Contact: Uchita de Zoysa
Introduction to the Peoples’ Sustainability Treaties
Failure at Rio+20 is unacceptable. Even if the official process once again proves inadequate to the task of redirecting development toward sustainability, we have an opportunity to leverage the emerging global citizens movement to lead us in our transition to a future we would actually prefer. It is imperative that civil society organizations (CSOs), peoples’ movements, and concerned citizens the world over, not make the historical mistake of simply reacting to weak international actions on sustainable development. We need to proactively drive the agenda forward, providing the vision, leadership, and commitment to forge a process that moves us firmly forward in a fundamental transition toward a just and sustainable planet.
The Peoples’ Sustainability Treaties initiative is an open invitation to civil society to come together to develop an independent, collective outcome for a sustainable future beyond Rio+20. The treaties have been produced by civil society organizations in parallel with the official UNCSD 2012process, to strengthen the Rio+20 People’s Summit and all independent efforts giving expression to people’s visions and voices. Beyond the current formulations, the treaties are part of a forward-looking process, which, beyond Rio+20, will become a living enterprise in the service of our necessary transition to a more sustainable world order.
Rio+20 provides a unique opportunity to convene and organize global civil society towards advancing a movement toward a global citizenship that helps forge a shared and preferable future. The Peoples’ Sustainability Treaties (PST) are intended to provide a platform for our collective voice to support a growing campaign for advancing a coherent movement. Toward this end, we are organizing a series dialogues and activities across diverse venues in Rio, with the aim of building a basis for such a post-Rio campaign. All PST participants, as well as other likeminded organizations and individuals, will collectively voice their opinions, aspirations, plans and commitments to advance a movement capable of shifting public awareness and institutional global policy in a manner that serves the desired transition.
The Peoples Sustainability Treaties Platform for advancing a sustainability transition based on the emerging global citizens movement hopes to inspire an alternative shared vision and effective strategy for realizing a sustainable and just future. Consciousness and action must rise to the level of a unified global society. It seems likely that the dominant institutions of the world may indeed prove too timid or too conflicted to meet the environmental and social challenges of our time. Therefore, an appropriate response requires us to imagine the awakening of a new social agency: a coordinated global movement striving on all fronts towards a just and sustainable planetary civilization. A plan for advancing this transition, post Rio+20, will be ready for discussion at the Rio+20 Peoples’ Sustainability Platform.
So far, fourteen treaty circles have opened the dialogue on ways to collectively move toward a genuinely sustainable future. These are summarized in the sections that follow. This begins a long-term process for each treaty that will continue to evolve and grow, remaining open to all. Additional treaties are expected to take shape, even as the current ones morph, build commitment, and launch the action plans outlined here.
The most current version of the entire set of Peoples’ Sustainability Treaties can always be found at: http://www.sustainabilitytreaties.org