focus that are also reflected in our statement were reinforced during this phase of the informal negotiations process. In particular, we found several key principles and outcomes to be in jeopardy or lacking in the current state of preparations for this world event, including:
The next phase of negotiations on the Zero Draft of the Outcome Document will take place from April 24 to May 4, 2012. Mercy Global Action Coordinator at the UN, Áine O’Connor RSM will be on the ground for these Informal-Informals. With other members of the NGO community, she will actively lobby governments to ensure that the following are upheld in the Rio+20 Outcome:
The Rio+20 Conference will take place from June 20-22, 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Mary Bilderback RSM, a veteran attendee of the Commission on Sustainable Development, will represent Mercy International at the conference.
With less than seventy days to go until the event, the United Nations Rio+20 Secretariat invites you to let them know what message you would like to speak to the world about the Conference Outcome. Please consider adding your unique and important voice to the voices of millions at www.uncsd2012.org.
An update on the state of the negotiations and the plans for the Rio+20 Conference will be provided in May. We also encourage you to follow events of this decisive Conference at www.uncsd2012.org.
Messages to Áine O’Connor rsm - Mercy Global Action Coordinator at the UN