3E Intelligence

The European Union should be applauded for refusing to sign a very weak compromise text at the 15th annual session of the United Nations’ Commission on Sustainable Development on Friday 11 May. The fact that the environment minister of Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe was elected to chair the UN’s sustainability body – much to the dismay of the European Union and the US- is only the top of the iceberg. The whole episode shows that the UN has lost its leadership role on sustainable development. The presence of Gro Harlem Brundtland at the annual summit can not disguise that.
It is too easy (as Brundtland did) to point to the “lack of trust” between the industrialised countries and the developing world as the source of this impasse on the greatest challenges humanity ever faced. As long as “ecological sustainability” has not entered the minds of diplomats and economic experts, there will be no political progress at international level.
As things stand, what happened last week in New York is a very bad omen for the December Bali summit which is supposed to lay the groundwork for the next global agreement on global warming. Maybe we should give up on these UN conferences alltogether?

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