People’s Summit Closing Press Conference
an article by website of the People's Summit
Video: Cúpula dos Povos
The Peoples’ Summit ended on Friday, June 22, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with a press conference similar to the plenary sessions and assemblies organized in the past days and it ended in a « people’s dialogue » with the media. Representatives from different social movements and organizations that worked organizing the Peoples’ Summit were formed in a circle that gave way to an exchange with the general public and the press. There was also time to express solidarity with the Paraguayan people after a coup that just ousted democratically elected President, Fernando Lugo.
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At the end of the event, Real World Radio interviewed Darci Frigo, of Brazilian organization Terra de Direitos, to have a short assessment of the Peoples Summit.
The Brazilian social networks highlight that the summit created an agenda for common struggles in the coming months. The work began in Rio de Janeiro will continue. The summit ends but the process of struggle continues, said the spokespeople at the press conference.
The environmental and social impacts of agrofuels, their competition for land with the food sector (in a world where over 1 billion people are hungry) and monoculture plantations, were some of the recurrent issues.
Another important aspect for the organizations at the Peoples’ Summit were the big demonstrations held in Rio de Janeiro. This was the first thing highlighted by Frigo. He told us « it was a success in terms of popular mobilization with massive public demonstrations and a historical march where 80,000 participated in Rio de Janeiro ». The protest took place on June 20 as part of a Global Action Day.
Frigo said he « expects that as a result of the social movements’ actions we will be able to broaden our agendas, especially in the struggle for rights, which are being violated everywhere : women’s rights, the right to water, the right to food sovereignty. The Peoples’ Summit gave special importance to the plenary sessions and assemblies. « It was necessary to create a new methodology that would enable dialogue and the plenary sessions and assemblies did exactly that », said Frigo. « In the building of the Peoples’ Summit, the most important moment was to come up with a common position to reject ’green economy’ ». This new process of convergence of social movements and organizations from around the world seeks to respect diversity and to avoid imposing ’hegemonies’ or ’patterns’. The idea was to « open up dialogue to build common agendas ».
He finally talked about the UN negotiations on sustainable development that ended also on Friday in Rio de Janeiro. The official summit was a « failure », he said « in that in order to tackle the real problems faced by human kind, the food, environmental and social crises », he believes it is necessary « to mobilize, to pressure governments and the UN system » in order to further promote the « agenda built by the civil society ».
Editor's note: The declaration of the peoples summit is available online in Portuguese. Translations will be available at a later date.
Question(s) related to this article:
Rio+ 20, Summits of States and of Civil Society, What were the results?
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Here is a translation of an analysis of Rio+20 by Candido Gryzbowski, one of the initiators of the World Social Forums. For the original Portuguese, click here.
Where are we? Where are we going? How should we imagine our common destiny in intimate relationship with nature? How can we construct conditions of living and happiness for all human beings, without distinction, caring and sharing the planet that houses us? What changes do we need in the ways we organize, produce and consume, in the production of social exclusion and inequity which destroy the very basis of life? These are our questions at the end of the Rio +20 Conference, where once again our leaders have shown a lack of determination to start a major reconstruction of a world in crisis. We have see much official pomp for nothing, creating even more uncertainty about our collective ability to change directions for the sustainability of life, all life forms, and for the integrity of the Earth. Meanwhile ... the crisis deepens and widens and the collective uncertainty increases. Rio +20 has nourished the destructive capacity of the global crisis, rather than seizing the historic moment and making the changes that are urgently needed.
We say loud and clear that the multifaceted crisis (climate and environmental, financial, food, values...), which engulfs the whole world, also has another component: the crisis of governance. This is revealed on the one hand, in the absence of a structure of global legitimate power more than what we have today. . ...more.