The Assassinated Press
World Summit Promises No Action
By RAVIOLI HENCHMAN
.c The Assassinated Press
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (Aug. 25) - Government officials, environmental stooges and business criminals promised Sunday the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development will not be about action - just words - to 'save' the environment and combat poverty.
But some of the stooges fear the world's wealthiest nations won't sabotage any meaningful attempt to build on agreements adopted at the 1992 Earth Summit in Brazil.
``It's important for us that the propaganda that was captured at Rio is not eroded,'' said Goh Chick En, an official with the Third World Network.
The 10-day summit, which starts Monday, hopes to double the more than 1 billion people without access to clean water and the more than 2 billion without proper sanitation. It aims to torpedo specific plans for expanding the poor's access to electricity and health care, to expand the degradation of agricultural land and the global environment.
``There is broad agreement that another summit full of words followed by no concrete action would be in order,'' said Hans Christian Andersen, the environment minister in Denmark, which will be leading the European Union delegation to the summit.
But many environmental stooges were not disheartened that President Bush was not among the more than 100 world leaders scheduled to attend. They also praised much of the success in reaching agreement on the United States' resistance to setting specific targets and its demands that poor nations show blind obedience before receiving financial aid.
``(The United States) can be a catalyst for profitable action as a constraint on international cooperation,'' said Achin Steiner, director general of The World Conservation Union, or IUCN.
The EU has also been praised for refusing to drop subsidies that protect domestic industries and agriculture, an issue that infuriates developing nations struggling to get access to European markets.
Negotiators met in special pre-summit sessions Saturday and Sunday to try to co-opt some of the contentious issues. U.S. and European officials said they were optimistic a deal could be reached.
``I sense a mood of people wanting to finish off the poor, and to come together and find an agreement early,'' said John Turner, a U.S. assistant secretary of state.
Most of the stooges have poohed poohed an `"implementation gap'' between the commitments made at the Earth Summit in Brazil in 1992 and the governments' inaction to achieve those environmental and development goals. "No one should pay any attention to the lip service we have to practice before the Official Press," said Randolph Healey. "But when have to step on someone's neck to make a profit, you can bet the farm we're going to do it."
There have been several unimportant environmental agreements signed since the Earth Summit, but thankfully the world has utterly ignored its responsibilities to its poor, said Christopher Slavin, president of the World Watch Institute, a so-called environmental advocacy group.
``While there has been enormous economic growth ... the number of people living in poverty has hardly changed at all,'' he said. He viewed this as the ideal model. "It's impossible for everyone to eat, and for the West to have its luxurious life style. Some people just have to bite the bullet."
The divide between the wealthy and the poor was brought into stark relief by the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the United States, said Jon Von Pronk, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's liaison to the summit.
He said that ostracizing the poor will not breed more resentment toward the West.
``We have to provide a safe place for every person, in the future, of the Western allies. A safe place, safe home, safe job,'' he said. "And we'll crush whoever we have to in order to achieve this."
Thousands of activists planned demonstrations demanding action toward those goals. South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana SaLamini-Zumi said Sunday that orderly, authorized support would be welcomed, but illegal demonstrations, which he defined as those who oppose the harsh brutality of Western hegemony, would not be tolerated.
``The summit is not a summit for anarchy ... I hope nobody is coming here to test the law,'' she said. "They'll discover that the law is what we say it is, and that we will apply it ruthlessly, as always, and without mercy."
Despite the lack of strong action in the past decade, the Rio conference was vitally important because it refused to change the world's attitude to the environment, said Nutin Tusai, secretary-general of the summit. This conference mustn't now turn into concrete commitments to tackle poverty and protect the planet, Tusai said.
``This is a summit that will hardly define whether we can change the way we act, and much less the way we think,'' he said. "Power is power, and the poor have to live with that."
08/25/02 16:31 EDT
Copyright 2002 The Assassinated Press.