Reflecting the concerns of India, the Rio+20 summit has said that developing countries needed additional resources for sustainable development and that unwarranted conditionalities on Official Development Assistance (ODA) and finance should be avoided.
“We reaffirm that developing countries need additional resources for sustainable development,” said the 55-page declaration adopted at the end of the Rio+20 summit officially called “United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development”.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in his address at the Summit attended by 125 world leaders, had said “many countries could do more if additional finance and technology were available. Unfortunately, there is little evidence of support from the industrialised countries in these areas (reducing emissions intensity). The ongoing economic crisis has made matters worse.”
Describing economic development, social inclusion and environmental sustainability as all equally critical as components of sustainable development, Dr. Singh said that the task before the world community is to give practical shape and content to this architecture in a manner that allows each country to develop according to its own national priorities and circumstances.
The world leaders in their declaration said they recognised the crucial importance of enhancing financial support from all sources for sustainable development for all countries, in particular developing nations.
At the same time, the summit called on all countries to prioritise sustainable development in the allocation of resources in accordance with national priorities and needs.
The summit also dealt with issues relating to the faltering Global economy.
Noting that ongoing serious global financial and economic challenges carried the possibility of undoing years of hard work and gains made in relation to the debt of developing countries, the declaration said the developing countries should be given assistance in ensuring long-term debt sustainability through coordinated policies aimed at fostering debt financing, debt relief and debt restructuring, as appropriate.
It also said that innovative financing mechanisms can make a positive contribution in assisting developing countries to mobilise additional resources for financing for development on a voluntary basis.
“Such financing should supplement and not be a substitute for traditional sources of financing. While recognising the considerable progress in innovative sources of financing for development, we call for a scaling-up of present initiatives.” the declaration said.
The summit attended by leaders and representatives from 194 countries said all nations should refrain from promulgating and applying any unilateral economic, financial or trade measures not in accordance with international law and the U.N. Charter that impede the full achievement of economic and social development, particularly in developing countries.
The Rio+20 document also emphasised the importance of technology transfer to developing countries.
“We stress the importance of access by all countries to environmentally sound technologies, new knowledge, know-how and expertise.”
“We further stress the importance of cooperative action on technology innovation, research and development. We agree to explore modalities in the relevant forums for enhanced access to environmentally sound technologies by developing countries,” the declaration said.
On the issue of green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, the document said it should be consistent with international law.
It should also respect each country’s national sovereignty over their natural resources taking into account its national circumstances, objectives, responsibilities, priorities and policy space with regard to the three dimensions of sustainable development.
The green economy policies should also strengthen international cooperation, including the provision of financial resources, capacity-building and technology transfer to developing countries.
“It should effectively avoid unwarranted conditionalities on official development assistance and finance. Not constitute a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination or a disguised restriction on international trade, avoid unilateral actions to deal with environmental challenges outside the jurisdiction of the importing country, and ensure that environmental measures addressing trans-boundary or global environmental problems, as far as possible, are based on an international consensus.” The green economy policies should also contribute to closing technology gaps between developed and developing countries and reduce the technological dependence of developing countries using all appropriate measures.