Johannesburg Summit on Sustainable Ddevelopment: An End and a Beginning
"Water Engineering Liquids and Irrigation" Vol. 20
Tzvi Levinson, Adv.
Ten years after the world leaders met in Rio to discuss the environmental, social and economical challenges concerning the whole international community, a follow up summit of world leaders gathered in South Africa, with the aim of reiterating the commitment of leaders to sustainable development. The short list mentions the three key products which came out of the summit: A. An action plan, which sets out a long series of inter-governmental commitments. B. Agreements between governments and businesses and/or society groups, accompaning the action plan. C. A political declaration signed by heads of state and government, backing up the action plan, and supporting the leadership role of the U.N to promote sustainable development. The list reviews the major aspects of the action plan, which reflect a compromise reached between three main competing interest groups: Europe and allies, the U.S.A and allies, and the developing countries represented by the G77 group. The main targets of the action plan, including timetables, refer to fighting poverty, promoting national initiatives towards sustainable consumption and production, and towards sustainable development of natural resources, making globalisation and following benefit inclusive and equitable, health issues such as reduction of child mortality, and increasing world trade relations and other trade related issues. Similar commitments had been taken by countries before, which makes it all too clear that the Johannesburg summit is not the end, but just the beginning.