The UNCSD Rio+20 Zero Draft process

The Earth Charter International and the EC Initiative have been actively contributing to the outcome document (or Zero Draft) for the UNCSD Rio+20 Conference.

Based on the suggestions of many from the Earth Charter network, Earth Charter International submitted the “Recommendations for the Zero Draft of the UNCSD (Rio+20) Outcome Document.

Almost 500 NGOs sent in recommendations for the outcomes of Rio+20. Thirty submissions to the Compilation Document included the Earth Charter in their recommendations, among them four Member States (i.e. national governments): Armenia, Bolivia, Mexico and the Russian Federation.

These recommendations were put into a Compilation Document that was released on January 10th.  The initial discussions of this compilation document have started and the delegations of the UN Member States met from 25-27 of January to discuss this draft. 

In this link you can see the statements for this first draft.  It’s important to mention that two Member States (Jordan and Russia Federation) included the Earth Charter in their statements made in January. In addition to those countries that had already mentioned the EC in their first submition to the Zero Draft back in October. 

Jordan proposed to incorporate a “common ethical framework to inspire and guide actions towards sustainable development by building upon existing principles of sustainability as those found in the Rio Declaration, the Johannesburg Declaration and the Earth Charter.” (Full text here)

The Russian Federation statement reads:  
Convinced that a holistic approach to sustainable development requires a comprehensive and universal code of ethics, we welcome the thrust of the Earth Charter recognized by UNESCO as an important ethical framework for sustainable development. In this regard we request the Secretary-General to use the capacity and expertise of the UN System to elaborate in close and regular consultations with the Member States a voluntary document comprising in an integral and comprehensive manner the globally shared values, principles and ethics of economical, social and environmental sustainability. “

Earth Charter International has made the following recommendations to the Compilation document and invites organizations and governments to consider these in their statements.

1.The Zero Draft should affirm the need for a shared vision and common ethical framework to inspire and guide actions towards sustainable development among all stakeholders across sectors. The current draft appropriately emphasizes the need to integrate the three pillars of sustainable development, and to make this integrated framework central to the many structures and activities of the United Nations. It should also affirm a strong definition of sustainable development with a fourth (first) pillar that is a shared vision of ethical and spiritual values that inspires and guides cooperative action for change.

2.The Zero Draft recommends Ombudspersons for future generations and sustainable development goals, and new measures of GDP. It should also include implementing the Precautionary Principle, a Corporate Sustainability Responsibility Convention, Millennium Consumption Goals, and a mandate of trusteeship for global common goods on behalf all peoples, the greater community of life, and future generations.