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Rio+20 Preparatory Meeting for Latin America and the Caribbean. Trade union demands in the debate but not the conclusions.

After three days of discussions, no agreement was reached on proposals or concrete engagements for a real regional agenda towards Rio+20.

A report by Laura Maffei, Sustainlabour

The Regional Preparatory Meeting for Rio+20 took place in the CEPAL headquarters, in Santiago, Chile, between 7th and 9th September. Its aim was to elaborate a regional position for the Conference on Sustainable Development which will take place next June in Rio (Rio+20).

The main debate concentrated around green economy and gave rise to important disagreements between governments. The latter insisted on the need to recuperate and revalue the agreements already reached in Rio in 1992.

Governmental delegates recognised the need to move forward in the effective transfer of technology, the promotion of a global regime of intellectual property, and the implementation of rights of access to environmental information, participation and justice. They insisted also in the need to guarantee new, additional, stable and predictable finance for the implementation of sustainable development policies in developing countries.

Some countries, such as Barbados and Mexico, highlighted the importance of decent work as a basic principle to take into account in discussions on a new model of production and consumption.

Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of CEPAL, highlighted the opportunity to create a tax on financial transactions, one of the trade union demands for Rio+20. According to the data presented, a 0,05% tax would generate three times the Official Development Aid of 2008. This proposal however was not taken up by the Plenary nor mentioned in the Conclusion of the Meeting.

In its conclusions, the meeting did not reflect any of the trade unions demands, not even the mention of the creation of Green Jobs, a theme that was brought up in the Plenary by some delegates and recognised as one of the emerging themes by the Secretary General of Rio+20, Mr. Sha Zukang (see ITUC article here).

The trade union delegation was made up of representatives of TUCA, CTA (Argentina), CUT (Brazil), BWI and Sustainlabour.

For more information on this meeting, please contact Laura Maffei from Sustainlabour at lmaffei@sustainlabour.org