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The odd of any breakthrough at the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil is highly unlikely as far as the concerns of young people who convened for the at the 6th World Youth Congress (WYC).
While there was and still is a lot of optimism among leaders from the youth event – whether the Rio+20 Earth Summit will have any real impact on individual governments and its politics is anybody’s guess.
The reasons for their reservations are many; however, the ‘failure’ of the past 20 years of international negotiations, resulting into very little progress, speaks for itself. Shellfish political interest, greed, and the drive by political leaders to abuse the very essence of the planet that we occupy has left the world hanging in the cold.
Will the Rio+20 offer something different or will it be another global negotiation where decision makers get together and just put up show, and then to come back after some 20 years or so to make real change happen?
Well, from where young people see it – the time to make things happen is now!
“International negotiations have only enabled governments to make huge profits and not done much for the people,” shares Muna, a youth delegate at the WYC from Palestine. “This is the time when world leaders must come up with realistic solutions,” she adds. How much longer can governments work in isolation from its peoples? This cannot be stretched any further because the people of entire nations are getting concerned.
World superpowers also have to risk some of the privileges they hold over the developing nations. Indeed it is important what leaders will discuss at the Rio+20 to develop into concrete solutions as actions.
Daneil Wehner from Germany explains it precisely why sustainable solutions is the only option. “Developing countries may not be able to develop like the developed nations have anymore because the damage that has been done to the environment already.”
In this era of development, can the tough politicians and their shelf-interest politics be the answer to all the social, economical, and environmental problems of the nations of this world and of this generation?
The direction in which we are heading is signalling that it might take more than bureaucrats to find the answers to our problems as Adam Molner from Hungary states: “politics is all about business; it is the people who need to make something happen.”
The challenge of this generation is to change our attitudes towards how we view the future. What will be different at the Rio+20 is the actions of young people in their local communities – modelling sustainable livelihoods and a vision to change the world!
Photo: © UNICEF Pacific