New York Third Intersessional Meeting : Day One
Yesterday was the first day of the 3rd Intersessional meeting on Rio+20. Delegates were meeting last week in the same place but under a different meeting title: “First round of informal-informal negotiations on the zero draft of outcome document”.
Although the titles of meetings changed, the exercise remains the same: going through many paragraphs of a document that is becoming almost 300 pages! The interventions are to amend those various paragraphs and are mainly from the Group of 77 countries and the European Union, usually with contradictory statements. When I ask to delegates in the corridors what we are going to do with 300 pages which no one will read, they just answer with an exhausted “I don’t know…”
At least there are some interesting side events held. Today there was the launch of the World Congress on Justice, Governance and Law which will be held on 17-20 June in Rio. This was more than just a gathering of lawyers but an important event that underlined the need to translate environmental law into real life. From policemen to households, we are all part of an accountability and governance mechanism so we all have to play our role. Antonio Herman Benjamin, Justice at the High Court of Justice of Brazil and Deputy Chair of the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law brought to the meeting important players in Brazil such as a Member of Parliament and an environmental Prosecutor from Rio to show us how advanced this country is in compliance and enforcement of national environmental law. This part of the presentation was very impressive.
It is clear that we are still at an early stage of negotiations. I heard some countries will ask the Chairs to chop off the zero draft text. Let’s see what other delegates will say.
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