Beyond Their ‘Monkey Business’ Future

By Nimisha Bastedo

The discussion ended at the first Preparatory Committee meeting for Rio+20 back in May 2010. It ended when all of the people’s concerns were not implemented into that “zero-minus draft” that formed the basis of these negotiations. For twenty years, negotiators have led us through this bracketing and un-bracketing, and now they are being put up in $500-a-night hotels to “monkey around” once again. Uchita de Zoysa from the Center for Environment and Development (CED) Sri Lanka sent this message out loud and clear at the Side Event on the need for a rights-based approach to sustainable development on Thursday. “What is the use of talking to people who do not hear? There is nothing on the table in there, except for a few dangerous ideas. Conventions have become and industry. Hypocrisy grows in mountainous ways.” Uchita continued his passionate talk by saying that reaction is not enough – that we need to create a global people’s movement to ensure that rights are the bottom line. I asked how we as youth can unite our voice with the rest of the people’s voice over the next few days and draw that bottom line so strongly that if it is ignored, no one can pretend that Rio+20 is a success. Here is his response:


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