RIO 20 Nothing more than a political charade

Rhetoric cannot camouflage lack of vision and commitment, CARE says

Rio de Janeiro (June 21, 2012): After the first day of world leaders’ negotiations at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), CARE International warns that Rio+20 will be nothing more than a political charade if leaders don’t start demonstrating urgent action and ambition. “We have heard lots of nice speeches by political leaders yesterday but they were full of empty words. The rhetoric cannot camouflage the fact that leaders are missing a shared vision and commitment to stop environmental degradation and eradicate poverty. There are only two days left and if leaders don’t step up, the failures of Rio+20 will condemn us to a very bleak future that is especially catastrophic for the world’s poorest people,” says Kit Vaughan, CARE’s Climate Change Advocacy Coordinator.

The current draft agreement prepared for world leaders to agree on up until Friday evening lacks any sense of the necessary vision and commitment required to tackle the twin challenges of eradicating poverty and tackling environmental degradation to deliver sustainable development. The draft agreement has no clear tangible objectives, timeframes or financial commitments to solve pressing global challenges such as climate change, food insecurity and gender inequality. “That’s like telling a sailor to cross a stormy ocean without a map, a compass and a sail. We cannot set the world on a sustainable pathway without a clear chart,” urges Vaughan. Climate change, food insecurity and gender inequality are key barriers to achieving a sustainable development and eradicating poverty, according to a report published by CARE ahead of Rio+20.

“Leaders have to start taking these global issues seriously and acting accordingly despite economic crises or national politics. Rio is a one-in-ten-years opportunity for governments to put aside the rhetoric and to work together for our common future,” says Vaughan. “Without commitment to urgent action we are destined to a future that locks in poverty, reverses development gains and perpetrates the biggest social injustice of our time. The world’s poorest can’t afford that type of future.”

Read previous press releases on Rio+20 and download our Rio+20 report.

If you want to set up interviews with CARE experts in Rio, please contact:
Sandra Bulling, CARE Communication Officer,, +41 79 2056951 (Switzerland), +55 21 8085 6274 (Brazil)

About CARE: Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE has more than six decades of experience helping people prepare for disasters, providing lifesaving assistance when a crisis hits, and helping communities recover after the emergency has passed. CARE places special focus on women and children, who are often disproportionately affected by disasters. Last year, CARE worked in 84 countries around the world to assist more than 122 million people improve basic health and education, fight hunger, increase access to clean water and sanitation, expand economic opportunity, confront climate change, and recover from disasters.