As the Rio+20 Earth Summit closes, youths have made it clear to Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and heads of states that they are the most powerful generation ever and that institutions have to adapt to make them the new center of gravity.
The final Declaration of the Rio+20 Earth Summit is lacking in ambition, urgency and political will. There is very little that is new and the declaration mostly repeats promises made at previous Earth Summits, and in some cases omits key references.
“The declaration is out of touch with reality. It neglects the majority of the population and the future generations” commented Ignacio Packer, Secretary General of Terre Des Hommes, at the closing of the Summit in Rio.
Some important doors have however been opened on some very specific issues, such as on the access to information and participation in decision making on which Terre Des Hommes advocates with the specific focus on inclusion of children and youth.
Terre des hommes has accompanied the Sustainability Development Summit from the perspective of child rights, in particular in lobbying for the establishment of ombudsperson for the rights of future generations. Danuta Sacher, CEO of Terre Des Hommes stated: “It is disappointing that this point has been so very weakened in the final document”.
What governments could do here was the ideal dream: to have the opportunity to be the savors of the planet. This did not happen but the Summit was not only about a Declaration. Terre Des Hommes is returning with regained inspiration, strength, tenacity and connections to continue its focused efforts in the international advocacy arena and in its interventions in 1″200 projects in 72 countries.
IUCN, Stand up for your Rights and Terre Des Hommes are now joining forces on the initiative to strengthen the children”s right to a healthy environment in the framework of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Addressing the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, Ralien Bekkers, youth representative said: “We are the most powerful generation ever: take us seriously”