On World Summit On Sustainable Development (WSSD)

World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD)turns out to be "Doha +10" (month’s) instead of "Rio+10" (years)

Tegucigalpa, 11-7-2002
The Earth Summit in Rio de Janiero Brazil 1992 was supposed to result in countries across the world restructuring their development in order to guarantee sustainability for future generations. After 10 years no positive changes can be seen. The exploitation of natural resources and the destruction of the environment continue, access to productive resources has become more difficult. Land privatization and concentrated ownership have led to rising poverty, an erosion of local and national food security and increased violence against peasants and small farmers’ claiming their rights. "Neo liberal" policies are not compatible with the sustainable use of resources. After the fourth governmental preparatory meeting in Bali, Indonesia Via Campesina concludes that the WSSD has the potential to be Doha +10 (month’s) instead of Rio+10 (years). Bowing to strong pressure from industry and some governments, the Summit totally surrendered itself to the WTO and viewed its main responsibility as guaranteeing the full implementation of the results of the WTO Ministerial in Doha. In the so called "chairmans’ text" the model of export-led and growth-directed development remains untouched.

Part of the preparatory process was the so called ’Multi Stakeholder Dialogue’. This process, which is supposed to represent the input of Civil Society did not seem to have any influence on the outcome of the Summit. It turned out to be an effective way of curbing voices that oppose the current neo-liberal policies, forcing the input of social movements through a consensus mechanism that excludes any expression of our analysis and proposals. Genuine effective input from civil society groups that do not share the neo-liberal positions remain unheard.

Via Campesina calls upon social movements to make their position clear in the run up and during the Summit itself.

Agriculture can only be sustainable if it includes:
  • peoples food sovereignty which means the right to define its agriculture and food policies, without dumping to third countries, and with full consultation of peasants and small farmers, men and women,
  • a guarantee for access to productive resources and the elimination of the creation of monopolies over them. 
  • a genuine agrarian reform. The Worldbank’s policy to implement market assisted landreform has to be rejected. 
  • fair prices on the agricultural markets,
  • measures to stop the development of industry-led agriculture and animal production, 
  • the protection of the rights of peasants and farmers by the State, 
  • a removal from WTO out of agriculture. WTO has no interest in poverty reduction nor in sustainable use of resources. WTO’s main objective is to control trade at the benefit of transnational corporations and some governments of developed countries. Therefore any effort to integrate the WTO agenda in the WSSD or any attempt to present neo liberal trade policies as a solution to obtain more sustainability has to be fiercely rejected.

Related to genetic resources we reiterate our demands also made to COP-6 and to the FAO Summit : 1) A total ban on "Terminator Technologies" (the production of sterile seeds) and other Genetic Use Restriction Technologies (GURTs) that control the traits in plants and animals, 2) A full investigation led by FAO of the transgenetic contamination of international gene banks and the genetic contamination of Centres of Diversity and concrete measures to avoid this contamination, 3) Concrete steps towards a total abolition of patents on living organisms on the national and international levels. The FAO must forbid CGIAR centers to apply for patents on any genetic resources or their parts and components.

We call upon our governments to come up with plan for genuine sustainability instead of a text that paves the way for further trade liberalisation and the privatisation of natural resources and public goods.

Via Campesina wants to express its full support to the mobilisations and actions undertaken by the peasants, small farmers and landless in South Africa during the Summit and we will be present with a strong delegation to make farmers’ voices heard !

Globalize Hope, globalize the struggle !
No sustainability without acces to land for the landless !

Additional information