RING Statement on WSSD
For those who take sustainable development seriously, the period since the 1992 Rio Earth Summit has proved disappointing; dashed hopes, failed promises, and missed opportunities outweigh the achievements by far. Even accounting for the naive optimism invested in the Rio process and outputs, the track record since then has been dismal: governments have refused to invest the new resources that had been promised or implied; civil society continues to be distanced from the locus of global decision making, in spite of the fact that it has grown in size and achieved many successes at the local level. The hopes that sustainable development would build new bridges between North and South or between governments and civil society remain largely unrealised. The much-celebrated Rio compact – the supposed understanding between South and North that environment and development needs to be dealt with as an integrated set of concerns within the context of current and future social justice and equity – lies bruised and neglected.