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19 JUN 2012

Oxfam calls Brazilian leadership on Rio+20

With the UN Rio+20 talks effectively at a stalemate, Oxfam calls on the Brazilian government to provide the leadership that is so urgently needed to rescue the Rio 92 Earth Summit legacy, and chart a path toward equitable and sustainable development.

Brazil took over the presidency of the talks over the weekend, and with this, the responsibility to lead the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development and define the outcomes that will shape our development future. However, the Brazilian government has yet to define what it sees as the major potential outcomes from the summit.

“The final negotiations have gone almost nowhere since they began last Tuesday. Developing countries and the world’s poorest people will have most to lose from a weak outcome at Rio+20. We urgently need Brazil to step forward and persuade other countries to make commitments that match the urgency of the challenge. After two years of talks, we still don’t have clarity on either the vision or actions that will be agreed to forge a better future,” said Stephen Hale of Oxfam.

“Brazil has demonstrated leadership and progress in addressing poverty and inequality at home, though it still faces major equity and sustainability challenges. Now it is time for Brazil to demonstrate this leadership internationally,” said Hale.

Oxfam urges Brazil to demonstrate leadership to secure commitments at Rio+20 in four key areas:

  1. A major shift towards adequate, nutritious, and healthy food for all that is centred around policies and investments to support small-scale producers – especially women –including guaranteeing their access to (and protection of) the water, land, soils, biodiversity and other resources upon which our food security depends.
  2. Agreement on the process to develop an ambitious set of global goals for sustainable development, designed to eradicate poverty, reduce inequality, and realise justice and human rights while respecting the finite limits of the Earth's natural resources. The vision of an integrated approach to environment and development could finally be achieved through agreement to work towards a single set of global goals for the post-2015 period.
  3. Delivery of innovative sources of public finance to cover the massive financing gap that dates back to the original Earth Summit. US$30 billion dollars is needed just to make the (existing) Green Climate Fund operational in the next few years. Sources of public finance, including financial transaction taxes – such as those on the brink of agreement in France, Germany, and possibly other EU states – and a global levy on international maritime transport fuels could deliver this scale of resources.
  4. A universal Social Protection Floor to realise human rights and support decent living standards worldwide, including allocating resources to establish an adequate level of social protection in the least developed countries.

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About Oxfam
Oxfam is dedicated to fighting poverty and inequity worldwide. The international and independent development and humanitarian organisation tackles poverty in four main ways: sustainable development in poor communities, disaster relief, local and global advocacy, and education with Hong Kong youth. Established in Hong Kong in 1976, Oxfam Hong Kong is a founding member of Oxfam, an international confederation that has assisted poor people in 92 countries. Oxfam Hong Kong alone has supported poor people in over 70 countries/regions.