Hear No Good. See No Good. Speak No Good.
Five years after the Rio Earth Summit, world leaders and diplomats met at a Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly to review what progress had been made on the agenda set in Rio.
To say the results were not good is an understatement. The meeting ended in deadlock, symbolised by its failure to agree to a Political Statement*.
The President of the General Assembly, Ambassador Razali Ismail of Malaysia, freely admitted to an expectant world that governments had failed to deliver on their promises and that it was now up to non-governmental organisations and grassroots movements to intensify their own efforts and to increase pressure on governments to act for positive change.
What we can learn from the
New York Earth Summit, and more
recently from the Kyoto Conference,
is that no government is ever going to deliver
a better world. It's up to us as individuals to put the
screws on and to dismantle what needs dismantling ourselves.
"It's an abdication of responsibility and a tremendously
Clifton Curtis, Greenpeace
"The Rio agreements were rightly hailed as a major success,
but the promises made there have been betrayed in New York this week."
Gordon Shepherd, World Wildlife Fund
"What we have witnessed in the five years after Rio has been a
nearly complete halt
to international dialogue on environment and sustainable development."
President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe
"For the first time, we have recognised the limitations of our
The bane of international cooperation is that governments cannot maintain commitments
- not just on resources, but on doing things over the long haul."
Razali Ismail, President of the General Assembly