16 June 2012

Status of Negotiations on 15 June 2012

Status of Negotiations on 15 June 2012 Friday afternoon almost at the closing of the Third Session of Negotiations in Rio

Although negotiators and UN staff keep saying in the corridors this Friday that negotiations on the Rio+20 outcome document (“The Future We Want”) are advancing, and that we are in the right direction, in reality the opposite is happening here. In most splinter groups each paragraph is meticulously negotiated and the discussion often gets stuck on the choice of quite words. Some criticize that the choice of words makes no difference for the final outcome, while others sustain that each word counts as they will be the basis for action. Rumours are beginning to spread that the way the negotiations evolve it is becoming unlikely that a final document can be adopted by consensus.

What would happen if countries do not reach an agreement?

In case no agreement is reached on the final document, Brazil as the host country could use the option of tabling an alternative text to be signed by all UN Member States.

This scenario is splitting opinions in the corridors as some are beginning to think that this might be the only way to “save” Rio+20, while others find this option rather risky since, in case the Host´s text is rejected, there would be no time left to craft an alternative. With several ministers arriving in Rio and with the G20 Summit in Los Cabos ready to start (after which most Heads of State will fly straight to Rio) tension is building up.

In the daily press confererence today, Brazil´s chief negotiator Ambassador Luiz Alberto Figueiredo strongly denied that Brazil is working on an alternative text. However, he made it clear that in case negotiations stall, Brazil will suggest alternative language for the most contentious paragraphs.

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