Day 7 at CSD-18

For Dutch readers I’d like to point you to the blog that’s being written by Lesha and Wanda on behalf of the Dutch Wommen Council.

Monday of the 2nd week is always the day that you suddenly see new faces and realise that others have disappeared without you having said goodbye properly. So, thank you Alexandra, Olga and Yuyun from WECF for your inputs on chemicals, waste and mining.

Morning briefings were followed by coffee with Lesha and putting a statement together about implementation of previous CSD decisions. We divided tasks for statement writing and presentations for Tuesday and Wednesday, so half of the week already feels under control. Phew!

In the afternoon I went to the side event organised by UNESCO, the Baha’i International Community, and the Swedish Mission to the UN on”Rethinking prosperity: forging alternatives to a culture of consumerism.” The title of the event was the same as the BIC statement for CSD-18. Speakers included Tim Jackson of the UK’s Sustainable Development Commission and author of the book Prosperity without Growth; Jeffrey Barber of the International Coalition on Sustainable Production & Consumption; Luis Flores Mimica of Consumers International; and Victoria Thoresen of the Partnership for Education & Research on Responsible Living (PERL). And then of course the arts were included; this year 2 poems read by Kiara Worth (she has promised me the text).

These are some of the focus sentences from the BIC statement:

“The issue of sustainable consumption and production, under consideration by this Commission, will need to be considered in the broader context of an ailing social order—one characterized by competition, violence, conflict and insecurity—of which it is a part.”

“The culture of consumerism, however, has tended to reduce human beings to competitive, insatiable consumers of goods and to objects of manipulation by the market.”

“It is not enough to conceive of sustainable consumption and production in terms of creating opportunities for those living in poverty to meet their basic needs.”

“Ultimately, the transformation required to shift towards sustainable consumption and production will entail no less than an organic change in the structure of society itself so as to reflect fully the interdependence of the entire social body—as well as the interconnectedness with the natural world that sustains it.”

“The unfettered cultivation of needs and wants has led to a system fully dependent on excessive consumption for a privileged few, while reinforcing exclusion, poverty and inequality, for the majority.”

“Developing the capacity for identifying technological need and for technological innovation and adaptation—in light of societal needs and environmental constraints—will be vital to social progress.”

“As a starting point, the program of education must be based on a clear vision of the kind of society that we wish to live in; and the kind of individuals that will bring this about.”

“The cultural shifts taking place are evident in the greater capacity to carry out collective action, to see oneself as an agent of change in the community, as a humble learner, as an active participant in the generation, diffusion and application of knowledge.”

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