RIO DE JANEIRO, June 20.—The High
Level Session of the UN Conference on Sustainable
Development, Rio+20, was opened today by UN
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, while thousands of
people from all over the world staged a gigantic
protest in defense of nature and against the
During this initiative, known as the
Global Mobilization, approximately 50,000 protestors
rejected new forms of the reproduction of capital,
which are attacking the environment and are contrary
to sustainable development.
Prensa Latina reported that the huge
march comprised social activists, environmentalists,
campesinos, women, people of African descent,
indigenous groups, academics and political activists.
Organizations such as Vía Campesina
affirmed that, 20 years after the Earth Summit, life
on the planet has become dramatically difficult.
They also warned that "the number of
hungry people has increased to almost one billion,
which means that one in six human beings are
suffering from hunger, principally women and
children in rural areas."
The protestors stated that the
expulsion of rural workers from their own lands and
territories is currently a major problem, not only
because of the disadvantaged conditions imposed on
them in commercial contracts and the industrial
sector, but also due to new forms of monopolizing
land and water, the global imposition of forms of
intellectual property which steal their seeds, the
invasion of transgenic seeds, the advance of mono-cultivation,
mega-projects, and mining.
The grand promises of Rio ’92 have
resulted in farce, as have those of the Convention
on Biological Diversity, the UN Convention on
Climate Change and the UN Convention to Combat
Desertification, the protestors claimed.
The Social Summit organizers noted
that, two decades later, these issues remain pending
and they fear even stronger neoliberal policies and
processes of capitalist expansion, concentration and
exclusion, the generators of an environmental,
economic and social crisis of extremely grave
They particularly criticized the so-called
green economy and are convinced that, under this
deceptive name, new forms of contamination and
environmental destruction, as well as new waves of
privatization, monopolization and expulsions from "our
lands and territories" are on their way.
The environmentalists also
emphasized their disappointment at the final
document, approved on June 19 by the negotiators for
discussion by country leaders, who can introduce
changes to the text. This is precisely what the
For the NGO’s and social and civil
movements the text "The future that we want," does
not clearly state the objectives or ways of funding
programs directed at sustainable development. The
groups also fear an intensification of capitalist
expansion, concentration and exclusion, which is
already responsible for the current environmental,
economic and social crisis.