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iPetition: Human Rights at Risk at the United Nations

WECF, jointly with civil society organizations and social movements, have initiated a petition campaign to the UNCSD Secretary General and Member States last month in New York.

12.04.2012 |Rasa Jaruseviciute

During the UNCSD Rio+20 negotiations in New York last month, civil society organizations and social movements have jointly launched a petition campaign to urge the UNCSD Secretary General and Member States “to bring the Rio+20 negotiations back on track” and ensure that the revisions concerning fundamental human rights obligations and social equity principles proposed by Major Groups are included in the official text of the zero draft of the outcome document “The Future We Want”.

Being one of the 13 initial signatories to explicitly express a support for the campaign, WECF kindly invites human-rights and environmental organizations to express their support and sign the online petition. Highly applausive, the iPetition has already received an endorsement from and signed by over than 900 civil society organizations active in Rio+20 negotiations worldwide.


Online Petition by

Through the Open Letter to the UNCSD Secretary General and Member States of the United Nations, a number of NGOs and human-rights campaigners formulate their concerns about and call attention to an attempt to eliminate and weaken Major Groups’ references. Though presented during a series of informal Rio+20 negotiations and consultative meetings within the past few years, many revision suggested by MGs’, including those with regard to the right to safe drinking water and sanitation, the right to proper nutrition and food, and the right to development have so far remained weak in the official text of the zero draft.

“Many member states are opposing prescriptive language that commits governments to actually do what they claim to support in principle and act as duty bearers of human rights, including the provision of finance, technology and other means of implementation to support sustainable development effort in developing countries” – note initiators of the campaign.

Petition signatories also express their apprehension about the liberalization of common goods such as water services as “there is a strong push for private sector investments and initiatives to fill in the gap left by the public sector”.

Similar concerns have been already expressed by European environmental organizations this year. The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) has launched a far reaching water campaign “Water is a Human Right”, which WECF is a part of, at the beginning of April 2012. Whereas, “Água é de todos” campaign in Portugal has collected more than 10 000 signature to strive against the privatization of water services.

Please, see an interview with David Hall (PSIRU) for “Água é de todos” below for further information on water privatization processes in Europe.

More information:

For further information on women’s priorities for sustainable development for Rio+20, please visit and Women Major Group.

WECF is co-organising partner, together with Voices of African Mothers, for all input from women worldwide to Rio+20. WECF and VAM coordinate all activities closely with the Women's Rio+20 Steering Committee.
Learn more about WECF representation in international and UN policy processes

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