Pacific Region Preparations for Rio+20
We have had the benefit of direct meetings to bring a Charter for Universal Responsibility to the attention of NZ Rio+20 negotiators and with political and environmental leaders in the Pacific region. They are all alert to the principles of responsibility emerging in the Zero draft – and we await the direct commitment to a Charter for Universal Responsibility to come through these late negotiations.
A late round of negotiations was held in NY end of May-early June
At a meeting with the NZ negotiators we challenged the NZ govt for backing down on right to water – they are now going to support it
We support the blue economy/oceans and fisheries positions, but challenged the govt on their commercial interests above environmental and sustainability interests.
We asked for feedback on our proposal for measures for sustainability. (No feedback).
They said the Dialogues are a very important introduction to the process and said we must sign up and contribute.
They again referred to the Charter for U Responsibility and said they are continuing to watch out for it. They said many of the principles of Responsibility are included in various provisions (Great they are taking this seriously! )
We have written to the NZ Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, and also to leaders of key organizations in the Pacific region (Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, Fiji, Kiribati and Samoa) and been able to arrange meetings in Samoa on two separate visits.
Betsan wrote to Anote Tong the Prime Minister of Kiribati, who is a famous advocate for the plight of Islands sinking under rising oceans.
Brief Samoa Report
Betsan has had meetings in Samoa with the Head of State and the Prime Minister of Samoa as well as with Directors of major Pacific environmental organizations.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa of Samoa- had done some research, but could not find reference to a Charter for Responsibility. He seemed willing to follow the lead of New Zealand and said he would support it if New Zealand does (no comment!). Interestingly, I have found out that he, that is Samoa, has signed up to a plan for Transition to climate responsibility, and NZ has not. I hope to get more details.
The Director General of the Pacific Environmental organization, SPREP met with me at length. They had researched proposals for responsibility and identified the ‘Common and Differentiated responsibility theme. The said although it is too late for a new initiative for the Rio_20 agenda, they could see principles of responsibility in the document, and recommended we pursue CUR through the MDG’s. I said – well watch out for a Charter for Responsibility to emerge!
Overall, I do think presenting the Charter for U Responsibility to these major players will mean that they will recognize it when it comes to the surface in the negotiations.