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Presence of the Women's Major Group at Rio+20

Official interventions, press conferences and demonstrations organised by the Women's Major Group at the UN conference on sustainable development Rio+20

24.06.2012 |

Signing the commitment of the Network fo Women Ministers and Leaders for the Environment in Rio

The Women's Major Group was active throughout the whole Conference with interventions, presentations, demonstrations. An selection of these public appearance by various members of the WMG  will be presented here.

Government​​s sell women out !!": Women's Major Group held Silent Demonstrat​ion, June 19th, 2012

Instead of reaffirming the commitments they made since 20 years ago in Rio, Cairo and Beijing, governments are even questioning the entire link between women and sustainable development, which is not acceptable. Therefore women organised a silence demonstration at Rio Centro on June 19

Sascha Gabizon of WECF and the Women's Major Group reacting to new text on June 17th during press conference at the Rio +20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development:

Christine von Weizsaecker, President of WECF, as representative of the WMG during the press conference on June 16th at the Rio +20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development.

(The woman portrayed here is not Christine von Weizsaecker)

Intervention by Hala Yousry from Egypt during the opening plenary of Rio +20.

I am Hala Yousry from Egypt. I am speaking on behalf of the Women Major Group.The women of Egypt have been on the forefront of the revolution. We were fighting, and we will keep fighting, for democracy, dignity, human rights and gender equality. All of these are preconditions of sustainable development.

Maureen Penjueli, Coordinator of Pacific Network on Globalization (PNG) from Fiji, talked at Major Groups press briefing on 13 June at Rio+20.

 "As a Pacific islander the Ocean plays an very important part of who we are. The Ocean is part of our identity and culture and defines who we are as Pacific islanders. We are extremely concerned at how slow negotiations have progressed with many parts of the text still bracketed. We urge officials to approach negotiations with a sense of urgency given the complexities of threats faced by our oceans including impact of climate change, overfishing, pollution, ocean acidification and emerging new threats from experimental seabed mining. The impacts of which include threats to food soverignity, livelihoods which disproportionately affect women and children in the Pacific.

We call for negotiators to address the structural changes that is needed for implementation. To that end we support governments efforts to push for UNCLOS to be given teeth to make it stronger to respond to the complexities and challengers faced of the management of our Oceans. We owe it to the next generation to leave behind a healthier ocean. We are in a state of interconnected crises - financial and economic crises, food and energy crises, the ecological crises including the climate change crises and the resultant impact of growing inequality within and between states which continues to disproportionately affect women and children. It is clear that root cause of the crises is clearly linked to an endless growth model.

There needs to be a clear acknowledgement in Rio of the root causes of the crises. Unfortunately there seems to be no political will to confront the endless growth model. The business as usual model is no longer an option if we are to avert imminent disaster. We need new narratives and alternatives that will offer a different options for countries to consider how to best achieve sustainable development. There are some governments present here that are supportive of alternative forms and narratives including happiness and well being indicators but there seems to be very little political space to begin these forms of discussions. We have alternative forms of economic models of development that can offer a new paradigm to respond to our current realities and challengers. "

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