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European Youth Statement Towards Rio+20

European Youth Statement Towards Rio+20

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Published by: media8949 on Sep 26, 2011
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03/02/2014

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Introduction
Y
oung people from the European Union and EU Neighbouring States gathered from27th August to 2nd September 2011 at the European Youth Congress and AdvocacyTraining held in Izola, Slovenia. The Congress was part of Peace Child International’sRoad to Rio+20 project, sponsored by the European Commission, and is part of the buildup to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) to be held inJune 2012 in Rio de Janeiro.This document is the result of the discussions that took place during the Congressand forms part of the process of developing a global youth position ahead of Rio+20. Attendees of the Congress represented different youth organisations with strongperspectives on issues like sustainable development, the green economy andintergenerational justice.This youth statement relates to, and builds upon the European Commission’sCommunication on Rio+20 (COM2011-363), the Zero Draft Declaration of the 64th AnnualUN DPI/NGO Conference and recent statements and position papers resulting fromregional youth meetings across the world.This statement aims to raise awareness amongst government, UN negotiators and otherstakeholders in the Rio+20 process of young people’s concerns about the themes andobjectives of this conference and to inject a sense of urgency into the global dialogue.The young people Europeans represented at the Congress agreed to focus theirsuggestions on the following:
0.Redeneconceptsofdevelopmentandprogress
1. National Transition Plans to a green economy;2. Open Global Knowledge Community (Technology transfer)3. Economic leverages (Pricing mechanisms)4. Education for sustainability and the green economy5. The role of youth at all levels in the transition to a green economy
Redene concepts of development andprogress
Traditional indicators for measuring development, such as GDP, have failed to capturethe multitude of challenges to sustainable development and countries’ progress ontackling them. Underlying our recommendations in all other areas is a new concept of
development,basedonabroaderrangeofparametersthatmoreaccuratelyreectsthe
importance of environmental and social issues, in addition to economical ones.
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National Transition Plans to a greeneconomy
We call for a change of approach and an acceleration of the transition to a greeneconomy. We support the call for the preparation of National Transition Plans (NTPs) byall Member States by the end of 2014, within the framework of a global agreement madeat Rio+20 setting the overall targets and objectives for these plans.The preparation and implementation of these NTPs must include all government levelsand all stakeholders in civil society.We further call for cooperation between Member States and UN agencies to ensure thecoordination of national and global efforts in order to achieve the global transition to agreen economy by the end of 2030.
Open Global Knowledge Community
We need to make the transition towards a green economy now. In order for thistransition to be successful, available sustainable technologies and knowledge must bemade accessible to all.While we call for an increase in support for research into green innovation, we mustalso recognise and utilise the invaluable potential of traditional, local and indigenouspractices and experience. All this knowledge needs to be made readily accessible to all stakeholders so it can be
adaptedtothecharacteristicsandneedsofspecicsituationsandstakeholders.Of
paramount importance to this objective is to review international and national intellectualproperty regulation systems and to do away with elements of them that are frustratingequal access to these key knowledge resources.We therefore call for the introduction of an Open Global Knowledge Community. Thisonline, user-generated content platform is to enable an exchange of practices andtechnologies across and within global regions.We further believe that the increased participation of scientists, researchers and expertsin decision-making processes is essential to ensure informed, innovative policies.
Economic leverages
In spite of all the efforts towards changing the general mindset on sustainability
issues,thetransitiontoagreeneconomycannotbeefcientlyimplementedwithout
an effective economic policy, creating incentives for all stakeholders to changetheir behaviour towards more sustainable activities. In times of economic crisis and
budgetaryconstraints,weneedtousetheavailablenancialresourcesmoreefciently.
We therefore call for the urgent shift of resources from the brown economy to the greeneconomy, by refocusing subsidies and tax systems. At the same time, it is our moral duty to ensure the social dimension of sustainabledevelopment by including disadvantaged groups in the green economy. We thereforecall for supported employment for socially, economically and politically disadvantagedgroups, in particular youth, people with disabilities, rural communities and peopleaffected by the impacts of climate change.
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