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  • Published on: 29 May 2012
  • Submitted by: Major Group: Women

On Food Security, Water and Energy - Women' intervention at Rio+20
A delegation of more than 10 women major group representatives is taking part at the 3rd round of informal negotiations in the preparations of the Rio+20 summit which starts in 3 weeks time in Brazil. The government delegations are trying to finalize the outcome document which the more than 130 heads of state which are expected to come to Rio, will sign. The Women's Major Group believes that the current text is too weak, in particular regarding women's rights to land, safe water and sanitation and sustainable energy.

Thank you chair,

My name is Rosa Lizarde and I speak on behalf of the women?s major group

It?s necessary first of all, to reiterate the words of the Secretary General at the beginning of this session. We urge you to work constructively. This session is in effect your last opportunity to work together before meeting in Rio. Failure is not an option and we must unite for the global common good.

On the issues discussed today, Women remain firm that a rights-based approach to sustainable development is essential.

Following the negotiations on food, water and energy today, we have the following concrete suggestions/recommendations:

On Food:

We appreciate the language related to women?s access in Food 3, which recognized the importance of women and smallholder famers. Women are the majority of smallholder farmers, up to 70% in some countries!

But, Rio needs to do more than recognize, we need to commit to time-bound and effective measures, which will ensure women?s and smallholder?s rights.

We therefore propose, to add:

In Food 3. We propose the amendment of the following sentence to read in full ?We agree to address the needs of rural communities, through, and ensure inter alia, promoting access to credit and other financial services, markets, and secure the right to land tenure, in particular for women, indigenous peoples and those living in vulnerable situations.?

Furthermore on Food 8: Women are the custodians of our native seeds, the text in Food 8 needs to ensure their rights, protection and sustainable use of native seeds, in particular through a moratorium on GMOs

On Water and Sanitation:

Water and Sanitation are particularly important to women and girls; carrying water for great distances, unsafe water leading to water borne diseases, girls not going to school for lack of toilets, the increased need for water when women care for those who are ill, such as with HIV/AIDs ... all which are increasing due to the impacts of climate change. We are sure you know this. Therefore, we call on all delegates to support and strengthen the first sentence in Water 1,?committing regarding to the human right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as essential for the full enjoyment of life.?

On Energy:

Efforts to develop energy resources must be community led, transparent and inclusive ? assuring full participation of women and men.

Therefore we propose to add to Energy 2, first sentence,? after,?. in particular for the poor who are unable to afford these services even when they are available, and ensure equitable opportunities for key stakeholders including women, youth, and indigenous peoples.?

Furthermore, we need targeted investments for women, we therefore propose to add to Paragraph 3, after the 2nd sentence, a new sentence, which reads: We encourage investments in sustainable energy technologies and services that directly meet poor women?s household and productive needs.

Finally, over-consumption of energy in some regions and sectors must be seriously addressed in tandem with efforts to provide access to those lacking in access. We support the mention of historic responsibilities in the text.

Thank you very much
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