Welcome to the Rio+20 talks! The Brazilian Chair’s text at Rio+20 was accepted by consensus a bit surprisingly this morning with no modifications. A number of delegations spoke about the things they would like to have seen changed in the plenary session, but all said that they would recommend to their Ministers and Heads of State to endorse it without modification.
It was a pretty intense moment when the Brazilian Foreign Minister announced that the text had been accepted. There was a loud round of applause, but definitely a lot of misgivings. There are some good things in the text (eg. Universal Health Coverage endorsed, Human Right to Water, process – albeit a confusing one – for establishing Sustainable Development Goals) and some less good things (eg. Reproductive Rights missing, quite weak provisions on implementation and financing).
It’s been a fascinating experience and I feel like we actually made a real contribution by helping the WHO when they didn’t have enough people on the ground to follow the negotiations closely. I’ve seen inside the UN beast and look forward to doing it again!